Comedian Dara O’Briain is set to succeed Michael Parkinson with his own prime time chat show.
The Irish funnyman, host of BBC2’s Mock the Week, is being lined up for when Parky retires later this year.
Dara will first have to convince TV bosses he is worth the prime time by presenting his own show at 5pm, before being moved to a later slot.
Dara started his career as a presenter on an English and Gaelic-speaking children’s show on Irish TV before quickly making his name on the Irish comedy circuit.
An ITV insider admitted: “We love Dara and have great plans for him. He’s very warm and can get a lot out of people, which is what you want when you’re interviewing stars.
“He’s also extremely entertaining as he has a background in comedy. He’ll be more like Jonathan Ross than Parky, but he’s exactly the kind of upbeat host we need. It’s early days but he could well be a worthy successor to Parky.”