Des O'Connor signs new deal

Veteran host Des O’Connor has landed a multi-million pound pay packet after signing deals for a raft of shows.

Veteran host Des O’Connor has landed a multi-million pound pay packet after signing deals for a raft of shows.

The presenter has signed up for a further 70 hours of his hit Today With Des and Mel afternoon show.

And in a separate deal he is to front a number of prime time shows featuring one-to-one interviews with big name stars for ITV1 this autumn.

A source close to the star said O’Connor’s deal was worth more than £3m (€4.3m).

O’Connor has had a prime time TV show in each of the past 40 years but he has now found a new daytime audience after launching his show with co-host Melanie Sykes last year.

It soon found a loyal audience with its mix of topical chat, celebrity guests and music and it became a cult hit with students. The next series is due to begin next month on ITV1.

His evening programmes – to be called Des O’Connor With ... – will be shown this autumn and guests will include Ricky Gervais, who will bounce back in The Office this Christmas.

O’Connor will also meet Sanjeev Bhaskar from The Kumars at No 42 and Goodness Gracious Me, while other specials will be devoted to Joan Rivers and Jo Brand.

Prior to those shows he is presenting a Bank Holiday Monday special, Des O’Connor Comedy Tonight, in which he chats to Ronnie Corbett, Deadringers mimic Jon Culshaw and Channel 4 comic Jimmy Carr.

Speaking about the return of his daytime show, O’Connor said: “I said at the beginning of the last series of Today With Des and Mel the show is the viewers’ daily fix of fun.

“We have a fantastic audience and we get mail and e-mail from all over the world and Mel and I are delighted that the show is a huge hit with the students.”

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