British hosting duo Ant and Dec’s Mitre Television and Stephen Lambert’s Studio Lambert are piloting “Street Car Showdown” for the BBC, in which teams convert ordinary cars and take each other on in challenges for the BBC.
The show sees rival teams from across the country tasked with turning used cars into souped-up racing machines in just 10 days on a limited budget. Ant and Dec, two of the best-known faces on British television, said the idea was born of seeing car-customizing crews meeting up on the seafront where they grew up in northeast England.
Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly present several of ITV’s biggest primetime entertainment shows, including “Saturday Night Takeaway,” “Britain’s Got Talent,” and “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.”
They have a deal with ITV that ties them to the broadcaster in terms of onscreen work, but their shingle, Mitre, can work up ideas for all channels and platforms, which is how they landed a BBC pilot – they will be creative consultants but not appear in the car competition show.
The duo are at Mipcom in Cannes this week to talk about their work and “In for a Penny,” a game show format that is entering its second season on ITV and was spun out of a segment on “Saturday Night Takeaway,” which Mitre co-produces with ITV Studios. Another format, “That Singalong Show,” has been spun out of “Saturday Night Takeaway” and is being shopped as a format by ITV Studios.
“We see it as a creative-ideas hub that we put our ideas through. We then seek the right production partner,” Donnelly said of Mitre. It is working with several British production companies, including Talkback, Hungry Bear and Voltage.
“We want to be quite agile because the landscape is changing so much,” he added. “We want to come up with ideas and content and not just for linear broadcasters, but all of the streaming and social media services as well. We’re more of a creative hub, an ideas house, rather than a traditional TV production company.”
Ant and Dec fronted ABC’s version of “Wanna Bet” more than a decade ago and said that if the right project came along, they would have another crack at the U.S. “I love American television. I watch a lot of their entertainment and drama,” McPartlin said. “A few years ago we did ‘Wanna Bet,’ which didn’t work as well as we wanted it to… but we’d definitely give it another go if the right show came along.”