ITV is to air its first masthead programme with a daytime series
based on Northern & Shell’s celebrity gossip magazine, OK!
OK! and its rival, Hello! were both considered for a series and a pilot
was commissioned for each brand. However, OK!’s content was thought to
be more appropriate to ITV’s audience.
OK TV! will be broadcast later this year by Carlton.
Dianne Nelmes, controller of ITV’s daytime schedule, said: ’This is a
very exciting venture, which will bring a fresh and glamorous magazine
format to television. OK! is hugely popular with readers and we hope we
can build on that brand with a stylish celebrity magazine.’
Richard Desmond, Northern & Shell’s chairman, confirmed that a celebrity
would present the programme, but he refused to reveal who it would
He said: ’This will allow ITV viewers to see our beautiful weddings,
at-homes, parties and fashion in moving picture. It can’t do us any
harm. OK! magazine is a huge investment.’
OK TV! is Northern & Shell’s second venture into broadcasting with the
OK! brand, following the launch last year of OK! to Talk on Talk
Despite the relaxation in the rules on masthead terrestrial TV
programming by the Independent Television Commission a year ago, initial
interest in such programming has been muted as both broadcasters and
publishers questioned its benefits.
Last year, the National Magazine Company axed its partnership with
Granada Sky Broadcasting, which is part owned by Granada, after failing
to win an ITV slot for its title, Good Housekeeping. GSkyB had been
showing programmes based on both GH and its stablemate, Zest.