FROM Sooty and Sweep to Kermit and Miss Piggy, our screens were once filled with innocent puppet romances.
Now a new generation of felt-covered figures is ready to get dirty in a new Channel 4 show headlined by former Great British Bake Off presenter Mel Giedroyc.
The Really, Really Rude Puppet Show will see her introduce a different celebrity each week reading erotic fan fiction, about the stars themselves.
Every spooky detail will be acted out, with celebrities providing the words that the puppets will lip-sync.
An insider from television said: “This is without a doubt one of the strangest and most brilliant shows ever devised, and it is certainly a departure for Mel.
“She will be joined by a famous face who will have to remember some of the raunchy things that have been written about them over the years.”
The group of six will see each celebrity join Mel for a “private book club” session, with host and guest not knowing which story they’ll be up against.
Mel said: “This is going to be a celebration of erotic fan fiction. With puppets. Imagine a world where Jackie Collins meets Thunderbirds. I really want to take a trip to Love Island. . . through Tracy Island.
The show will air later this year, and viewers should expect plenty of laughs, with celebrities like Harry Styles and The Chase’s Anne Hegerty at the forefront of fans’ fantasies.
So maybe it’s best we just see these steamy thoughts acted out by puppets. . . instead of the real thing.
SELLING Sunset has been renewed for a sixth and seventh season, it was announced yesterday. Production on the next installments of the Netflix favorite will begin this summer.
The show follows the wild lives of real estate agents selling glamorous properties in Los Angeles and has made many of its central characters stars.
WHAT CORD DO I TOUCH?
WITH his success on The Late Late Show, you’d forgive James Corden for having a big head.
And that’s what he and comedian Ben Falcone got on the latest edition of their show as they sang Puff The Magic Dragon in a skit joined by Melissa McCarthy.
Just a heads up: There are more big names when he brings the talk show to London next week, including President Joe Biden, Vin Diesel, Jamie Dornan and John Boyega.
C4 ON THE HUNT FOR THE BEST TOURIST
CHANNEL 4 hopes to take the notion of competitive vacations to another level with a new daytime show called Strangers On A Plane.
At the start of the week, five starving Brits on holiday will fly into the same hotspot, each taking control of the group’s activities for 24 hours.
The sunseeker whose day is crowned best wins another week in the sun to enjoy with their friends or family.
Channel 4’s Gill Brown said of the show, which is now broadcasting: “Strangers On A Plane is set to be a wild and raucous daytime delight.”
Come have dinner with me, but adding tan lines and pina coladas? Count on me.
FLOELLA’S ABUSE HELL
DAME FLOELLA BENJAMIN is a highly respected broadcaster.
But the great Play School has revealed the horrific sexual abuse it suffered on its rise to the top. Writing in her new book, What Are You Doing Here?, Floella recounted how she was engaged by a BBC producer in the early 1970s.
She said, “I had gone looking for a job, and another powerful producer auditioned me alone in his office. Can you move, Floella? she asked her, and I started to dance.
“He jumped on top of me. He was horrified, but my fighting instincts hadn’t died. I kicked him as hard as I could and ran out of the building, devastated.”
Elsewhere in the book, she details how a director on another show cut her scenes after she rejected his advances. Nearly 50 years later, it’s hard to know how much has really changed.
THERE’S NO LOVE IN BRUV — RYLAN
It was inevitable that he would be in the running to present the much-discussed reboot of Big Brother on ITV, but Rylan Clark is a long way from landing the job.
He told tonight’s The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan on Channel 4: “I keep hearing the rumours, but nobody has called me. I’ve been campaigning since the day we found out.”
But Rylan, who won Celebrity Big Brother 11, made it clear he hoped it wouldn’t return to ITV as a hybrid of BB and the channel’s other big reality show.
He said: “You have to go back to basics. We have Love Island and it’s amazing and it works, but I don’t want Love Islanders in the Big Brother house.
“I want real people to live in that house like Jean from Wolverhampton.”
Rylan added: “I want Big Brother to return where there is no outside interference or contact.”
WALFORD DE NANCY’S GOODBYE
The final scenes of MADDY HILL as Nancy Carter aired on EastEnders last night, leaving fans in shock as she had just returned to the role.
Nancy decided to run away from Walford for a new life in Manchester after her boyfriend Zack Hudson cheated on her.
Maddy told me, “It’s been great to revisit Nancy and the Square over the past year, but for now it seemed like the right time to move on. I miss you all already and feel so grateful to work with people I love so much.”
Maddy’s on-screen father, Danny Dyer, will also be leaving the soap this Christmas. And he comes after The Sun revealed how devastated actress Danielle Harold was when she was told she was going to be fired.