EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Vine, the BBC presenter and host of Channel 5’s daily chat show Jeremy Vine, is to front his first major format for ITV — a game show pitting some of Britain’s best quizzers against each other.
Deadline can reveal that ITV has commissioned Spun Gold to make Quizmaster, a 90-minute special in which 15 gameshow champions and contestants will battle it out to be crowned Britain’s ultimate quiz competitor.
Former participants on The Chase, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Mastermind, University Challenge and Fifteen To One will take part in the competition, which ITV is planning to broadcast as part of its Christmas line-up.
If it proves to be a winner with audiences, ITV and Spun Gold could make further episodes of the format, which represents the production company’s first game show for a major broadcaster in the UK. Spun Gold is normally associated with royal documentaries, such as When Phillip Met Prince Philip.
News of the ITV format follows Vine being in the headlines in recent weeks after being dragged into the BBC’s equal pay dispute with Samira Ahmed. Ahmed is suing the public broadcaster for close to £700,000 ($900,000), arguing that she was paid significantly less than Vine.
As part of the evidence made available to the employment tribunal, the BBC published audience research on Vine, as well as emails relating to his contract renewal from late 2007, which suggested that ITV was keen to sign the presenter more than a decade ago. Vine scored 6.4 out of 10 for likability on the BBC research carried out in 2017.
Quizmaster was commissioned by Sue Murphy, ITV’s head of factual entertainment, and Kate Teckman. Sue Allison is the executive producer, while Colin Farquhar is the producer and Richard van’t Riet is directing. The format is being sold internationally by All3Media International.
Vine said: “How clever do you have to be to win a million on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Cleverer than a Mastermind champion? Or are the students on University Challenge the brainiest? Well, we decided to find out. And you could have cut the tension in the studio with a knife. This quiz is a Christmas monster!”