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Paul O'Grady to return to teatime chat on ITV

Paul O'Grady on stage at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, Powys. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Presenter Paul O'Grady is to return to teatime chat on ITV after more than seven years.

The comic has signed up for 25 shows initially to be screened later this year.

He had a similar slot for two years but quit in 2006, heading off to Channel 4 for a rival teatime show which he hosted for a further three years.O'Grady, 57, returned to ITV in 2010 and went on to present a Friday night programme for two series.

He won a National TV Award earlier this year for his programme For The Love of Dogs, with a second series starting soon.

His new hour-long studio based teatime show will air five nights a week with uests and music.

He said: "I can't wait to get back in the studio, it seems ages since I was sat behind that desk at teatime.

"I've missed all the fun and craziness of the show - and who knows, I might even get out my old organ?"

The programme will be made by O'Grady's own firm Olga Productions, named after one of his pet dogs.

ITV commissions Great Fire of London drama

A television drama depicting one of the nation's greatest disasters will be filmed later this year, ITV has confirmed.

The Great Fire of London period drama will follow the lives and loves of both historical and fictional characters when the fire engulfed the city in 1666.

An illustration of the Great Fire of London Credit: Tophams/Topham Picturepoint/Press Association

From humble baker Thomas Farriner and his family to the ambitious Samuel Pepys and King Charles II, the characters' stories will interweave as the city and their lives are changed.

It is written by Tom Bradby, ITV News' political editor, who is also a successful novelist.

Douglas Rae and Lucy Bedford on behalf of Ecosse Films are set to executive produce the drama which will go into production in London later this year.


Celebrity Juice set for 100th episode tonight

Keith Lemon’s Celebrity Juice celebrates its 100th episode when it returns for a new series tonight.

The comedy panel show sees Keith Lemon, the comedy alter-ego of Leigh Francis, quiz captains Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby and other guest panellists talk about the showbiz stories of the week.

Keith Lemon with Celebrity Juice captains Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby. Credit: PA

Whilst regular captain Fearne Cotton is on maternity leave, the model and actress Kelly Brook will take over her role as team captain.

Warning: This link contains strong language, adult humour, nudity and sexual references.

Watch the 100th episode and the start of the news series tonight at 10pm on ITV2

ITV operating profits up 17%

ITV has posted a 17% rise in 2012 profit before tax, helped by growth in non-advertising revenues, and said it would pay shareholders a £156m special dividend.

The broadcaster reported adjusted earnings for 2012 of £520m on total external revenues up 3% to £2.2bn.

The jump was helped by the sale of rights to programmes such as Mr Selfridge (see above) and Titanic.

Having ended the year with net cash of £206m, the firm is paying a full year dividend of 2.6p and a special dividend of 4.0p.


Acting Five Live controller ready for 'stint number two'

Earlier today, the BBC announced that Radio Five Live boss Adrian Van Klaveren was moving to a new role after he was held responsible for the flawed McAlpine broadcast.

Acting controller Jonathan Wall tweeted:

Lord McAlpine 'extremely hurt' by This Morning broadcast

Lord McAlpine felt Phillip Schofield's actions unintentionally encouraged viewers to search the web.

Sir Edward Garnier QC said Lord McAlpine remained extremely hurt and distressed by ITV's This Morning broadcast, in which Phillip Schofield passed Prime Minister David Cameron a card listing names associated with abuse allegations on the internet.

Sir Edward said ITV and Schofield accepted that Lord McAlpine's name appeared on the list, which was briefly visible to viewers.

He said Lord McAlpine considered that Schofield's statements and actions amounted to an encouragement, albeit unintended, to viewers to perform similar internet searches, causing other people to discover the link between the seriously defamatory allegations and himself.

On the same day as the broadcast, both ITV and Schofield publicly apologised, before a public apology was made directly to Lord McAlpine on November 22.

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