The Daily Mirror today reports that comediennes Dawn French and Caroline Aherne are on ITV bosses wish-list as replacements for Kate Thornton and Zoe Tyler on daytime show Loose Women.
And former Corrie star Sally Lindsay is also “being wooed by bosses” who’re said to be desperate to save the show.
The paper adds, “Dawn, 53, Caroline, 47 and Sally, 37, are vying with former Countdown host Carol Vorderman, 50, and Men Behaving Badly star Caroline Quentin, 51, for prestigious spots on the daily lunchtime chat show.”
Apparently, secret contract talks with the five ladies have been taking place over the past six weeks, and the show’s bosses are believed to be less than 24 hours from reaching a decision.
The plan is to have two new hosts ready to go before Loose Women returns in September.
An insider said, “With a show like Loose Women, it’s important to keep refreshing the feel of the programme to keep viewers interested.
“Over the last few months there has been a bit of a downwards trend with ratings, and it’s important to address that issue as quickly as possible – we’re hoping some big new stars could excite viewers.
“We’ve whittled the list down to five potential panellists who are all big names and very popular with viewers.
“They’ve all got different personalities and senses of humour, it’s important to get the dynamic right across the panel.
“Hopefully, a couple of seriously big names can put a stop to the decline, and these would be the perfect candidates for that.”
Viewing figures for the show have plummeted from two million a day in January to just 700,000 as viewers of late, with viewers complaining that the show has grown “stale”.
Yesterday, an ITV spokeswoman confirmed the decision to axe Kate and Zoe, saying, “They have been fantastic Loose Women. We’ve really enjoyed working with them and look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Who would you like to see replacing Kate and Zoe?