Belfast Telegraph

Baker tipped to replace Manford

Strictly Come Dancing star Matt Baker has become favourite to take over as The One Show host after Jason Manford quit over his online "flirting" with fans.

Comic Jason, 29, handed in his notice to BBC1 bosses last night, just four months after taking the coveted position after an admission of "saucy" contacts with women over the internet.

Now it has emerged Countryfile host Matt - currently a contestant on the dance competition - will take Jason's place on the show next week and has been ranked as the bookies' favourite to take over the role permanently.

Jason, whose wife is heavily pregnant, said in a statement: "I have decided after careful consideration to step down from The One Show to concentrate on my family and tour commitments."

The BBC said: "We have got nothing to say except that we accept Jason's decision."

Corporation bosses were already unhappy about revelations regarding his text messages to a female fan.

Speaking to The Sun, Jason admitted he had "flirted" with 10 or 12 people online which "went over the line with a few".

Bookmaker William Hill has placed Matt as evens favourite to take over. However, the former Blue Peter host could be tied up with his Strictly commitments for another month.He has also signed up to take part in the ballroom contest's live tour which begins in mid-January and continues for four weeks.

Matt will share duties with Chris Evans next week as the BBC works out short-term replacements for the presenter following Jason's decision to quit.

Matt will front the show on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week, while Chris will stand in on Thursday, in addition to his regular Friday role.

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