On Monday lunchtime, because the This Morning manufacturing group met for his or her every day post-show debrief, there was a collective sigh of aid.
Lastly, after greater than a yr of excessive drama, bruised egos and fallouts, there was a way of calm.
The tears of frustration which have grow to be so commonplace behind the scenes of ITV’s flagship breakfast present had been changed with large smiles as a result of Cat Deeley’s trial run on the couch had been hailed a triumph.
After 20 years away from British tv, and certainly from This Morning, which she hosted in 2003 alongside Paul O’Grady, 47-year-old Cat was approached, within the aftermath of Holly Willoughby’s departure, to check out for the job.
She took half in a reside audition alongside Rylan Clark and it went nicely . . .very nicely.
Her efficiency did not simply depart the highest brass and the viewers happy, however the manufacturing employees, too. ‘Cat was a breath of recent air,’ one employees member tells me. ‘There have been no airs and graces, she simply bought on with the job and was an absolute pleasure to work with.’
Yep, after weeks of stress and uncertainty, ITV bosses assume they’ve discovered their girl, and so they can lastly flip the This Morning ship round.
Now they’re hoping they’ll lure her husband, Northern Irish presenter Patrick Kielty, to hitch her on the couch for one of the vital sought-after jobs in tv.
‘Cat and Pat has a terrific ring to it, does not it?’ mentioned an insider at ITV. ‘They’re concerning the closest we’re going to get to Richard and Judy. A married couple internet hosting This Morning once more could be the dream — though to have simply Cat could be excellent, too.’
They’re hoping they’ll lure Cat’s husband, Northern Irish presenter Patrick Kielty, to hitch her on the couch for one of the vital sought-after jobs in tv
Insider at ITV mentioned Cat and Pat are the ‘closest we’re going to get to Richard and Judy’
Holly Willoughby give up her position as host of This Morning earlier this yr after 14 years on the present
I am advised there have been a number of conferences about Cat and critical discussions concerning the professionals and cons of hiring her. Sources inside ITV say there have been worries she could be deemed ‘too shiny and American’ after spending nearly 20 years in Los Angeles.
Nonetheless, bosses have famous that regardless of her years in Hollywood, the place she hosted prime time present, So You Suppose You Can Dance, she has saved her Brummie accent — one thing they thought could be a winner with viewers.
An ITV supply tells me: ‘The principle query over Cat was, will folks relate to her? The very last thing the executives need is somebody who’s perceived to be ‘all LA’ however Cat is a totally beautiful girl who’s vivid, humorous and heat and that is precisely what the present wants.
‘However, above all, she is a profession broadcaster who’s spent her grownup life studying her craft and that is a precedence for This Morning. Whereas it’s tempting to go for somebody with little expertise who they’ll make their very own, the present wants a secure pair of palms proper now. There is no such thing as a room for error.’
For essentially the most senior bosses at ITV, notably director of tv Kevin Lygo, there’s something particular about bringing Cat again to the channel the place she made her title within the late Nineties and early Noughties.
Many will keep in mind that, like Holly, Cat started her profession in youngsters’s tv, beginning as a co-presenter for the youngsters’s present SMTV Dwell in 1998 for which she received a BAFTA Youngsters’s Award.
However it was the spin-off, CD:UK, which catapulted her to fame. She was provided the job by Ant and Dec and would, for seven years, be a sister-type character alongside the duo, profitable over viewers along with her fun-loving method. Like Holly, males wished up to now Cat whereas girls wished to be her finest buddy.
In 2003, she offered Fame Academy on BBC1 and in addition turned presenter of the ITV expertise present Stars In Their Eyes, which she hosted till 2005.
The next yr she moved to the States the place she hosted So You Suppose You Can Dance, a chief time actuality present and the brainchild of British TV mogul Nigel Lythgoe. Cat rapidly turned a family title, internet hosting Fox’s celeb courting recreation present The Alternative and presenting the sequence Royally Mad for BBC America.
In the meantime, she stunned the showbiz world when it emerged she was courting Kielty, whom she had met internet hosting Fame Academy.
He would secretly fly out to Los Angeles to shock her and, in 2011, they began courting. 9 months later they married, in secret in Rome, and had two sons: Milo, now seven and James, 5.
The couple give up the U.S. in 2020 after Patrick and one among their sons have been caught up in a terrifying assault at a shopping center.
Describing the incident, Cat mentioned: ‘I bought a name from Paddy, saying, ‘They’re taking us out via the hearth exits however no person can get to their automobile. If we stroll to a junction, are you able to come and get us?’. He wished to maintain Milo calm, so I did not perceive the enormity of what was occurring. As I used to be driving I [saw] helicopters, information vans, firemen and Swat squads.’
Shortly afterwards, the pair left America and now reside in Hampstead, North London. Final yr the household briefly returned to the U.S. whereas Cat filmed So You Suppose You Can Dance, although she did not return this yr and a 2024 sequence has not but been introduced.
Patrick, in the meantime, has not too long ago secured his dream job as host of Northern Eire’s Late Late Present. It is this position that ITV chiefs concern might stand in the best way of him becoming a member of his spouse on the This Morning couch. A supply there says: ‘Expectations have been managed from the start as they simply did not assume Patrick would do it, in addition to The Late Late Present.’
That hasn’t stopped formidable editors from attempting, nevertheless. They’re at the moment trying to get Kielty to not less than conform to a trial run alongside his spouse.
So, if not her husband, who will Cat be sitting subsequent to in January?
ITV inform me they adore Rylan and thought he and Cat had ‘big likeability and chemistry’. He is but to be approached concerning the job however are contemplating asking him.
Cat Deeley ‘s trial run on the couch had been hailed a triumph. Pictured: Deely in 2004
Then there may be breakfast tv stalwart Ben Shephard. He was resulting from be part of the present in January to exchange Phillip Schofield as Holly’s co-host, and This Morning bosses are nonetheless eager to lure him from his present position on Good Morning Britain.
One subject, being mentioned behind the scenes, is what would occur to Alison Hammond? It is three years since she was plucked from being This Morning’s showbusiness reporter to host the present by its editor Martin Frizell, who was below criticism for his presenting line-up being ‘too white’.
Hammond at the moment hosts the present on Fridays with Dermot O’Leary, in addition to overlaying faculty holidays. The position has helped her grow to be one of the vital sought-after girls in tv. This yr she was signed up by ITV rivals Channel 4 to co-host the Nice British Bake Off.
This Morning sources are positive she desires the massive job. Nonetheless, the issue, I am advised, is that bosses view Hammond as ‘too light-weight’ and see her as the right match for Fridays when the present is lighter and brighter.
One insider tells me: ‘No guarantees have been made on both facet going ahead. She is aware of her price and the sensation is she may contemplate leaving if she does not get the highest job.’ Or, the supply provides: ‘Kick up one hell of a stink.’
With ITV so eager to convey Cat residence, that is likely to be one remaining piece of drama they’re ready to climate for a much-needed return to calm.