Five's Jeff Ford Unveils Fun Programming Line-Up
Channel 5's programming chief Jeff Ford has unveiled the free-to-air channel's first major set of series originations.
Most of the media headlines have gone to Candy Bar Girls, a 6 x 60 minute reality series from Lion Television which will go behind the scenes at Soho's leading lesbian social venue.
However other highlights include The Restaurant Inspector, a 6 x 60-minute series from Fresh One Productions, which will see The Ivy's director Fernando Peire help turnaround struggling businesses. There's also Supersize Grime, a 6 x 60-minute series from HCA Entertainment which will investigate complex cleaning jobs in extreme locations like tower blocks, sewage systems and on a fishing trawler.
Outside the standard slate of reality TV, Ford also unveiled Walking the Amazon, a Ginger Productions series which follows former soldier Ed Stafford as he tries to walk the length of the Amazon River in South America. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Justin Lee Collins heads for Las Vegas, where he will meet everyone from the homeless to the high rollers in a series produced by Tiger Aspect. Tiger Aspect will also make Paul Merton's Great Escapes – the latest travelogue featuring the veteran comedian.
Ford, who says he wants to celebrate "the fun side" of Britain, has also ordered new runs of established franchises such as RDF's Emergency Bikers, TwoFour's The Hotel Inspector and IWC Media's Extreme Fishing. Factual strand Extraordinary People will also reappear in the schedule.
One setback for Five, however, is the news that Denise Van Outen has unexpectedly pulled out of hosting OK! TV, Five's new early evening magazine show. Her post will be filled by Live From Studio Five host Kate Walsh.