An online campaign to save BBC2 magazine show Something for the Weekend has attracted almost 20,000 supporters to date, with celebrities including Gary Barlow, Brian Cox and Tim Burgess expressing their regret at the demise of the programme.
Facebook group SAVE Something For The Weekend From The Axe was set up following the news this weekend that the Sunday morning series looks likely to become the latest casualty of the BBC’s Delivering Quality First money-saving initiative.
A spokesman for Princess Productions, which makes the show for the BBC, said it would come to an end when the current run finishes in March.
“We can confirm that the current series of Something for the Weekend will be its last on BBC2. We have been informed the decision not to renew is down to the proposed cuts to budgets and in original daytime commissioning,” he told Broadcast.
The series is said to have maintained strong viewing figures for its 10:00-11:30am slot on Sundays, garnering an average 11.7 per cent audience share and around 1 million viewers per episode last year.
The BBC is considering plans to replace all new daytime content on BBC2 with repeats but a spokesperson said a final decision would not be taken until the BBC Trust had delivered its conclusions on the proposals.
Something for the Weekend co-presenter Tim Lovejoy broke the news to fans on Twitter on Friday, tweeting: “Sad news about Something for the Weekend coming to an end. Seems no one can escape budget cuts in this economic climate.”
Chef Simon Rimmer, who presents cookery segments on the programme and enjoys on-screen banter with fellow football fan Lovejoy, said: “very sad day with SFTW finishing at end of March. feel like part of me is going to be amputated. thanks for all your support.”
Using the hashtag #SFTW, viewers expressed their regret at the decision, with a number of celebrity fans also joining in.
Actress Lisa Faulkner - a one-time stand-in presenter on the show - tweeted: “So so sad to hear that the brilliant something for the weekend is finishing. Top show. Boo.”
Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, a former guest, posted a link to the Facebook campaign page, saying: “That institution of hangover telly #sftw is under threat - we all love @timlovejoy @simonrim.”
TV physicist Professor Brian Cox said: “Very sad to hear that #STFW is going to be cancelled. I've enjoyed being on the show and watching.”
Something for the Weekend ran for 46 weeks in 2011, featuring a blend of celebrity guests, cookery, gadget testing, a regular cocktail segment and archive shows and clips. Louise Redknapp joined Lovejoy and Rimmer as co-host.