ITV reportedly have ditched the parody of the David Frost classic.
“Since last year’s series, there have been discussions over the future of Through The Keyhole and now it’s been decided to ditch it. The show lasted for a while – almost seven years. But ITV are keen to focus on other ideas. The Masked Singer has proved new formats can work.” – an ITV insider quoted by Daily Star
ITV bosses have according to media speculation axed Keith Lemon’s parody take on celebrity game show Through the Keyhole. The Daily Star reports that ITV bosses have been left surprised ‘new formats can work’ such as recent hit The Masked Singer – leaving executives able to sweep aside ‘past it’ programmes for new ideas.
Through the Keyhole started life as a feature with Lloyd Grossman on TV-am’s Good Morning Britain in the early 80s, before moving into its own series in 1987. Produced by Yorkshire Television in Leeds the show later moved to Sky One and then had a run on both BBC One and BBC Two, ending in 2008. ITV decided to launch a youth-aimed parody of the programme in 2013, which was given a seal of approval by Sir David Frost shortly before his death.
“I am delighted that the Keyhole format is now entering its fourth decade on TV. I know the pilot show went down very well with the studio audience and I wish Keith and his team the very best of luck for the series.” – Sir David Frost, speaking on the revival in 2013
The Frost and Lemon eras both followed the same format of a celebrity home visited and explored with a star panel in the studio having to guess whose house it is. During the Frost run Lloyd Grossman rummaged through the star-homes, later replaced by Lisa Snowdon. On Keith’s version he both hosted the studio segment and did the house visit.
When the show returned five million were tuning in, recent series have seen viewers drop to under two million as Saturday night competition has seen people looking elsewhere for their entertainment and bosses, according to the tabloid, are beginning to think people may be tiring of the Lemon character played by comedian Leigh Francis. Despite this the source notes that ITV2 appear to have no plans to drop his other series, Celebrity Juice.
In 2011, following a charity special hosted by David Frost, reports had suggested ITV were working on a serious reboot of the show with Paul O’Grady lined up as the studio host, with Vernon Kay suggested as the home snooper. It failed to materialise.
ATV Today has approached producers Fremantle for comment.