TV bosses are reeling after Coronation Street star Antony Cotton’s new tea-time chat show was leaked onto the internet – only to be panned by cyber-viewers.
Antony, best known as knicker-stitcher Sean Tully in the hit soap, kicks off That Antony Cotton Show on ITV1 later this month.
But, according to reports in The Sun, footage from a pilot filmed back in July has already been viewed on YouTube – and has been severely slated, with critics branding it “c***” and “b*******”.
One rated it “worse than Mrs O’s show” – a reference to Sharon Osbourne’s tea-time effort in the 5pm slot in 2006.
Programme bosses believe the leak happened after they sent market researchers tapes to get their private opinions.
YouTube was ordered on Thursday to dump the footage over breach of copyright.
According to The Sun, the pilot sees Antony opening the show with a camp version of the Barry Manilow hit Copacabana.
His guests include actress Pauline Quirk and I’m A Celebrity star Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock.
Antony also introduces a game, Have I Got Shoes For You, in which members of the audience pair up strangers with their shoes.
Antony said: “I’m disappointed this got out. It was not meant for public viewing.
“When my show kicks off it will have some of the elements in the pilot but will be brand-spanking new.”
Viewers can make up their own minds about the show when it launches on Monday August 13 at 5pm.