Vernon Kay is set to sign a £2 million deal with ITV1 to launch his own afternoon chat show.
The new programme is due to be aired at 5pm on weekdays. It will be a rival Paul O’Grady’s chat show, which occupies the same time slot on Channel 4.
Vernon himself came up with the idea for the show and pitched it to senior ITV bosses. It is expected to be a mix of chat, comedy and music – similar to Paul’s show.
An insider told The Sun: “Vernon has bags of ideas and is really keen to do something in the 5pm slot.
“He went to ITV and they like the idea because they want to grow him into one of their main entertainment faces.”
Vernon already presents Family Fortunes and Gameshow Marathon on ITV1.
ITV and the BBC are now both keen to sign an exclusive deal with Bolton boy Vernon, 33. But friends of the former model say he is resisting committing to a contract because he wants the freedom to work for all broadcasters.
ITV are trying out a number of new programmes in the afternoon slot.
The latest is That Antony Cotton Show. Hosted by the actor who plays Corrie’s Sean Tully, it kicks off next month for five weeks.
Chris Tarrant will also be hosting a new game show, called The Great Pretender, in the slot.