Paris Hilton set to light up London

Actress will seek 'New Best Friend' on ITV

Paris Hilton’s next BFF will be sporting a British accent.

U.K.’s ITV has pacted with Lionsgate and Ish Entertainment to produce “Paris Hilton’s New Best Friend,” which is set to air sometime in 2009 on ITV2.

Show is a British version of MTV’s “Paris Hilton’s New BFF.” Deal reps a rare example of a U.S. format being sold to a foreign territory with the same star attached.

As part of the deal, ITV2 has also licensed the U.S.-based MTV skein, which bows Stateside on Sept. 30. It’s not clear yet whether the U.K. “New Best Friend” (apparently the slang term “BFF” hasn’t traveled across the pond) will air in the U.S. on MTV or another outlet.

Format of the U.K. series will mirror that of the U.S. edition: Contestants will be put through a wide variety of challenges and knocked off one by one as they compete to become one of Hilton’s new pals.

“I need a best friend who is hot, who can keep up with me and, most of all, who is real and won’t be a backstabber,” Hilton said.

Hilton will tape the show in October. In one departure from the MTV version, the U.K. show will highlight more of Hilton’s life in a documentary fashion.

“We’re working with producers in the U.K. who are highly familiar with the market and local sensibilities,” said Ish’s Michael Hirschorn. “Many of the challenges will be different because we’re in the U.K.”

If the show is successful, Hirschorn said “Paris Hilton’s New Best Friend” could travel to other international territories. The producer said he’s already fielding interest from other foreign broadcasters and producers about bringing Hilton and the show to their country.

Hirschorn and Stella Stolper co-created and exec produce the U.K. “New Best Friend” in addition to the U.S. original. Hilton and her manager are also exec producers.

In the U.K., ITV Prods.’ Rachel Ashdown is exec producer, while Jake Attwell is series editor.

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