Earlier this month, I noted that veteran TV presenter Noel Edmonds – or rather the ubiquitous “friends” that prove so useful at such times – was telling anyone who would listen, which meant Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, that the BBC wanted him to return to Saturday night primetime as front man for a new Endemol vehicle called The Bodyguard.
He's not coming back. Or Mr Blobby
Strangely, nobody from the Corporation was available to give a quote, but readers were assured that BBC1 Controller Danny Cohen wanted Edmonds, who fronted the Late Late Breakfast Show, Noel’s Saturday Roadshow and Noel’s House Party between 1982 and 1999, back on his manor. After all, Endemol do Edmonds’ current vehicle Deal Or No Deal, and they were making a pilot show.
Well, now the same Sun is reporting that Edmonds will not be continuing beyond the pilot. And, by the usual fortunate coincidence, the “insider” with the information is telling that it was Edmonds who walked away, because he didn’t feel the new show was sufficiently “amazing, different and exciting”. Is anyone out there not hearing their bullshit detector going off right now?
This report bears all the hallmarks of someone determined to get his retaliation in first. Edmonds never wanted to leave the Beeb’s Saturday evening line-up in the first place: had the House Party been given another series, he’d have been in there like a shot. It wasn’t his decision, though: the Corporation pulled the show because its ratings were in freefall and it was out of time.
And there is another factor working against Edmonds: one hates to have to remind him, being of A Certain Age oneself, but Noel, sprightly or otherwise, will reach state pension age at the end of next year. The BBC make exceptions for folks like Brucie, and even he needs a younger co-presenter to help with shows like Strictly. Edmonds is now personally out of time.
There are dozens of younger men and women who would dearly love a chance to front The Bodyguard. The only problem for the Beeb is to select the one who fits the role and brings the personal chemistry needed to bring in the viewers. There’s no need for the depth of experience that made Forsyth – and Len Goodman – such a good fit for Strictly. This new show is no place for old men.
So forget all the creative briefing to the Sun, Noel. The deal is, there is no deal.