Crossley-Holland unveils plans to launch a new kind of ITV1 Sunday political show

By Caitlin Pike

ITV1 is changing the face of its traditional Sunday political
programming with a news series Meet the Press to launch in early spring
2006.

The programme will be anchored by a well-known host and have a
revolving cast of journalists and columnists from all over Fleet Street
and beyond.

Controller of current affairs, arts and religion at
ITV, Dominic Crossley-Holland told Press Gazette: “This programme is
going to have newspapers and journalists at its heart. Each week we
will have two members of the press coming in to grill a range of
guests. We’ll invite journalists from the broadsheets, from magazines
such as Heat and other titles.”

Even though the series will
change ITV1’s traditional Sunday political programme format, Meet the
Press will still feature a long interview between host and guest. It
will remain a live studio- based show, like the Jonathan Dimbleby
Programme which it is replacing, but will also go out on the road to
wherever the big stories of the day are happening.

Other parts of
the programme will have a less formal atmosphere and will include new
features such as a news summary and newspaper review.

Crossley-Holland said: “I think the G8 and Live8 showed how the centre of political gravity is changing.

“This
series is going to use the wit and attitude of the press to make it a
more edgy, more campaigning, zeitgeisty show. We’ll say to the press
‘if you’ve got a scoop bring it with you.'”

Crossley-Holland has
invited eight production companies to bid for the new programme as well
as ITV’s in-house production arm Granada.

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