Bafta-nominated celebrity reality show AXED as latest casualty of Channel 4 cuts

BANGED Up has become the latest show to face the axe at cash-strapped Channel 4.

I revealed last year that show chiefs had been teeing up a sequel, looking at the series being set in a women’s prison with a collection of female celebrities to sample life behind bars.

Bafta-nominated Banged Up won't be returning to screens


Bafta-nominated Banged Up won’t be returning to screensCredit: Colin Hutton / Channel 4

But it’s now been decided that Bafta-nominated programme won’t be returning, with producers left stunned at the decision given the success of the first season, which aired last year.

They were so confident of another commission that offers had been made to various talent, including a five-figure sum to newly-elected MP Nigel Farage before his latest foray into frontline politics.

But instead, Banged Up now faces the same fate as other beloved C4 programmes including Steph’s Packed Lunch, Don’t Tell The Bride and Hollyoaks, which was moved online amid plunging profits.

An insider tells me: “Producers were shocked at Channel 4’s decision to axe the show.

“They were aiming high in trying to get people like Farage on board, and had some good names lined up.

“The show was raved about by pundits and was loved by viewers, so it seems a strange decision to get rid of it. It must purely be for financial reasons.”

A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: “Banged Up was a unique one-off social experiment that was only commissioned for one series.”

The show, produced by Shine TV, put celebs alongside ex-lags in a disused nick to give them a glimpse of life behind bars.

EastEnders legend Sid Owen, singer HRVY and former Tory MP Johnny Mercer were among those who took part in the first series.

During their eight nights in HMP Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Mr Mercer smoked tobacco given to him by a contract killer cellmate who had smuggled it past guards up his bum.

Seven celebrities get a taste of life behind bars in scary new Channel 4 series

It’s a shame we won’t get to see Farage put through those same paces.

Here are news highlighters…

GOOD Morning Britain proved the highlight of the week yesterday – thanks to its host’s bright outfits.

Good Morning Britain presenters Laura Tobin, Charlotte Hawkins and Susanna Reid took inspiration from a pack of highlighter pens with their neon outfits


Good Morning Britain presenters Laura Tobin, Charlotte Hawkins and Susanna Reid took inspiration from a pack of highlighter pens with their neon outfitsCredit: Instagram

Presenters Susanna Reid, Charlotte Hawkins and Laura Tobin have taken inspiration from a pack of highlighter pens as they prepared for show. 

The trio posed for snaps on social media, alongside co-host Ed Balls, showing off their neon yellow, green and pink looks. 

It comes as Susanna revealed she was taking some time off from the show, explaining that she will next be on-screen later this year after the close of the school holidays

She told viewers: “I’m going to have to say goodbye. You never know – I might pop up in the meantime, but otherwise I’ll be back in September.”

Susanna added of her outfit on her social media: “I was highlighting the fact that I’ve left you in good hands with Laura, Charlotte, and Ed.”

Suranne showing us howl

SURANNE JONES admits she’s been so inspired by her new documentary about witches she starts the day off howling – and even carries a broomstick. 

Surrane Jones was so inspired by her Investigating Witch Trials documentary she now carries a broomstick


Surrane Jones was so inspired by her Investigating Witch Trials documentary she now carries a broomstickCredit: Rex

The Gentleman Jack star investigated witch trials around the world and the history of sorceresses in the Channel 4 show, Investigating Witch Trials.

And  Suranne – who is currently filming Netflix drama The Choice, in which she plays a fictional British Prime Minister – has been following their practices ever since. 

She told the Witch Wave podcast: “We did a crew howl in the morning.  I’ve really got into this howling. 

“I use my broom a lot, it’s in my bedroom.  My husband is like ‘Where are you going with that broom?’ and I’m like, ‘I’m  doing this room, it needs it’.”

Danny’s tribute is pants

RYAN SAMPSON didn’t roll out the red carpet for pal Danny Dyer on his new show Mr Bigstuff – but he did make him a personalised rug.  

Ryan Sampson made Danny Dyer a personalised 20-foot-long rug


Ryan Sampson made Danny Dyer a personalised 20-foot-long rugCredit: PA

The creator of the Sky Max comedy ordered the 20-foot-long floor covering, featuring Danny posing in his underwear, as a tribute. It is on display in the grounds of the hardman actor’s’s local Essex boozer. 

Ryan joked : “I needed to do   something which would  raise Danny to the status of legend. I play a carpet salesman, so  he is immortalised in the biggest rug known to Essex.” 

Danny added: “I want it! Am I a narcissist if I have it on the floor in my gaff?”

Mr Bigstuff –  which   airs at 9pm next Wednesday and will   stream on NOW – features Ryan and Danny as brothers Glen, a carpet salesman, and Lee, an alpha male with a prescription drug habit, who are forced back together.

It’s not long before long  their lives  unravel like a cheap carpet. 

Sounds beastly, Chris

SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH may have slowed down when it comes to making new wildlife documentaries, but Chris Packham is gearing up for another on the BBC.

Chris Peckham is set for another wildlife documentary on the BBC


Chris Peckham is set for another wildlife documentary on the BBCCredit: PA

The Countryfile presenter will front  a series, titled Evolution, which focuses on some of the world’s deadliest creatures. 

The show will describe how changes over millions of generations resulted in the species that populate the world today.

One animal will be the subject of each episode, including bats with ultrasonic hearing, peacocks and their magnificent feathers and kangaroos’ leaping ability. 

Last year Chris presented the Beeb series Earth, which told the 4.5billion-year story of our planet.

ESCAPE To The Country’s Nicki Chapman and Homes Under The Hammer’s Martin Roberts will compete on a Bargain Hunt in aid of Children in Need.

Items up for grabs include a Woody from Toy Story signed by Tom Hanks and a dance lesson with a Strictly professional.

Jamie: my snub by Sean

FORMER Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing says he was snubbed by the late comedian Sean Lock – because of his reality television past. 

Jamie Laing says he was given the cold shoulder by late comedian Sean Lock


Jamie Laing says he was given the cold shoulder by late comedian Sean LockCredit: Getty

The ex-Made In Chelsea star  says  he was given the cold shoulder by Sean on an episode of 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown

Then, the next time Jamie saw Sean he was mistaken for a fan and offered a photo with the comic as they entered a  members’ club together. 

He told  his Great Company podcast  that he felt treated “like scum” when he appeared on the Channel 4 panel show. 

But there was no bad blood for Jamie, who explained: “I liked him even more for it.  We did the show, and we spent maybe five, six hours together. 

“The next night, I met himself outside The Groucho Club and I went, ‘Sean!’ and he went, ‘Oh come on then, we can have a photo’. 

“I was like, ‘No, I was with you last night’. He didn’t recognise me.”

AUSTRALIAN comedy show Austin will air on the BBC this summer. Starring Ben Miller, Sally Phillips and Michael Theo, the eight-episode series tells the story of a much-loved children’s author who gets caught up in a social media storm that almost ends his career.

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