Replacing Jonathan Ross: Our Candidates

The team at ATV Today ponder who would be a good replacement to host Friday Night With… now that Jonathan Ross has decided to quit the show, and indeed the BBC.

Ross is off (BBC)

Since Jonathan Ross announced he was not renewing his contract with the BBC there has been much tabloid speculation as to whom the corporation will select to replace the presenter on his Friday evening chat-show. Graham Norton, Chris Evans and Michael McIntyre all tipped to replace Ross by the tabloids. Here the ATV Today team name their candidates.

Assistant Editor, Mike Watkins

Terry Wogan – with perhaps Gaby Roslin together ala Children in Need although they had a chat-show in Five together which flopped they could work on a main-stream channel. But then Wogan had a late-night chat show in the 1990s which didn’t too well either.

Chris Evans – He’s taken over from Wogan on BBC Radio 2 so perhaps he’s ideal to take over from Ross.

Soap Editor Lynn Swift

Terry Wogan – have to agree with Mike on this one. Although I think he’s retired pretty much now he could be tempted out to do this.

Graham Norton – Has a history with chat-shows thanks to stints on Channel 4 and BBC Two but can be as equally controversial as Ross so maybe it’s a risky choice.

Wogan (Channel 4)

Site Editor Doug Lambert

Terry Wogan – Completely agree about Terry Wogan, he would be top of my list of ideal replacements!

Cilla Black – has filled in several times for Paul O’Grady on Channel Four and isn’t it time Cilla came back to television? Alternatively Fern Britton could be a candidate as well.

Reporter Dominic Knight

Fern Britton – Having left This Morning behind her own chat-show would be a good chance for Fern to sign away from Phillip Schofield and prove she can find a career after This Morning.

Paul Merton – One of the reasons to watch Have I Got News For You Every Week and can be a very interesting person. A chat-show with him as host would be very interesting and funny but might not work for a wider audience.

Britton (ITV)

Entertainment Editor Shaun Linden

Davina McCall always good for a laugh, down to earth and viewer favourite.

I like Fiona Phillips, although I know my colleagues at ATV News may well disagree with me on that. But the BBC will, I think, want someone younger than all of our suggestions. Someone the age of Jack Whitehall or Jason Mansford, from twenty-something up to late 30s.

Showbiz Editor Ian Westhead

I’d just love to see Dame Edna back on the box doing what she does best – insult celebrities in a caring and sharing way. It’s the only answer. Friday Night With Dame Edna.

A younger choice? Well youth is all well and good, but experience has a lot going for it. They could try Antony Cotton again. God help us all.

Norton (BBC)

The team also pondered those who they’d find a TV turn off. And while there were several names there that our news team all agreed upon such as Fern Britton, Gaby Roslin and Terry Wogan who would be great replacements for Ross, there were also some interesting names that most of us agreed upon that we didn’t want to see cluttering up Friday night telly.

Fearne Cotton was top of the list thanks to her several awful ITV2 shows such as Holly and Fearne Go Dating and Fearne With... Her stint on Top of the Pops during its dying days was also another reason why our team didn’t want her probing celebs on BBC One. Recently launched herself in America where hopefully she’ll stay, said Doug. Oh he’s so harsh. Ian likes her on the wireless as he calls it.

Fiona Phillips. Telly bosses have struggled to find a vehicle for her “talents” since leaving GMTV and the job offers haven’t been flying in for Phillips. She was amongst the TV faces who took part in Celebrity Apprentice but her bitching about it, as she had done with Strictly Come Dancing, might be behind her lack of work. After all why employ someone if they are just going to turn around and moan and berate their experience there? Shaun and Mike think she’d be great on a Lorraine Kelly type morning show. Lynn wouldn’t mind that, she’s never out of bed until 10am.

Davina McCall, loved by Shaun for a chat show, but the rest of ATV Today weren’t so sure. After all she’s had previous with the BBC and chat-shows as the corporation tried and failed to launch her in a midweek slot. Ratings were poor and the show quickly axed so it’s unlikely the BBC would risk another failure with the presenter and perhaps that’s why our news team weren’t keen to see her take over from Ross other than Shaun, who thinks a weekend slot would make for a better positioning of a Davina chat vehicle.

McCall (Channel 4)
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