Comedian Paul O’Grady is reviving his ITV teatime chat show the broadcaster has confirmed. It follows suggestions in December last year that the series, which first launched nine years ago on the broadcaster, was to be recommissioned.
The Paul O’Grady Show became a ratings success thanks to its tea-time blend of afternoon chat, music and entertainment, featuring an array of celebrity, real-life and animal guests. In total across ITV and Channel 4 ten series were made and nearly 1000 episodes.
ITV News report that the former drag act – famous as Lily Savage – has signed up for twenty-five new daily editions to run across five weeks. The broadcaster notes the series will air later in 2013.
O’Grady, who has also fronted The British Soap Awards, defected to Channel 4 in 2006 after becoming unhappy with the ITV management of that time. The 57-year-old noted that production bosses had ‘forgotten’ to renew his contract so he switched network. ITV counter-attacked his defection by planning to repeat his old episodes against his new series, this backfired and after only three repeats of dire ratings ITV ditched the sabotage attempt.
Speaking at the time he told The Sun, “I feel sad about leaving ITV but I know it’s right. It’s not about money, I thought it was time for a change… “I just felt they weren’t that keen on me.”
Following management changes at the company, Paul returned to ITV in 2010 hosting a weekly prime time version of his chat show in Paul O’Grady Live! He was also the narrator of the ill-fated shambles which was the Coronation Street Musical.
The announcement of a return to chat may come as a surprise, he reportedly ditched the format due to becoming tired of it and more so of the guests.
“Every question had to go through the lawyers.” He told the Mirror, adding, “I was just another plug for someone’s book or film. I saw some dross but I was too polite to say ‘how you’ve got the nerve to publish this is beyond me’…”
Paul currently hosts For The Love of Dogs, for ITV, which is to return later this month for its second series.
On the new teatime chat show he told ITV, “I can’t wait to get back in the studio, it seems ages since I was sat behind that desk at teatime… I’ve missed all the fun and craziness of the show.”
The original ITV series was produced by Granada Television, the revival will be made by Paul’s own production company.