GIVEN ZOE BALL and SUE PERKINS’ involvement in two of the BBC’s most successful shows, bosses must have thought they were on to a winner by teaming them up.
But I can reveal the duo’s bold Saturday night challenge show Can’t Touch This has been axed after just one flop season.
The BBC1 series, hosted by Strictly’s Zoe and narrated by ex-Bake Off star Sue was described as “mousetrap for humans”.
It pitted contestants against a giant assault course to bag prizes stashed in hard-to-reach places.
But after just ten episodes it is joining the likes of Deal Or No Deal, You’re Back In The Room and Prized Apart on the gameshow scrapheap.
Diversity dance star ASHLEY BANJO also co-hosted.
A source said: “The BBC thought the show’s big names, as well as family favourite Ashley would draw in a really good audience.
“But for a Saturday night show it performed very poorly. The first episode got around three million viewers but it went south of that very quickly.
“Audiences just didn’t connect with it. It just goes to show that launching a gameshow format is getting harder and harder.”
A BBC spokesman confirmed the show’s axeing.
It was launched to a fanfare in September 2015 and resembled a mix between ITV’s Ninja Warrior and a children’s soft play area, with contestants falling on to foam mats rather than water.
It was made by Stellify Media, the Northern Irish production firm behind the new Blind Date on Channel 5.
Zoe and Ashley had excitably told future viewers they had never seen anything like it on telly.
They definitely won’t again.
JOHN ALTMAN has hinted that Nasty Nick Cotton could return to EastEnders – despite being killed off two years ago.
The soap villain, who tormented his poor mum Dot, died of a heroin overdose but his body was never seen on screen.
And John believes there is potential for an unlikely comeback, just like Dirty Den was brought back from the dead in 2003.
In an exclusive interview, he said: “You never know with soaps, do you? I mean, they could get the right storyline – no one saw his dead body, did they?
“We will just leave it at that. There’s always open doors and the writers work their magic.”
Nasty Nick met his maker in a live episode on February 2015 to celebrate Enders’ 30th anniversary.
Dot, played by JUNE BROWN, refused to call an ambulance when he took a turn for the worse after taking drugs, far left.
Dot got 14 months in prison for manslaughter but was released after four months. If she gets wind of her wayward son’s resurrection she’ll be banging on the prison door asking to be let back in . . .
JAY organises a house party for a reluctant Ben to celebrate his 21st birthday in EASTENDERS.
During the party, Abi points out to Johnny that it is blatant he has a crush on Ben. She then takes it upon herself to set them up, but they both deny any attraction. Meanwhile, Emma panics when she hears Faith claiming she can speak to the dead in EMMERDALE. Her anxiety increases when she realises she will be holding psychic readings in the Woolpack. Underneath it all is the worry that the truth about James’s death could finally be uncovered.
And what better way to gain a few column inches than some particularly raunchy scenes.
In the latest episode of the Sky Atlantic drama, Nicole stripped off for a high-energy romp in the kitchen with on-screen husband ALEXANDER SKARSGARD.
It comes after they filmed a steamy session in the shower on the psychological mini-series last week.
Not sure how she’ll top this one.
But, unlike the series that made them famous, happy endings are unlikely to cap their fairytale romance.
The pair, who have made cameo appearances on The Only Way Is Essex with one just last Wednesday, are on the verge of splitting after a spate of rows.
A source said: “Nathan and Cara have taken some time apart in a bid to save their relationship.
“Rows have taken their toll and they needed space. Pals fear it’s over.”
Instead of Towie, it looks like the only place the reality TV pair could be heading now, is Ex On The Beach.