Channel 4 has signed up Something for the Weekend hosts Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer to front a new Sunday-morning show. Sunday Brunch will pick up where the axed BBC2 show leaves off when it comes to the end of its current run in mid-March.
Princess Productions, who makes Something for the Weekend, is producing the new show, which will feature a mix of celebrity guests, cooking and “wit, chat and banter” similar to the BBC2 Sunday magazine show.
"We're chuffed to be joining Channel 4," Lovejoy and Rimmer said in a joint statement. "We have a great laugh working together and we're very pleased we can continue that in our new home."
The BBC announced last month that it would axe Something for the Weekend - despite consistently good viewing figures and a slot-winning audience share - as part of cost-cutting measures that could see original programming disappear entirely from BBC2's daytime schedule.
Viewers’ passion for the show was demonstrated by an online campaign to save it, which drew 27,000 Facebook fans, inspired more than 3,000 complaints to the BBC, and won support from celebrities such as Professor Brian Cox, The Charlatans' Tim Burgess and TV presenter Lisa Faulkner. Meanwhile, nearly 9,000 people registered their support for the series in a RadioTimes.com poll.
It is understood the campaign was among a number of factors taken into consideration by Channel 4 when planning their new show, but the broadcaster's head of formats, Dominic Bird, who commissioned the programme, said the chemistry between Rimmer and Lovejoy was paramount.
"Simon and Tim have brilliant on-screen chemistry and their partnership will be at the heart of Sunday Brunch," said Bird. "They're a great fit for Channel 4 and we can't wait to get going on the new show."
Last week, Simon Rimmer told RadioTimes.com that, even after nearly six years on air, he felt Something for the Weekend had not reached its natural end. "It doesn’t feel like it’s time for it to go," said Rimmer. "I feel like we’re just getting into our stride."
The final edition of the show airs on Sunday 18 March, with Sunday Brunch likely to begin on Channel 4 soon afterwards, starting with a 46-part run.
ITV was originally rumoured to be in the frame to bring in Lovejoy and Rimmer to front a similar format.