ALISON HAMMOND’s had a turn for the worse after her planned reboot of Wheel Of Fortune was axed.
Bosses at ITV decided to ditch the idea after the This Morning presenter made pilots for a new version of the game show, which was a huge hit in the Eighties and Nineties.
The Sun revealed in 2020 she was being given her first solo hosting gig.
A TV insider said: “Execs were hoping this might be the perfect vehicle for Alison and be a stepping stone to bigger things.
“It would also help with the fact there are still very few women hosting game shows on the channel, even though they’re the one of the broadcaster’s biggest audience draws.
“But the feeling was doing this particular reboot of Wheel Of Fortune was not going to work, so they decided not to take the project any further with Alison.”
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The show launched on ITV in 1988 with Nicky Campbell hosting for eight years and Carol Smillie turning the letters on the board. It was then hosted for a year by Bradley Walsh before John Leslie took over in 1998. The show was axed in 2001.
Last year, ITV’s lack of female game show hosts was highlighted.
In contrast, Channel 4 had had Davina McCall presenting The £100,000 Drop and the BBC had Anne Robinson hosting The Weakest Link.
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Producers said they had been trying to find “the right combination of a female host and the right format”.
Since then Anita Rani has taken the helm of daytime show Fastest Finger First, a spin-off of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Alison’s representatives and ITV declined to comment.
CELEBRITY entrepreneurs Olivia Attwood, Montana Brown and Patricia Bright have teamed up with Amazon for a “Small Business, Big Dreams” interactive, virtual livestream for new entrepreneurs, on Amazon’s Instagram channel, on Thursday at 7pm.
MAY AND A CUPPA WINNER
JAMES MAY has become the unlikely source of sex advice for Italian football captain Giorgio Chiellini.
The player, who has just been sold by Juventus to Los Angeles FC, was a surprise guest on his new Prime Video series James May: Our Man In Italy when the pair met at the Juventus training ground.
James was teaching the Euros-winning defender how to make a cup of tea.
Before sipping the “proper cuppa”, the Italian revealed his wife was a fan of tea and James said: “If you make her a tea like that, you’ll get your card stamped, no problem.”
Giorgio had earlier ribbed James about his weight when choosing to use skimmed milk while attempting to make his own cuppa, which the ex-Top Gear presenter called “s**t”.
James visited the ground in Turin for his tour, which starts on July 15 and follows his Japan series.
LOLA IN TUMOUR TRAGEDY
EASTENDERS’ Lola Pearce will die from a brain tumour in scenes mirroring the real-life death of The Wanted's Tom Parker.
Producers discussed the effect that Tom’s tragic story had on the nation and plan to replicate the emotions in Albert Square. The singer died in March aged 33.
Lola, played by Danielle Harold, will be seen settling down with on-off boyfriend Jay Brown before her cancer takes hold. But the couple will be torn apart by her diagnosis.
EastEnders chose not to comment last night.
But a source close to the BBC1 show said: “Chris has been working on this idea for the character of Lola for several months now.
“You can’t rush this type of storyline as it needs to be handled with care. As always, EastEnders are working with a charity to ensure it’s shown in the most sensitive and accurate way possible. It’s going to be very emotional.”
KIRSTIE’S HAD ’AIRY MOMENT
SHE is the rather posh co-host of Location, Location, Location – but Kirstie Allsopp wasn’t quite so refined when she accidentally swallowed a headphone.
Tweeting yesterday, she said: “I just swallowed an AirPod while downing my vitamins. I don’t recommend it.
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“I have managed to chuck it back up without having to go to hospital, but my throat is really quite sore.”
The presenter explained: “AirPods in pocket, put vitamins in pocket while getting glass of water, chucked vitamins into mouth, gulped water, go for second lot, see one AirPod in hand, check pocket, check handbag. Realise there’s only one place it could be.”
‘Below the belt’
DAN WALKER has opened up about the rivalry when he was fronting BBC Breakfast, and Piers Morgan when he hosted Good Morning Britain.
In the Radio Times, he said: “It was good for both sides, but he sometimes went below the belt, on and off air.”
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