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Carbon Copy: ITV shows with a taste of the BBC

With ITV set to take The Voice from the BBC after the next series, the UK's largest commercial channel is placing its hopes on a second-hand TV show, as The X Factor continues to suffer in the ratings. But it's not the first time the channel has either taken or copied a show from the BBC:

Replace cakes and bread with burgers and sausages, and you have ITV's answer to the Great British Bake Off: BBQ Champ.

In the show, contestants were challenged to prepare a barbeque masterpiece. They were judged and one of them got sent home. You know the format...

In 2006, ITV poached Antony Worrall-Thompson from BBC One's Saturday Kitchen and launched Saturday Cooks!

It even overlapped the BBC original, with James Martin taking over the presenting duties.

Saturday Cooks! was gradually moved later into the day as vanished in 2007, although it did spawn spin-offs, including a daily cookery show which disappeared from ITV schedules during 2010.

Since 1988, the BBC has featured rural affairs in weekly magazine show Countryfile. The show has broadened its appeal beyond just farming issues, covering a whole spectrum of outdoor events and activities and wildlife reports. In 2009, Countryfile went prime-time on BBC One. Just weeks before the move, ITV launched its own version Countrywise, albeit usually scheduled on weekday evenings.

Countrywise even boasts former Countryfile presenter Ben Fogle as part of its team.

ITV's current breakfast show is also not exactly an ITV original, although this time not a copy of the BBC: Good Morning Britain is inspired by the presentation of US breakfast shows. ITV staff consulted with US networks when developing the latest incarnation of ITV breakfast.

All of the above shows have proved to attract fewer viewers on ITV than the originals on the BBC. Will The Voice prove different, given that by the time it reaches ITV, it will be in its sixth series, and viewers are showing signs of tiring of the whole genre.

In fact it seems ITV is a bit of a magpie when it comes to BBC shows. Appropriately Magpie was the name of the children's show that was launched in the late 1960s as ITV's version of the BBC's Blue Peter...

ITV has recently called for the BBC to be restricted in what it can broadcast. The commercial broadcaster said there should be a blanket ban on the BBC running any acquired content or formats on either BBC One or BBC Two. Incidentally, here's a selection of BBC programmes are now made by ITV-owned production companies: The Voice, Eggheads, Kolkata with Sue Perkins and The Graham Norton Show. 

Based on its history, cutting the BBC back, may have an unexpected effect on ITV, given that it's not been willing to try new formats, at least not until the BBC has tried and succeeded with them. What will it have left to copy?


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