Ant and Dec's Street Car Showdown axed by the BBC before an episode
IT was the new show expected to propel Ant and Dec into another sphere of TV – and give the Geordie duo something of a BBC homecoming.
But I can confirm the pair’s motoring programme, Street Car Showdown, will not be getting turned into a full series after they created a pilot.
The joint venture between the Britain’s Got Talent hosts’ company Mitre Television and Studio Lambert was lined up to be screened on BBC2.
It challenged two teams of competing contestants to transform second-hand vehicles into racing cars in just ten days using only a small budget.
A TV insider said: “This was a bit of a passion project for Ant and Dec as they’d had an interest in ‘car modders’ since they were youngsters.
“As backers of the show they would also have been returning to the Beeb, more than 30 years after they appeared on BBC1’s Byker Grove and met one another.
"They couldn’t actually appear on the show due to their contractual obligations with ITV, but they were the show’s creative consultants.
“But after a pilot was made in 2019 — just after the project was announced — a decision was taken not to progress it into a full series.”
Ant and Dec, who also host Saturday Night Takeaway and I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here!, said they came up with the idea to highlight the “passion, talent and creativity” of car fanatics.
The presenters added: “We have been fascinated with this world since we were teenagers in the North East and experienced car modders meeting up on Roker seafront in Sunderland to show off their creations.”
At the time the pilot was announced, Studio Lambert chief executive Stephen Lambert added: “We were delighted when Mitre asked us to work with them on developing Ant and Dec’s fun, adrenalin-filled idea and producing it with them.”
Fortunately, the lads are still basking in the glory of winning their 20th Best Presenter gong at the National Television Awards this month.
Plus, they have just confirmed my exclusive that they are launching a major new Saturday night gameshow, ITV’s Limitless Win.
I reckon that should provide ample consolation.
CHRIS IS COOL ON CASTLE
THE stars being lined up for I’m A Celeb this year are no doubt getting excited about heading to Gwrych Castle in North Wales.
But the show’s 2007 champ Christopher Biggins, who won in the jungle of Australia, is not impressed.
He said of the post-Covid venue: “There was too much space. The enclosed thing creates a lot of problems. People react strangely to it.”
Christopher, speaking on the latest edition of his Show And Tell podcast, revealed he has lost one of his greatest mementos of his time in the jungle – his cork hat.
He said: “That lovely hat was stolen from me, which I’m very sad about. Somebody on the production team must have stolen it.”
After two weeks of sweating in the tropical jungle, I’m not sure they’d have been that desperate to pinch it.
APPLE TV BANKS ON HANKS
APPLE TV+ has put out a fresh trailer for its new sci-fi outing Finch, which stars TOM HANKS.
The movie, which debuts globally on November 5, is based around the sole survivor of a cataclysmic solar event battling to ensure his pet dog will be cared for when he is gone.
LUCY IS FALLON IN LOVE
FANS of Preston North End don’t need to see Ryan Ledson play to know the midfielder is a fast mover.
After just four months of dating, he has moved former Coronation Street star Lucy Fallon into his sprawling mansion.
Lucy and the footballer and have moved at quite a lick, wasting no time in going “Instagram official” with their relationship when they posted pics of them together.
Lucy played Bethany Platt on Coronation Street from 2015 to 2020.
The pair met through Ryan’s North End teammate Scott Sinclair, the fiance of Lucy’s co-star on Corrie co-star Helen Flanagan.
Who says soap stars always end up with footballers . . .
MIRIAM IN FERN MIX-UP
GRAHAM Norton should have forewarned Fearne Cotton what to expect when she invited eccentric actress Miriam Margolyes onto her Happy Place podcast.
Graham’s well aware of her unpredictability after interviewing her before, but Fearne got more than she bargained when Miriam enquired: “Did you used to be fat?”
She politely replied: “No, no. I had lots of eating disorders growing up but I’ve never been big.”
They eventually they found out why Miriam had asked the question – she’d got her mixed up with Fern Britton.
I don’t think any of the women emerge unscathed from that exchange.
PAUL'S FLAKY PASTRY TART
PAUL Hollywood isn’t doing much to shake off his image as a middle-aged pin-up in the Great British Bake Off.
The master baker donned a mullet wig to pose as US country rocker Billy Ray Cyrus, right, in the opening sequence for the new series of the Channel 4 show, which begins tonight.
Fellow judge Prue Leith and presenters Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas are members of his backing band as he delivers his version of Cyrus’s 1992 hit Achy Breaky Heart.
He sings: “Don’t bake my tart, my flaky pastry tart.”
What a silly Billy.
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