Strictly Come Dancing banks on the Fern Britton X-Factor in ratings war
Strictly banks on the Fern factor in ratings war: Former This Morning host to appear as contestant
1:12 AM on 19th May 2011
She had a gastric band fitted, took up cycling and squeezed into a glamorous new wardrobe.
And now Fern Britton is dancing to a different tune as she waltzes her way on to Strictly Come Dancing – as a contestant.
Following years of interviewing reality television stars, the 53-year-old has been persuaded to swap the sofa for sequins after impressing producers when she showed off her slim figure on last year’s Christmas special.
Warm-up: Miss Birtton on the Christmas special of Strictly last year
Corporation chiefs are keen to sign high-profile stars as they prepare to launch the tenth series and wage war on ITV’s The X Factor, which has lost Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue from its judging panel.
A BBC insider said: ‘We think we can reinforce the wholesome values that Strictly has – as opposed to all the feuding on The X Factor.
It is clear there is also disgruntlement among viewers and fans of The X Factor at the removal of the backbone of the show with Cowell, Cheryl and Dannii Minogue all going.’
A friend of Miss Britton added: ‘Fern is very, very keen to appear onStrictly.’ The mother-of-four has previously said Strictly is her ‘family’s favourite programme’.
Miss Britton’s afternoon chat show on Channel 4 was axed last week after its audience sank to an average of 970,000.
Gastric band: Fern Britton had an operation to help reduce her weight back in 2006 and the results are clear to see