Big Brother's returning, but what about Pop Idol? Here's what we learned during ITV's spotlight session at the festival.
During a spotlight session on ITV, Managing Director Kevin Lygo spoke about reviving Big Brother, admitting that the decision was influenced by the upcoming launch of ITVX as he hopes the series will drive large numbers to their new streaming service and the extraordinary success of Love Island.
He called Big Brother "arguably the most extraordinary thing that’s been on television. So we thought let’s give it a go. I don’t think it’s that big of a risk."
With confusion surrounding the upcoming launch of ITVX, Kevin Lygo revealed that the service will launch in November and described it as "ITV’s new FREE streaming service" confirming that "The Hub and Hub+ will disappear on that day. In it, EVERYTHING that ITV do, live, catch-up, library..."
He went on to say "Every week until the money runs out, there will be a new event launching exclusively on ITVX. ITV will remain a mainstream broadcaster. If you don’t watch the soaps, you’re not watching earlier to see the trails of what’s on at 9pm. It’s these people we want to watch more ITV … ITVX is a destination that’s free to air that you will go to."
One day, in the future, long after I’m gone you’ll switch on your TV and see a series of apps and see ITVX there. It’s just a place to go to watch television."
On ITV's recent schedule change which saw the ITV Evening News was extended to an hour, Kevin Lygo admitted "My biggest fear was moving Emmerdale from 7pm to 7:30pm" but says “it has worked as ITV is the most-watched channel every night before 9pm."
In recent months, there has been growing speculation that Pop Idol would be returning to ITV for the first time since 2003 but in a very definite statement, ITV's Head of Entertainment Commissioning, Kaite Rawcliffe said "Pop Idol isn’t coming back. We’ve had talks about a reunion show, but no. It’s not coming back."
Other shows that Katie confirmed won't be returning to ITV, are music gameshow Walk The Line which has been axed after just one series in 2021 and The Games, which aired earlier this year and was a revival of the popular Channel 4 show which last aired in 2006.
There was also an admission from ITV's Director of Reality and Acquisitions Paul Mortimer that there's space for one other huge reality format to sit alongside Love Island and Big Brother but admitted that he's not looking for any more dating shows.
On speculation around Laura Whitmore’s Love Island replacement, Paul Mortimer gave nothing away, simply saying “The news only broke this week. We’ll be back in January with a new host to be determined."