Former Room 101 presenter Frank Skinner has revealed the question he asked a BBC chief content officer shortly before the long-running programme got removed from TV schedules in 2018
Frank Skinner has revealed exactly how the BBC brutally axed Room 101 from TV back in 2018.
The comedian, 67, explains how he “made the mistake” of asking a top boss at the state-funded broadcaster a question shortly before the classic show got the chop after 24 years on our screens. Room 101 has never returned to the BBC’s TV schedule, but has been rebooted for the airwaves with its former presenter Paul Merton now hosting a reincarnated radio version.
Room 101, named after the torture room in George Orwell’s novel 1984, let celebrity guests chat about their pet peeves and choose what they’d like to see banished into Room 101. The show started on Radio 2 in 1992 before making its TV debut in 1994, and returned to radio last year.
Frank – who was the programme’s third presenter during its stint on TV – was the one who announced that the TV show was cancelled in 2018. Speaking to the Daily Star, Frank said: “Who the f*** cares?” He went on to add: “Room 101 is dead. But I’m alright fiscally. I’ve done seven series’. I don’t feel that I have been washed up on the shores of stand up.”
Speaking in this week’s edition of Radio Times, Frank delves a little deep into his Room 101 exit and jokingly tells the publication: “I made the mistake of asking [ BBC chief content officer] Charlotte Moore at a meeting what she’d personally put into Room 101, given the choice, and shortly after that we were decommissioned.”
Room 101 may no longer be on our screens but it currently back on its original home on the radio, with the TV show’s second host Paul Merton back asking celebrities what they’d like to see banished from society. Paul, who succeeded Nick Hancock as the TV version’s host, spoke last year about his delight over returning to the franchise.
“It’s just you and a guest on two comfy chairs, so it’s more like theatre and the audience response was even more enthusiastic than they had been on TV,” he explained. “Probably because I have quite an austere attitude on Have I Got News for You, strangers don’t come up to me and try to make jokes. Which is a blessing.”
Paul settled back into the Room 101 chair with ease at the start of 2024, interviewing former Channel 4 presenter Steph McGovern about her pet hates for one of the first episodes of the Radio 4 reboot. Other famous guests that have chatted to Paul on the airwaves include The Traitors presenter Claudia Winkleman, Mark Steel, Julian Clary and Phil Wang.
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