After months of intense speculation over his next career move, it has been confirmed that Jonathon Ross is to replace Melvyn Bragg as host of the South Bank Show. ‘We are delighted to announce that Mr. Ross is coming on board', said an ITV spokesperson. 'We are obviously very thankful to Melvyn for the years of service he has dedicated to the programme. However, he is not quite the terrier he once was, and has become a little sycophantic of late. So the decision has been taken to take on a more ascerbic, probing host to drive the programme in a new and exciting direction; someone who isn’t afraid to ask the important questions such as ‘what do you do at the weekends?’ and ‘when you are at home and Angelina walks past, do you ever think “how good does it feel to be me?”.
It was also confirmed that the programme is to adopt a magazine format to create a direct competitor to the BBC’s ‘The Culture Show’. There is likely to be the usual mix of regular features and ‘front page’ specials, as well as a regular slot featuring Danny Baker discussing the headiest cultural events of the week with his usual precise and illuminating wit. There will also be a live studio audience and a open access ‘green room’ in which the likes of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Damien Hirst and NDubz will engage in scintillating banter with other one another and the charismatic host prior to their segment.
Another Ross mainstay, ‘Four Poofs and a Piano’ are also likely to make the transition, and it has been confirmed that they are currently working on a piano and four voice arrangement of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Variation on Paginini’s ‘24th Caprice’ (the show’s familiar theme tune) in the style of camp disco.
The first episode (due to be shown early next year) is to revisit the work of James Joyce in the context of the ‘New Eire’ following the end of ‘The Troubles’, investigate the pertinence of post-modern literature following 9/11, and discuss Jane Goldman’s work in film and the size of her breasts.
Ross is reportedly delighted at the deal and said ‘I welish the opportunity to move my caweer in a vewy diffewent diwection.