News Archive

Old news stories are archived here. See the main page for the latest news.


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27 July Give a Few Bob
Game show legend Bob Monkhouse returns to our screens four years after his death. With full support of the Monkhouse family, amazing computer graphics and body doubles have been used in conjunction with archive footage to produce an amazingly lifelike advert featuring Bob asking the public to donate money to prostate cancer research, the illness which took Monkhouse's life. Watch the advert here

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25 July GMTV MD resigns
Paul Corley, the managing director of GMTV, has announced his resignation over the mishandling of phone-in competitions on the station. GMTV will offer a series of free draws with a total prize fund of 2.5 million pounds and will also change the way that competitions are run in future. Mr. Corley says that he hopes his resignation and this series of initatives will help restore 'viewer trust' in the station. (BBC)

11 July Holmes flop is new lottery vehicle
Nick Knowles is to host a new BBC One lottery tie-in this autumn. The 12 Yard show, Who Dares Wins, is a renamed version of The Rich List, a format which was billed as Eamonn Holmes' bid to crack America, but which was pulled from US TV schedules after just one episode. The show had previously been piloted and rejected by ITV. The format has, however, been a hit in Australia.

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6 July Richard and Judy phone quiz thievery
A fine of £150,000 is to be levied on the phone company involved in the Richard & Judy phone quiz fraud. You Say We Pay began shortly after Richard & Judy went on air at 5pm and ended at 5.38pm, with the competition being won at 5.42pm. On most days a shortlist of 24 possible winners was drawn up as early as 5.11pm, and sent by Eckoh to Cactus Television. (Times)


27 June Tycoon toppled from Tuesdays
ITV has pulled its much-hyped business reality series Tycoon from Tuesday nights after the show failed to improve on its first-week ratings. Only 1.8 million people saw the second episode, a 9% share of viewing. The one-hour episodes will be re-edited to half an hour to fit a 10pm slot on Mondays and it is likely that the live final, originally scheduled for 24 July, will be put back.


26 June er Bra | e fin | Fiv | inte | ed ov | aser
OFCOM has imposed a record £300,000 fine on Five in respect of a series of incidents during the first three months of this year in which Brainteaser faked the results of on-air competitions. According to the ruling, the incidents "should be seen against a background of serious and longstanding compliance failures" dating back to 2003. Five will also have to broadcast apologies both in the show's old slot and in primetime.

The Restaurant

26 June Highbrow reality series for BBC2 autumn line-up
BBC2's autumn line-up, announced today, includes two major new reality shows. Classical Star will seek a young musician to be awarded a recording contract with a major classical label, while The Restaurant challenges nine couples to run an eaterie with the winners receiving backing from Raymond Blanc. Dragons' Den will also return for a fifth series.

People's Quiz

23 June People's Quiz pays out
Stephanie Bruce, a chemist and self-styled "Essex girl" resident in Haverhill, Suffolk has been named the People's Quiz champion after beating Mark Labbett in the final head-to-head round. Her £200,700 prize is the most ever paid out by a BBC show.

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22 July Walsh gets job back
Louis Walsh has confirmed that he is back in The X Factor fold for the next series. Walsh had previously been dropped from the line-up but will return to replace "new judge" Brian Friedman, who has quit the panel but will be given a new role on the show.

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15 June Dragons' Den
Entrepreneur James Caan has been confirmed as the new Dragon in the Den. Caan, founder of HR firm The Alexander Mann Group, will replace Richard Farleigh when the fifth series goes into production this summer.

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14 June The Great Pretender
Chris Tarrant is taking on Deal or No Deal host Noel Edmonds by fronting a weekday tea-time quiz. The Who Wants to be a Millionaire? star, 60, has signed up for an ITV show in which players bluff each other to win. (The Sun)

The Apprentice

13 June Bloody old fool that I am, I'm going to take that risk
Simon Ambrose has won The Apprentice, beating Kristina Grimes to the £100,000-a-year job with Sir Alan Sugar. The pair's final showdown saw them compete to win over architects and property developers with a design for a building on the South Bank. Kristina's property design was said to resemble Fascist architecture which was later changed. (BBC)

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue

13 June Sir David Hatch
The death has been announced of former BBC Managing Director of Radio, David Hatch. He was co-creator of the long-running comedy panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and host of Wireless Wise, as well as commissioner of countless other radio shows. (BBC)

The Apprentice

12 June Katie, you're fired
Katie Hopkins, a former candidate on BBC's The Apprentice, has been fired from her 'real job' (a brand manager for the Met Office) as she failed to pass her probationary term. The final, between Simon Ambrose and Kristina Grimes takes place on Wednesday 13th June at 21:00 on BBC1. (BBC)


8 June Brainteaser compensation sought
Five is reported to be claiming compensation from Endemol for loss of revenue following the sudden axing of Brainteaser in March this year. The show, made by Endemol's Cheetah West subsidiary, was pulled after it was discovered that some of the on-air winning "callers" to the show were in fact members of the production staff.

Big Brother

7 June The 'n' word is clearly offensive
Emily Parr has been removed from the Big Brother house for using a racially offensive word to Charley Uchea, while they were dancing in the living room on Wednesday evening. The eviction vote, in which Emily was nominated along with Shabnam Paryani, has been suspended. (BBC)

Grand Slam

7 June Grand Slam goes to U.S.
Winners from American shows including Jeopardy! (Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter), Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (Kevin Olmstead and John Carpenter), Wheel of Fortune, Tic Tac Dough, Lingo and The Weakest Link are scheduled to compete for $100,000 in the U.S. version of the 2003 quiz. The show will be hosted by Dennis Miller with Amanda Byram and broadcast on Game Show Network from 8 Aug. (TV Guide)

The X Factor

4 June X Factor appointments
Singer Dannii Minogue and choreographer Brian Friedman are the new judges on The X Factor. Their appointment follows Louis Walsh's departure from the show.

8 Out of 10 Cats

3 June Manford's the man for Cats
Stand-up comic Jason Manford is to join the regular cast of 8 Out of 10 Cats. He will replace Dave Spikey as team captain when the fifth series begins on 15 June.

Nick Hancock

30 May Hancock returns
Nick Hancock has been announced as the host of new Channel 4 daytime show Win My Wage, which will air in Deal or No Deal's slot this summer. It will be his first regular hosting role on national TV since leaving They Think it's All Over in 2004.

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29 May The Big Donor Show
Big Brother maker Endemol is said to be going ahead with a new reality TV programme called De Grote Donorshow (The Big Donor Show) to be screened on Dutch TV station BNN this Friday, in which viewers vote on who will recieve the kidney of a terminally ill woman. (BBC). (Update 1 June: It was a hoax.) For more information on organ donation, visit:


24 May OFCOM adjudication: CBB broke broadcasting rules
An OFCOM investigation has found that Channel 4's 2007 series of Celebrity Big Brother was in breach of the Broadcasting Code. The report says that a serious failure of the compliance process led to serious editorial misjudgements. Channel 4 and S4C (also affected by OFCOM's actions) will broadcast a summary of the findings after the first show of the new series next week. Repeat summaries will be shown after a revised repeat and the first eviction. (OFCOM adjudication)

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20 May BAFTA Winners
The sole game show winner from this year's BAFTA TV awards was The X Factor as Best Entertainment Programme out of about half a dozen game show nominations. If you count Numberwang from That Mitchell and Webb Look (winner of Best Comedy Programme), there are two winning game shows!

Dragons' Den

18 May Dragon dropped
Australian investor Richard Farleigh has been dropped from the next series of Dragons' Den. Farleigh said he was "gutted" not to be invited to take part after appearing in the previous two series. His replacement has not yet been named.

University Challenge

The MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival has announced some of the confirmed speakers for this year's event, including Jeremy Paxman, who will deliver the MacTaggart Lecture and host a one-off live edition of University Challenge. Channel 4's chief executive, Andy Duncan, will take part in a major session, including discussion of the Big Brother controversy. (WorldScreen)

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17 May Quiz scandal hits ITV profits
In a statement for its annual general meeting the broadcaster confirmed that its premium rate telephone services revenue dropped by around 20 per cent in March and April amid scandals involving GMTV and The X Factor. Ad revenues for the first half of 2007 at ITV1 are down 9.6 per cent against last year, while ITV's total take from advertising is down 5.7 per cent. (InTheNews)

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13 Apr Are You Smarter?
Sky One has bought the rights to the phenomenally successful US game show - Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. It will be renamed Are You Smarter Than a 10-Year-Old? (BBC)

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11 Apr BAFTA Nominations
The nominees for this year's BAFTA TV awards have been announced. Dancing on Ice, Maria? and The X Factor go up against Derren Brown's The Heist for Best Entertainment Programme, while Stephen Fry, Ant 'n' Dec, Paul Merton and Jonathan Ross face off in the Best Entertainment Performance category, and The Apprentice and Dragons' Den are up against The Choir and Gordon Ramsay's The F Word for Best Features. Dragons' Den and Celeb BB are shortlisted for the Pioneer Audience Award but stand no chance against Life On Mars. Finally Numberwang, or at any rate That Mitchell and Webb Look, is up for Best Comedy. The winners will be announced on 20 May.

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4 Apr Brucie's Back!
The Generation Game is making a comeback later this year as part of UKTV Gold's £10 million new programming strategy, with's top host of all time (as voted by readers) Bruce Forsyth at the helm. (DS)


30 Mar O'Leary has X Factor
Dermot O'Leary has been confirmed as the new host of The X Factor, replacing the ousted Kate Thornton. The hit ITV talent show will return in the autumn.

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13 Mar ITV Play channel closes down for good
The controversial ITV Play channel has ceased transmission permanently after just under a year on air. Overnight broadcasts, which currently include Glitterball and Make Your Play will continue on ITV1 + ITV2. (ITN, BBC)

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5 Mar ITV suspends premium rate phone-ins
ITV has admitted a mistake when a vote on The X Factor led to viewers being overcharged by £200,000. There have also been complaints regarding Richard and Judy and Big Brother on Channel 4. (BBC, BBC)

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3 Mar Dominic wins £1m
Dominic Jackson beat Colin Lynch in the final to scoop the jackpot on the second series of PokerFace and go into 12th place in the UK game shows All Time Winners List. Congratulations to him!

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22 Feb You Say We Don't Pay refund line
For people ripped off by Richard & Judy, the refund line is 0800 666 805. The line will be open until the investigation is complete. (C4, BBC)


8 Feb Two new ITV game shows
Two shows from Endemol-owned Initial have been commissioned by ITV: For the Rest of Your Life by Deal or No Deal creator Dick de Rijk gives couples the chance to win a pay cheque every month of every year for the rest of their lives; and Golden Balls are due to air in the Spring.

The Match

12 Jan Match burnt out
Sky One have confirmed that their longest-running game show format, The Match, has been axed. The celebrity football show ran for three series, but failed to produce a team capable of beating a squad of ex-professionals. Sky has said it is seeking a new football-based reality format.

Deal or No Deal#Jackpot

7 Jan Deal jackpot won
Laura Pearce, a civilian police worker from Hemel Hempstead, has become the first person to win the £250,000 jackpot on Deal or No Deal. It is the biggest prize ever given away on daytime television in the UK.

Magnus Magnusson

7 Jan Magnus Magnusson dies
Former Mastermind presenter Magnus Magnusson dies of cancer at the age of 77. (BBC)

Dragons' Den

5 Jan ITV1 seeks tycoons
The first fruit of ITV1's deal with Dragons' Den investor Peter Jones has been announced. Tycoon will see Jones mentoring would-be entrepreneurs and is likely to air this summer. Applications can be made via the ITV website from Saturday.

Danny Wallace

1 Jan Return of the King
It has been confirmed that School's Out will be returning for a second, eight-part, series, to be filmed in February. King Danny of Lovely will again host the show, which is made by Graham Norton's So Television.


June Sarpong

30 Dec A gong for Sarpong
June Sarpong is an unexpected inclusion on the 2007 new year honours list, becoming an MBE for her broadcasting and charity work. Penelope Keith is made a CBE, though it is unlikely that her stint as host of What's My Line? had much bearing on the award.


26 Dec Grand Cram
The first-round questions for the forthcoming National Lottery People's Quiz have been published online, together with details of the five open auditions for the show. The guaranteed jackpot is £200,700, more than double the previous highest prize awarded on a BBC show. People's Quiz website.

Big Game TV

23 Dec Big Game TV
Fraud charges against Big Game TV have been dropped after a six-month investigation found no evidence of criminality. However, the channel may still face regulatory action from OFCOM.

Des O'Connor

7 November Another Des
Des O'Connor is said to have won the race to replace Des Lynam as host of Countdown. Des, aged 74, is said to still be in negotiations but reports are confident he has been given the job. Channel 4 is thought to have offered him a contract worth £500,000. His first episodes would be broadcast in January 2007. Other contenders Michael Aspel, Alan Titchmarsh, Stephen Fry and Paul Merton are said to have pulled out of the race due to work commitments.


1 November National Television Awards
The winners have been announced of the ITV-sponsored National Television Awards. Ant and Dec won Most Popular Entertainment Presenter, while Gameshow Marathon was voted top game show, ending Millionaire's seven-year winning streak. Deal or No Deal took the Most Popular Daytime Show title, Big Brother was Most Popular Reality Programme (and BB7's Nikki Grahame was named Most Popular TV Contender) and Most Popular Entertainment Programme was The X Factor.

New Faces

30 October New Faces discovery
A 1973 episode of New Faces previously believed to have been lost has been rediscovered by director Paul Stewart Laing. The episode includes the first TV appearance of Victoria Wood, who went on to win the series. Including this new discovery, only 18 out of the 160 episodes produced in the 1970s are known to have survived.

Magnus Magnusson

12 October Magnus Magnusson diagnosed with cancer
Former Mastermind presenter Magnus Magnusson has been diagnosed with cancer. He has cancelled a number of public appearances, including a talk at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to mark his 77th birthday. (BBC)

Big Brother

5 October BB vote rapped
The premium rate watchdog ICSTIS has ruled that Channel 4 "misled" viewers and broke its own guidelines when it invited Big Brother viewers to vote to evict housemates who were subsequently reinstated. ISCTIS received over 2600 complaints about the matter. C4 avoided a fine, but have been ordered to pay the costs of the investigation.

Des Lynam

30 September Lynam quits
Des Lynam has announced that he is to leave Countdown at the end of the present series, citing the inconvenience of travel between his West Sussex home and Yorkshire TV's studios in Leeds. No decision has yet been announced on who will take over as host.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

16 September Ingram wins the jackpot
Ingram Wilcox's win on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? puts him in at position 10 on the All Time Winners List. His final question was "Which boxer was famous for striking the gong in the introduction to J. Arthur Rank films?" A: Bombardier Billy Wells, B: Freddie Mills, C: Terry Spinks, D: Don Cockell.


18 October NTA Award noms
The shortlists have been announced for the ITV-sponsored National Television Awards, to be handed out on 31 October. The major game show categories are Most Popular Game Show (Cats, Marathon, News, Millionaire), Entertainment Programme (Takeaway, Strictly, Dancing on Ice, The X Factor and non-gameshow Friday Night with Jonathan Ross) and Reality Programme (BB7, Celeb BB4, I'm a Celeb 4 and Apprentice 2). Deal or No Deal is up for Most Popular Daytime Programme, Bad Lads Army is nominated for Most Popular Factual, and there is a new "TV Contender" category featuring contestants from BB, Celeb BB, I'm a Celeb and Soapstar Superstar. The Most Popular Entertainment Presenter noms are Ant and Dec, Noel, Davina, Paul O'Grady and perpetual winner in this category, Jonathan Ross. You can vote if you wish at

Going, Going, Gone

6 September Anne Gregg
The death has been announced of the presenter Anne Gregg. Best-known for presenting the Holiday programme, she also hosted the short-lived Holiday Quiz spin-off and was a regular panellist on the antiques quiz Going, Going, Gone. Gregg was 66 and had been ill with cancer.

Deal or No Deal

5 September Noel's mystery solved
The mystery of the symbols on Noel Edmonds' hand when filming Deal or No Deal has been solved. Far from being an object lesson in cosmic ordering, as many had thought, in fact the final messages spelt out "www", "red", "box" and "club" pointing to this website. If you can solve the hidden message of the code you can win a VIP trip to the DoND studios including a chance to meet Noel and be one of the blue box openers.

Deal or No Deal

5 September Award season again, so soon
The TV Quick Awards were handed out last night. Deal or No Deal added the "Best Daytime Show" award to its already strained trophy cabinet, while the usual suspects also picked up gongs: I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! won "Best Reality Show" for the fourth year running, and Strictly Come Dancing took "Best Entertainment Programme" for the second year on the trot (so to speak).

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