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Monday, June 14, 1999 Published at 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK


Lulu gingers up Saturdays

Lulu with Sir Elton John earlier this year

Sixties star Lulu has something to shout about - she is hosting a new Saturday night show on BBC One.

Red Alert - made by Chris Evans' company Ginger Productions - sees her performing live in front of a studio audience with big name stars.

She will also scour the country for people to join her in the studio as well as taking part in outside broadcasts from different locations each week.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Lulu had her own prime-time show on the BBC, which was dropped in 1975. Since then she has turned down all offers to return to TV.

She said: "The ideas behind Red Alert and the fact it is to be produced by Ginger Television - whose programmes I have always loved - was just too good an opportunity to miss.

[ image: Chris Evans: The deal is a coup for his Ginger Productions outfit]
Chris Evans: The deal is a coup for his Ginger Productions outfit
"Not only does it feature my first love - music - it is also about celebration and simply having fun, which after all is what Saturday night should be all about."

The show will also include the National Lottery draw, a job currently held by Winning Lines, presented by Simon Mayo.

Bill Hillary, head of the BBC's Independent Commissioning Group - which deals with production outfits like Ginger - said: "We are delighted that Lulu is coming to BBC One. She's a star with universal appeal and has been on the wish list of many broadcasters for many years."

The deal also marks a coup for Ginger Productions. Until now, the company has been best-known for Chris Evans' own vehicles, such as TFI Friday and Don't Forget Your Toothbrush on Channel 4, and this will be its first major prime-time show. Another BBC project the company is working on is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about weddings.

BBC bosses will be hoping Lulu can help them re-establish their lead over ITV on Saturday nights, following the cancellation of Noel's House Party after low ratings earlier this year.

Ironically, one of Lulu's rivals will be another star of 1960s and 1970s TV - Blind Date host Cilla Black - who will return to ITV with another series of The Moment Of Truth.

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