INSIDE THE BOX: Chiles is set for the chop once again
10:08 GMT, 5 October 2012
Facing the axe: Adrian Chiles' prime time chat show That Sunday Night Show is set to be cut only halfway through his four year contract
While his personal life has hit new highs thanks to his romance with Catherine Tate, Adrian Chiles is facing fresh professional disappointment.
Just two years after he dramatically quit the BBC to join commercial rival ITV, his primetime chat show That Sunday Night Show is set to be axed only halfway through his four-year contract.
The news comes less than a year after Chiles was dropped from ITV’s breakfast show Daybreak along with his former One Show presenting partner Christine Bleakley.
While ITV stresses ‘no decision has been made yet’, I’m told the 45-year-old’s sole focus will now be fronting football coverage, where he’s received positive reviews.
The likely loss of his chat show, which he personally developed, will be disappointing. In his only interview after leaving Daybreak, Chiles previously told me: ‘ITV entrusted me with three jobs, and I’ve still got two, so I feel grateful.’
Despite his decreased workload, ITV insiders insist they’re committed to working with Adrian, who is believed to be paid over 1 million a year.
‘His future at ITV is not in doubt,’ a source at the channel stresses. ‘Besides, we currently have one of our strongest ever live football portfolios and Adrian is at the heart of that, so he has a busy season ahead.’
A source close to Adrian adds: ‘He actually left the BBC to present the football on ITV. That is his passion. His coverage has been acclaimed and ITV has ten times more live football matches than the BBC nowadays.’
That Sunday Night Show has run for three series, with regular guests including Ross Noble and Frank Skinner, as well as Adrian’s girlfriend Tate, discussing the biggest news stories of the week.
Rising cooking star Donal Skehan has been given his big break after being signed to co-present Junior MasterChef. The BBC has high hopes for the ex-boyband member, said to be Ireland’s answer to Jamie Oliver.
At 26 he has released three cookbooks and hosted his own food show on Irish TV. My Masterchef source says: ‘It’s a big risk, but we believe it’ll pay off.’
No American dream for Strictly's Arlene
After being passed over to return as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing this year, Arlene Phillips nearly landed an equivalent role in a major U.S. dancing show.
She was approached by So You Think You Can Dance producer Nigel Lythgoe, who she worked with on the BBC version of the show. But immigration rules meant she was unable to take up the primetime position.
Approach: Nigel Lythgoe, far right, asked Arlene Phillips, second right, to star in the American version of So You Think You Can Dance. They are pictured with their fellow judges
‘It’s sad,’ Nigel tells me. ‘I asked her to come but she didn’t have a permit.’
He believes it was a mistake for the Beeb not to re-hire her. ‘We loved her,’ he says. ‘Do you know anyone in this country who knows as much about dancers I don’t.’
Dan Stevens has committed to a fourth series
After speculation about their future, Downton’s Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley) and Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley) have committed to a likely fourth series.
Dan (pictured), 29, tells me the show’s secret is its ‘camp’ and at times ‘ridiculous’ content. ‘People appreciate it on a number of levels,’ he says. ‘You have your diehard period drama fans who
really buy into it and some who enjoy it ironically.’
Spice Girl Emma Bunton has landed her own travel series on Sky.
‘It’s focused on practical travelling throughout the UK, from glamping to caravan breaks,’ my TV source says.
Baby Spice is now a radio DJ and has carved out a successful media career.