Paul O’Grady lands ‘dirty’ chat show and calls rival Graham Norton’s ‘boring’

Paul O’Grady lands ‘dirty’ chat show and calls rival Graham Norton’s ‘boring’

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Paul O’Grady has landed his own Saturday night chat show for ITV – although he feared it was too rude to ever get commissioned.

The award-winner will front Paul O’Grady: Saturday Night Line-Up from the autumn despite calling it “the dirtiest show possible on telly”.

And judging from the non-televised pilot he recorded in front of a live audience back in October 2019, it will be pretty near the knuckle.

In a nod to his former character Lily Savage, known for her acid tongue and feisty put-downs, O’Grady took swipes at several TV stars along the way.

The 65-year-old told the audience that Graham Norton’s BBC1 chat show had grown “boring” and he poked fun at other presenters for being too wholesome.

Blind Date host Paul O'Grady has landed his own ITV chat show for Saturday nights
(Image: Shared Content Unit)

Telling them he wanted to shake things up a bit – but was unlikely to get the chance – he laughed: “This will never get to a series.

“It’s the dirtiest show that is possible on telly. It is too rude. But they want a bit of rudeness now.

“I mean who the f*** wants to watch Alan Titchmarsh? You know what they are like at ITV, they are a bit leg-crossed aren’t they? Phil and Holly – the pair who p*** themselves if somebody says ‘bum’.”

He said some celebs got overlooked when they sat on Norton’s sofa alongside A-listers – including himself.

Paul joked that his show would be a bit ruder than what Alan Titchmarsh presents

Paul also commented that The Graham Norton Show had grown boring
(Image: PA)

“It is like The Graham Norton Show; you are plonked on the end of the couch and, of course, who are you going to talk to? You have got Meryl Streep at that end, me at the other. He’s not going to talk to me, so I am sat there, bored t**less.”

Despite his hilarious digs, brave ITV bosses have now ordered a series.

One channel insider said: “It was very funny. We’ve ordered more episodes and they will stay close to the pilot. They’ll go out later this year, probably in the autumn.”

The show, made by O’Grady’s production company Olga TV, will feature Paul chatting to a variety of celebrities, after Spice Girl Emma Bunton and Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp appeared as guests on the pilot.

Spice Girls star Emma Bunton will be one of the guests on Paul's new show
(Image: Getty Images)

Each episode in the seven-part run is 45 minutes. He quipped at the time: “I can’t be doing with hour-long shows. I am in and out me.”

The audience will also get to question the intrepid celebrity guests, joining in with Paul as he quizzes them using “intriguing questions,

scenarios and dilemmas”. They will be also be asked to line up in order of “best” to “worst”, or “most likely” to “least likely”, in a variety of different situations.

Producers are now on the hunt for bold stars willing to take part.

Paul will bring his decades of showbiz skills to his new Saturday night show
(Image: Adam Gerrard/Daily Mirror)

O’Grady, who won a Bafta for his chat show in 2005, first became a hit on mainstream TV as his alter ego Lily Savage, presenting shows in the 90s including The Big Breakfast and Blankety Blank.

His daytime chat show became a huge hit for ITV from 2004 but, after a fall-out, he moved it to Channel 4 where it aired for three years from 2006.

He returned to ITV with Friday night show Paul O’Grady Live in 2010 and launched his hit series For the Love of Dogs in 2012, which aired for nine series and counting.

He also fronts a weekend show for BBC Radio 2 and hosted a revival of Blind Date for Channel 5.

Last year the Tranmere-born star fronted Paul O’Grady’s Great British Escape for ITV in which he took viewers on a six-part journey around his adopted county of Kent.