Gino D’Acampo on the new Family Fortunes: ‘ITV want chaos!’

Gino D'Acampo on the excitement of rebooting classic game show Family Fortunes...

Gino D’Acampo is thrilled to be hosting Family Fortunes, one of our best-loved game shows.

Hosted by Bob Monkhouse and Max Bygraves in the 1980s and Les Dennis throughout the 1990s, it’s known for its loud ‘Eh-uhh’ buzzer and some unexpected – and often hilarious – answers as two families go head-to-head, trying to guess the most popular replies to survey-based questions posed to 100 people.

In more recent years, fans have been able to enjoy celebrity version, All Star Family Fortunes, hosted by Vernon Kay. But, from Sunday, it’s the public’s turn again as, after 18 years away from our screens, the original Family Fortunes is back on prime-time ITV, with a new host in the shape of renowned Italian chef and all-round TV favourite, Gino.

Promising to be “unapologetic and unfiltered”, Gino will guide two competing families through a series of rounds as they play for the chance to win the top cash prize in the famous “Big Money” finale.

We called Gino D’Acampo, 44, at his family home on the Italian island of Sardinia – where he’s spent all of lockdown – ahead of filming in London, to find out how he’s feeling about taking over the iconic show…

What can we expect from you as the new host of Family Fortunes?

Gino D’Acampo: “I initially thought: ‘Why would ITV ask me to host such an iconic game show’? And then I realised it’s because they want chaos! I just want to be myself and as spontaneous as possible. I think it’s gonna be fun. To prepare for filming, I bought the Family Fortunes board game and I’ve been practising at home with my family. It turns out, the D’Acampos are good at cooking but useless at board games!”

Have you always been a fan of Family Fortunes?

“I watched it throughout the 1990s, when it was hosted by Les Dennis, who I thought had it spot on. And I played the celebrity version, hosted by Vernon Kay, about 10 years ago. It was my family up against actress Michelle Keegan’s family. How did we do? We were rubbish! I didn’t understand half the questions, so we got absolutely crushed by the Keegans!”

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Did you ask Les or Vernon for any tips on hosting the show? And what are you most looking forward to about working with members of the public?

“I haven’t contacted Les or Vernon because I really want to approach the show with an absolutely fresh mind and show people what I can bring to the table. I’m looking forward to being able to ask the two families playing whatever I want and have a laugh with them. I can only imagine some of the answers they will give me to the survey questions – I just hope I understand them!”

There are two Celebrity Family Fortunes specials planned for later in the series – which celebs would you like to have on?

“First, I would have Noel and Liam Gallagher – playing against each other, of course! And I would love to have This Morning’s Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby and their families playing against each other because those two are very competitive.”

Would you want your TV pals Gordon Ramsay and Fred Sirieix to come on with their families?

“Oh, my goodness no, they would drive me bananas! I have enough of those two when we film our ITV show Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip, so I don’t want to see them on Family Fortunes!”

GORDON GINO FRED

Gino loves his pals Gordon Ramsay and Fred Sirieix… but he doesn’t want to see them on Family Fortunes!

Do you ever watch yourself on TV?

“No way! I still don’t understand why people like watching me on TV. I watch myself every morning when I brush my teeth and shave my face, the last thing I want to do is watch myself on TV. I’d much rather watch sitcom Only Fools and Horses on repeat. Lovely Jubbly!”

Family Fortunes returns on Sunday September 20 at 8pm on ITV.

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