News Archive

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


Ready Steady Cook
5 November Ready... Steady... Gone!
BBC2's long-running cookery challenge Ready Steady Cook is to be chopped, the BBC's head of daytime, Liam Keelan, has announced. The move is part of a far-reaching revamp of the BBC2 afternoon schedule. The show debuted in 1994 as part of Peter Bazalgette's Bazal Productions slate. Originally members of the public fought in the red tomato and green pepper kitchens, but recent years have mainly featured celebrity contestants.

Britain's Got Talent
18 October ITV's Got the Cowell Factor
ITV has announced it has agreed a deal with Simon Cowell's Syco company and Fremantle Media, which will see Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor both broadcast until 2013. However, it remains to be seen whether Simon Cowell himself will appear in all the programmes due to his commitments in America.

Main Page
15 September Challenge to launch on Freeview
It has been announced that game show channel Challenge is to launch on the Freeview digital TV platform, doubling the number of homes able to receive it. The channel, recently purchased by BSkyB, is home to classic episodes of game shows such as Bullseye, Catchphrase, Family Fortunes, Strike it Lucky, The Crystal Maze and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Big Brother
10 September Big Brother isn't watching
After 11 years, 274 housemates, and thousands of hours of television, the daddy of reality TV shows Big Brother has finally come to an end, with series two winner Brian Dowling being voted the ultimate Big Brother housemate.

Brain of Britain
3 August Robinson steps down
Robert Robinson has left Brain of Britain, of which he has been the official regular host since 1972. Russell Davies, who has stood in during Robinson's illness, now becomes the full-time host.

Strictly Come Dancing
9 June No Fortuna
Professional dancer Brian Fortuna has left Strictly Come Dancing after changes to the format were revealed. Fortuna was one of five regulars asked to step down from competing and instead form part of a dedicated professional dance troupe, along with Ian Waite, Matthew Cutler, Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova. The others will not be competing this year but have yet to announce whether they will join the troupe.

Ray Alan
24 May Ray Alan
The death has been announced of ventriloquist and presenter Ray Alan at the age of 79. Alan's hosting roles included Three Little Words and the travel quiz Where in the World?, and with his dummy Lord Charles he was a regular guest on shows such as 3-2-1 and Celebrity Squares.

Davina McCall
2 May Davina to host new show
Davina McCall is to host Channel 4's live primetime game show, The Million Pound Drop. The programme, described by C4's Julian Bellamy as "live event meets game show", launches later this month and will offer a potential £1m prize.

Hole in the Wall
23 April Hole in the Wall axed
Hole in the Wall has been axed after two series, according to The Sun today. The first of a new wave of physical gameshows when it launched in 2008, it has since been overtaken in the ratings by the likes of Total Wipeout and The Whole 19 Yards.

Chris Tarrant
20 March Tarrant becomes #1 all-time UK host
With the launch of ITV's The Door in April, Chris Tarrant becomes indisputably the most successful UK game show host of all time. He will have 17 main hosting roles to his credit, and involvement in 18 different formats overall, beating the late Bob Monkhouse who, to our knowledge, had 15 main hosting roles. Tarrant's varied career has included two shows with diametrically opposite aims: Lose a Million and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? as well as board game conversions (Cluedo, PSI) and the raucous Man O Man.

A Question of Sport
16 February A Question of Sport to tour
A Question of Sport is to mark its 40th anniversary year by going out on tour. It follows in the footsteps of shows as diverse as I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Dancing on Ice which have cashed in on their popularity with non-broadcast variants. Host Sue Barker and team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell are all signed up to take part in the 15-date tour.

Noel Edmonds
15 February Beat the Monkey to make Noel Feel Good?
Noel Edmonds has set up a new company, Feel Good Television, and is currently touting a number of potential formats. Feel Good will concentrate on exploiting format rights and will contract production out to other companies. Among the formats being shopped around are valuation game Bank It or Bin It, which recently filmed a pilot, and the headline-grabbing Beat the Monkey, in which questions will be selected by a monkey in recorded inserts.

Escape From Scorprion Island
13 February CBBC cleans up at KidScreen Awards
Escape from Scorpion Island has been honoured as Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series at the inaugural KidScreen Awards. It was one of five trophies picked up by CBBC at the awards, which aim to recognise engaging and entertaining children's TV from around the world.

Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting
30 November BBC Trust rules against Reef
The BBC Trust has published the findings of its investigation into allegations of fakery against Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting. It found that Reef Television were in breach of BBC guidelines in allowing production staff to pose as members of the public, allowing staff to purchase items off-screen, and restaging events without the original participants. The Trust identified incidents across all five broadcast series of the show. Similar breaches were also found in other Reef productions, Trash to Cash and Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. In some incidents, the outcome of the programme was affected. The affected programmes will not be repeated, however following the investigation, the BBC Executive has announced that it "is now satisfied that the company has compliance procedures and training of an appropriate standard" and the company's supension has been lifted.

23 November Yes, he is an Egghead
Pat Gibson is the new Egghead. Gibson, a former Brain of Britain, Mastermind champion, jackpot winner on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and 2007 IQA World Quiz champion, beat fellow Millionaire and Mastermind winner David Edwards to become the seventh member of "arguably Britain's most formidable quiz team".

Going for a Song
20 November Max Robertson
The death has been announced of Max Robertson at the age of 94. Robertson hosted the popular antiques panel game Going for a Song for twelve years, 1965-77. He was also a commentator, associated particularly with tennis, and retired in 1986.

10 November Auntie gets Argumental
BBC Two is to trial the Dave-commisioned comedy debating show Argumental. It is the first time the BBC has picked up an entertainment show from the UKTV network.

The Apprentice
10 November Apprentice put back to summer
The BBC has confirmed that the 2010 series of The Apprentice will be moved from its usual March starting date to the summer. The move was recommended by the BBC Trust in July, due to concerns that Alan Sugar's position as a government advisor could cause a breach of impartiality rules if the series, currently filming, were aired during a general election campaign. The Junior Apprentice spin-off will also be delayed.

Jack Dee
16 October Dee to host ISIHAC
Jack Dee is to be the sole host for the next series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. His appointment is for the next series only, and no decision has been made on a permanent host. Dee was one of three rotating hosts on the previous series, the first made since the death of long-serving chairman Humphrey Lyttelton.

My Music
14 October Ian Wallace
My Music panellist Ian Wallace has died at the age of 90 after a long illness. Wallace partnered Denis Norden on the panel game from 1967 to 1993, never missing a single episode. Wallace was also a bass baritone singer, best known for his performance of Flanders and Swann's The Hippotamus Song.

Mock the Week
2 October Frankie Boyle quits MTW
Mock the Week has been commissioned for a further two series, but Frankie Boyle will not be taking part. Boyle has been a regular on the show since the first series in 2005, when he was still considered an unknown. He has left to pursue other TV projects.

Name That Tune
1 October I'll name that tune on five
Five has announced that it is to revive the classic format Name That Tune next year. The show will be made by Ant and Dec's production company Gallowgate but they will not host it. Five previously revived the show in 1998, in a short-lived version hosted by Jools Holland.

Andrew Lloyd Webber
11 September Spoiler: He's not a real wizard
The BBC has confirmed that next year's planned casting show for The Wizard of Oz will go ahead. Andrew Lloyd Webber had been in talks to move to ITV.

Saturday Night Takeaway
8 September More prizes for Ant and Dec
Ant and Dec were the big winners at last night's TV Quick & TV Choice Awards, picking up an Outstanding Contribution award as well as trophies for Best Entertainment Show (Saturday Night Takeaway) and Best Talent Show (Britain's Got Talent). Other game show winners were The Apprentice for Best Reality Show, and Deal or No Deal for Best Gameshow.

The Apprentice
30 August Brady takes on Apprentice role
The managing director of Birmingham City FC, Karren Brady, has been confirmed as Margaret Mountford's replacement on The Apprentice. Brady has appeared as an interviewer in two previous series and as a contestant on the Comic Relief celebrity version of the show.

Big Brother
26 August Big Brother axed
C4 has confirmed that next year's Big Brother series will be the last. The channel's Director of Programmes, Kevin Lygo, said that the show was still profitable but that it "has reached a natural end point on Channel 4 and it’s time to move on." The station is planning to spend the money saved on commissioning more original drama.

Strictly Come Dancing
25 August BBC holds press conference
The celebrity line-up for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing was announced at a press conference in London this morning. The full list, which includes former tennis star Martina Hingis (pictured) is now up on the Strictly Come Dancing show page.

Masterchef Goes Large
24 August Junior Masterchef
CBBC has commissioned a full series of Junior Masterchef following a one-off competition for last year's Children in Need night. The show joins the regular, celebrity and professional versions of Masterchef, all of which have already been commissioned through 2011.
Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting

23 August Show pulled after fakery claims
The BBC has suspended Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting after it emerged that a "member of the public" seen buying an item from contestants was in fact one of the show's cameramen. The series, the offending episode of which was repeated last Wednesday, has also been withdrawn from the BBC's iPlayer catch-up service.

The X Factor

18 August X Factor splits over weekend
The X Factor is to move its results shows to Sunday nights for the forthcoming series. Unlike Strictly Come Dancing's recently-abandoned Sunday night show, The X Factor's results show will be live.

Coach Trip

18 August Coach Trip keeps travelling
12 Yard's recently-revived Coach Trip has been recommissioned for a longer, 50-episode run in 2010. The show returned to Channel 4 daytime earlier this year after a 3-year break.

Strictly Come Dancing

9 July Strictly changes
Judge Arlene Phillips has been dropped from the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC confirmed today. She will be replaced by the 2007 series champion, Alesha Dixon (pictured). Unspecified changes will also be made to the voting for the new series, which is to be launched with a special Friday night show.

Steve Race

23 June Steve Race
The death has been announced of the pianist, composer and broadcaster Steve Race. He was 88. Race's major contributions to game shows were hosting My Music on both radio and TV, and appearing as the "musical mistakes man" in Many a Slip.

Britain's Got Talent

31 May Talent's Got Ratings
Saturday night's final of Britain's Got Talent was the most watched British game show for ten years, and the highest-rated TV show of any kind for nearly five years. Overnight figures suggest that the programme, won by dance troupe Diversity, averaged over 18 million viewers and peaked at over 19m. The last TV show to rate higher was an England match in Euro 2004, and the last game show to do so was Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in March 1999.

Clement Freud

16 April Clement Freud
Regular panel game contributor Clement Freud has died at the age of 84. The former restaurateur and MP was latterly best known for being a panellist on Just a Minute, having regularly appeared on the show since its launch in 1967.

Lennie Bennett

9 April Lennie Bennett
Comedian and game show host Lennie Bennett has died at the age of 70. The star of Lucky Ladders and Punchlines died at Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Wednesday night after a fall at home.


25 March BAFTA TV awards
Game shows shortlisted for this year's BAFTA TV Awards are: QI and The X Factor (Entertainment programme); Celebrity MasterChef and The Apprentice (Features) and Stephen Fry and Ant & Dec (Entertainment Performance).

22 March Jade Goody
It has been announced that Jade Goody has died at the age of 27. The former Big Brother contestant and star of Jade's PA was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year and died at home in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Britain's Got Talent

18 March Royal Television Society Awards
Bruce Forsyth has received a Lifetime Achievement award, and producer Richard Holloway (pictured) picked up the Judges' Award, at the RTS awards ceremony held last night. Holloway's credits include Supermarket Sweep, New Faces, Pop Idol and Britain's Got Talent. None of the nominated game shows won their categories, though Peter Kay's Pop Factor spoof won the Comedy Performance prize.

Award Winners

11 March All, some, or none shall have prizes
UK game show nominees for the prestigious Rose d'Or awards 2009 are Relentless and The Colour of Money in the Game Show category and Last Choir Standing for the Entertainment award. The winners will be announced at the Lucerne Television Festival in May.

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