Gino D'Acampo thought offer to host Family Fortunes reboot was a joke
Gino D’Acampo has said he thought it was a joke when he was offered the chance to become the new host of Family Fortunes.
The Italian celebrity chef, 44, is fronting a reboot of the well-loved game show, which originally ran from 1980 to 2002 on ITV.
The new series will keep the classic format, with families playing for the chance to win “big money” by guessing the most popular replies to survey-based questions posed to 100 people.
D’Acampo told the PA news agency he initially found the prospect of hosting the show “daunting”, but accepted after ITV’s boss assured him he could bring his own spin to it.
He said: “It was offered to me by the boss of ITV, Kevin Lygo. He sent me a text and then he called me up and said he had this idea to bring Family Fortunes back.
“He wanted for me to host it. I thought it was a joke at the beginning. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’
“And he went, ‘I really want you to do it because I think it is going to be great, it is going to be different, I want a different spin on the show’.
“For me it was very daunting because this an iconic show in England. It has been going for so many years I wanted to make sure I didn’t mess it up.”
D’Acampo said he had avoided watching episodes with former hosts such as Bob Monkhouse, Max Bygraves and Les Dennis in an attempt to bring his own style to the show.
He said: “I didn’t want to watch anyone who did it because I didn’t want to be influenced by those people, previous presenters.
“I wanted to go there with a completely clear mind, just the way I like to do it.”
The new series – from Thames, part of Fremantle – will feature 10 hour-long episodes and will remain largely faithful to the original set-up.
“When you have got a show like that you shouldn’t mess with the formula,” he said.
“Number one, if it worked before, why try to fix something that has always worked?
“Number two, fans of the show are not going to like it if all of a sudden you change all the rules and make it something completely different.
“I think is an important part of it – to try and keep as close as possible to the original format.”
Based on the US game show Family Feud, the Family Fortunes format has aired in more than 67 territories worldwide over the past 44 years.
Watch Family Fortunes hosted by Gino D’Acampo on Sunday at 8pm on ITV.