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Vogue Williams to host new talent show on Virgin Media with Jedward and Boy George

Shake-up for homegrown telly shows as Dublin-based firm targets US with new glossy format

Vogue cried with joy as she landed back in Dublin.

Deirdre O'Kane

Exclusive by Eugene Masterson

Vogue Williams' major new Irish TV gig will see her presenting a six-part ­talent contest/game show, to be screened here later this year, the Sunday World can reveal today.

The multi-million-euro series will be filmed in the 3 Arena in Dublin, this month, over a period of four days.

Vogue flew into the capital on Tuesday, with her husband and two children, to gear up for what she has excitedly billed as her "biggest TV role" to date.

The model, husband Spencer Matthews, and their kids, Theodore and Gigi, are pictured here out and about yesterday in Howth, north Dublin.

Vogue can be seen pushing her daughter in a buggy, while her son rode on a scooter, with her pal making sure all was okay.

Vogue out and about in Howth with Theodore and Gigi

We can also exclusively reveal the all-star judging panel is set to include such stars as:

• BOY GEORGE - the legendary Culture Club singer was judge for one season of The Voice UK, replacing Tom Jones for a period, and has lately featured on The Voice Australia.

• JEDWARD - the zany Dublin twins first shot to fame on the X Factor in 2009 and this will be their first time judging a TV show.

• DEIRDRE O'KANE - the comedian was herself judged as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars and is the voiceover on Virgin Media's Gogglebox.

• LYRA - the Cork singer has been compared to Florence Welch, of ­Florence And The Machine, and one of her songs has been used on Grey's Anatomy and Love Island.


The new TV series is rumoured to be one of the lynchpins of Virgin Media's autumn schedule and could be the station's first foray into the talent show concept since they aired two seasons of Ireland's Got Talent, featuring judge Louis Walsh, Michelle Visage, Denise Van Outen and Jason Byrne.

TV insiders say it is being made by Bigger Stage, a company recently formed by former Virgin Media managing director Pat Kiely.

The ­independently owned ­company, with its headquarters in Dublin, ­intends developing original factual, lifestyle and studio-based programmes - including "shiny floor" light entertainment formats, filmed in front of a studio audience.

It also intends to promote Ireland as a location for this production.

In doing so, it hopes to take advantage of a flurry of studio constructions, which are expected to see up to 30 soundstages built in the Republic in the next four years.

Its business model will also see it both represent established and up-and-coming talent, and ­pursue funding partnerships, including deals with advertisers, to get ­programmes made.

Our sources say that the company is pitching the Irish new talent contest/game show to some American television networks as a pilot.

Mr Kiely worked for Ballymount-based TV3 Group from the time the original channel went on air in 1998, later serving as its commercial director and then taking the managing director reins from January 2016, shortly after its sale to Virgin Media.

Vogue told her Instagram followers that she had to jump through all of the Covid hoops before she made it home.

Vogue and Spencer on Howth Hill this week.

'We had to do all the jazz - get the PCR tests, we're currently isolating, and then we get another test - and then we can see family," she told to her 850,000 followers.

She also got to see improvements to her family home she purchased in Howth, in which her sister ­Amber resides.

It was Amber's birthday earlier this week and Vogue showed off a cake and balloons she arranged for a surprise party.

"I've just been home organising the house, so actually isolating isn't that bad because we've got so much stuff to do and to organise and seeing my new house has just been amazing," she said.

Vogue with her two children

"I cried when I landed, it's been since January 2019. I'm finally home."

She said in a podcast: 'I've a new big TV show in Ireland, that is what I am flying home for.

"It's probably going to be my biggest job ever to date and I'm really excited about it."

Vogue married reality TV star Spencer Matthews in June 2018, and the couple have two young children, Theodore (who is nearly three) and Gigi (who is nearly a year old).

The Dubliner was previously ­married to Brian McFadden until their divorce in 2017.

The former model and DJ first made her TV appearance on RTÉ reality TV series Fade Street, and went on to appear on several foreign shows, including Dancing With The Stars Australia, ­Stepping Out, Bear Grylls:Mission to survive, and The Jump (a skiing show where she injured her leg and where she met and fell in love with Spencer).

Vogue also presented her own four-part series for RTÉ called Vogue Williams - On the Edge, in which she investigated issues affecting the lives of fellow ­Millennials, such as drugs, social anxiety, gender dysmorphia and the obsessiveness for 'the body beautiful'.

Her husband, who first rose to fame as a lothario on Made In Chelsea, is a brother-in-law of Pippa Middleton, who is Kate Middleton's sister.

This will be Vogue's first time to present a live show in front of a studio audience.

The new show's name is still ­being toyed with and is ­celebrating the coup in getting Boy George, who first topped the charts in 1982 with Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, as a judge.

The Karma Chameleon icon may be doing his own celebrating as well around the time of filming as he turns 60 on June 14.

Boy George

Jedward, who recently shaved off their trademark quiffs on the Late Late Show for charity, have raised eyebrows for their inclusion as judges, given they recently slammed the X Factor and the way it treats contestants.

As 16-year-olds they appeared on the programme alongside Olly Murs, Stacey Solomon and that year's winner - Joe McElderry.

However, the now 29-year-olds recently took to Twitter to share their opinions on the Simon ­Cowell-created programme (on which Louis Walsh was also a judge, now claiming that every ­contestant was a "slave to the show".

"The biggest regret in life was not telling the judges on X Factor to f*** off", they began, before continuing to say, "Every contestant on the X Factor was a slave to the show and got paid zero while they made millions!"

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