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    Look out Holly and Phil! BBC to launch rival to This Morning

    Look out Holly and Phil! BBC to launch rival to This Morning – with stars such as Stacey Dooley and Rylan Clark-Neal as potential hosts

    • BBC to launch new mid-morning programme set to spark a ratings war with ITV
    • Corporation chiefs want to model it on their evening programme The One Show 
    • Stars such as Alex Scott, Stacey Dooley and Rylan Clark-Neal on host shortlist 

    In-demand former England footballer Alex Scott is also in the running. She is also tipped to replace Sue Barker as anchor on A Question Of Sport

    Daytime television is set for a ratings war after the BBC announced the November launch of a rival to ITV’s award-winning This Morning show, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

    Corporation chiefs want to model it on their popular evening programme The One Show, with stars such as Stacey Dooley and Rylan Clark-Neal on the shortlist as potential hosts.

    Another name in the running is in-demand former England footballer Alex Scott, who is also tipped to replace Sue Barker as anchor on A Question Of Sport.

    Starting at 9.15am, the new show is expected to challenge ITV’s mid-morning stars Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, as well as seeking to attract viewers from Lorraine Kelly’s hour-long show that runs from 9am. 

    BBC executives hope the programme will also retain viewers from the Breakfast show, which draws an estimated nine million each week, and it is likely to replace Homes Under the Hammer and Island Medics.

    A source close to the project said: ‘BBC Breakfast beats Good Morning Britain every day and The One Show is one of the channel’s most loved and popular programmes, so the concept is based on that. The thinking is that if they can put a daytime version of the show on straight after BBC Breakfast, they’ll keep some of those viewers, and will follow the same formula as The One Show but with segments tailored to a new daytime audience.

    ‘Everyone at the BBC is very excited about this. They know that this could be quite the rival for This Morning, for the first time ever.’

    BBC bosses have spent the past six weeks meeting with behind-the-scenes staff to put the show together, with 2018 Strictly winner Ms Dooley – who has a £200,000 contract with the BBC – favourite to be one of the hosts. 

    Radio 2 star Rylan is also being considered. He was previously a stand-in presenter on This Morning but also acts as a reserve for radio colleague Zoe Ball’s daily breakfast slot, as well as being her sidekick on It Takes Two, the Strictly spin-off.

    Others in the frame to front the new show include Gethin Jones, Ore Oduba, Angellica Bell and former Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh.

    But while all have been stand-ins on The One Show, Miss Scott, 35, is thought to be among the frontrunners.

    A source close to her said: ‘She is a great favourite of the BBC, she has so many offers on the table at the moment that nothing should be ruled out.

    Stacey Dooley is pictured above

    Rylan Clark-Neal is pictured above

    Corporation chiefs want to model it on their popular evening programme The One Show, with stars such as Stacey Dooley and Rylan Clark-Neal on the shortlist as potential hosts

    ‘She would be perfect for this new programme, she’s clever and very, very likeable. She has very much become a household name.’

    Commenting on the new daytime show, a BBC source said: ‘The mix of content aims to both entertain and inform viewers, providing great company and trusted expertise.’

    Carla-Maria Lawson, Head of BBC Daytime & Early Peak, added: ‘Following the success of shows such as HealthCheck UK Live, Daily Kitchen Live and Your Money and Your Life with a mix of good company and expert advice reflecting their concerns, we’re excited to be bringing a new daily, topical live programme to BBC1 at 9.15 following BBC Breakfast, and look forward to sharing more details soon.’

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