Gabby Logan, Micky Flanagan and Frank Skinner are to front a patriotic primetime show called I Love My Country for BBC1.
“It’s basically a quiz about Britain,” Skinner told RadioTimes.com. “It’s all-the-family entertainment: part panel show, part Generation Game. Micky Flanagan and I are the captains and Gabby Logan is the host.” Originally David Walliams was to helm but Gabby Logan stepped into his shoes because the comedian couldn't commit to a full series.
Skinner revealed that the show is likely to broadcast on Saturday evenings – a hotly contested primetime slot – in March or April. “I’ve never really done anything this mainstream before,” Skinner mused, "so it'll be interesting to see how it goes."
“It’s a celebration of British eccentricity. So we had the man with longest moustache and a group of young British girls who have just broken the record for getting the most people in a Mini. The girls have two big muscular men to squeeze them into this car until their faces are pressed up against the windscreen and windows. It gave me the terrors just watching it!”
There will also be music from a house band fronted by Mobo award-winning pop star Jamelia.
I Love My Country has already proved a hit in the Netherlands where it was created by John de Mol, the media tycoon behind Big Brother, Deal or No Deal and The Voice. So far 17 other countries in addition to the UK have adopted the format.
Frank Skinner also revealed that he tried to revive the children’s programme Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead? – usually shortened to Why Don’t You? – which ran from 1973 until 1995.
“I put together an adult version, with a comedian called Laura Solon, encouraging people to try new hobbies. We went to various broadcasters but they didn’t like it. I like the idea of TV as an educator.”
Frank Skinner presents Room 101 on BBC1 on Saturdays, 8.30pm