ITV says it's feeling quietly confident today following what it's describing as "very positive reaction" to its new primetime offering Bone Idle
The new collaboration between two of the broadcaster's giants, Simon Cowell and Jeremy Kyle, was unveiled earlier as part of ITV 1's new Autumn schedules and it sees a hybrid show that will take the best elements of Cowell's X Factor and Kyle's The Jeremy Kyle Show and meld them together into one weekly two hour extravaganza.
A spokesman for the show said, "This is going to be huge. Not only can we promise a glitzy karaoke competition but there will also be mass brawling, ill-advised body piercings, tattoos, bad teeth, morbid obesity, DNA and lie-detector tests aplenty. We're very excited by what we are sure will trounce the competition hands down."
Details are sketchy for now but it's understood that contestants will have to meet certain minimum standards to appear on the programme. They must be receiving Job Seeker's Allowance or Income Support at the very least; missing or blackened teeth will certainly be plus points and having committed incest although not actively encouraged by the show's producers, will certainly see a possible fast-track offered to the final stages. The show's spokesman denied that people with names like 'Max' or 'Poppy' need not apply saying, "Far from it, and of course although there is sure to be no shortage of 'Dwaynes' and 'Chardonnays' all are welcome to try their hand."
The BBC is remaining tight-lipped about suggestions that Bone Idle will sound the death-knell for its own ailing flagship Saturday night offering Strictly Come Dancing, now in its 10th series, but denies it's in any way worried by the new kid on the block. A source close to Strictly commented, "It's business as usual here on Strictly. We know what the public want. D-List celebs prancing around for the tenth year in a row is sure to see off the competition. No bother at all!"
Veteran presenter, Sir Bruce Forsyth, was giving nothing away when he was spotted attending a crisis meeting with his agent in London earlier today. When asked what he thought about the new ITV show he chose only to strike his famous pose for the cameras and shouted to reporters, "Nice to see you...to see you nice!", before tap dancing his way quickly into the agent's offices.
Auditions for Bone Idle will be held at Job Centre Plus offices across the country in the coming weeks and the programme is set to hit our screens over the August bank holiday weekend. ITV is keeping the judges' identities a closely guarded secret for now but the smart money is on Kerry Katona making a triumphant return to the big time along with Michael Barrymore. There is also a strong rumour in media circles that Paul Daniels and the "lovely" Debbie McGee could be on the panel too.
Meanwhile Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has added his voice to the mix. "It's marvellous to see Mr Cowell and Mr Kyle helping some of our most underprivileged members of society in this new joint venture. It's too early to say but certainly we can't rule out the possibility of a benefits fraud prosecution amnesty being offered as part of the prize for the ultimate winner of the show."