Changing hosts was The Nightly Show's downfall, says ITV boss

The programme – if it returns – will not be in the 10pm slot.

There were “a million reasons” ITV’s controversial The Nightly Show was not a success, the channel’s director of television has said.

Kevin Lygo, who moved the news out of the 10pm slot to make way for the variety show, said one of the main reasons was the idea to have a different host every week.

The eight-week run saw stars including Bradley Walsh, Dermot O’Leary and John Bishop take turns in the presenting role.

Bradley Walsh
Bradley Walsh (Philip Toscano/PA)

Lygo told the Edinburgh International Television Festival: “There was kind of this tension, everybody in the industry wants one of those shows to work, we love American TV and its the kind of thing that is on American TV, all that.

“It was only ever eight weeks, people didn’t believe me but we couldn’t afford to do more. Did it work? Not really.”

Asked why, he said: “I think there is a million reasons.

“With hindsight a different host every week, which we all thought was a marvellous idea at the time, made it very difficult for our production team, because the theory was you build the show and then slot these jolly interesting, fun people in week by week.

“But what happened was a host would say ‘I’m not doing that’ and then you reinvent the show and find your feet and then it’s time to get a new one.”

He continued: “10pm was maybe too early, particularly for ITV. It was maybe a bit of a shock.”

John Bishop
John Bishop (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Questioned about his decision to move the news to make way for the divisive programme, he said: “I wanted to try it at 10pm, one of the challenges of the TV schedule is it is quite locked down and at 10 we go to the news which is commercially not that significant, by 10.45pm you’ve sort of said goodnight.

“One of the things 10 could do is open up the channel to extend prime time beyond where it is at the moment.”

When pushed on whether it will return, Lygo said: “No certainly not at 10pm, the challenge is can it work for us later?”

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