Former GMTV boss Martin Frizell has been put in charge of ailing lunchtime show Loose Women and plans to give it an overhaul – which could mean a big change for the women on the panel.
Martin said of his new job: “This is a fantastic opportunity to shape one of Britain’s biggest telly brands – a daily appointment with topicality at its heart.”
But the Sunday People reports that Lisa Maxwell, Sherrie Hewson and singer Jamelia Davis are among the big-name presenters who could be replaced, as the show will be aiming for a younger audience and have more serious content.
Insiders say there are even question marks over the futures of viewer favourites Carol Vorderman, Coleen Nolan and Myleene Klass. But Martin is said to be keen to hang on to Kaye Adams and Jane Moore, who were both on the panel when the show began in 1999.
ITV chiefs are determined to lift the show out of the doldrums after its ratings plunged to a low of 700,000 from two million.
Bosses want it to recapture the vigour it had when it was launched by Helen Warner – who is now ITV’s director of daytime.
And they are convinced Martin is the man to do it after his success at GMTV, where he built up regular viewing figures of more than a million.
A source said: “Martin will be starting with immediate effect and is working closely with Helen Warner to make the show great again.
“The plan is to take the show back to how it was when it launched in 1999. It was about intelligent debate with a panel of sassy, smart women with very strong opinions.
“It will become far more newsy and a little bit like an all-woman Question Time.”
A spokesperson for ITV says: “There are no planned changes to the Loose Women panel.”
But: “Martin knows who is good and who isn’t and after doing some careful research he will know who he wants and who he doesn’t,” added the source.