Belfast Telegraph

Rick Edwards bemoans lack of shows to give young presenters big breaks

The TV star found fame hosting T4 on Channel 4.

TV star Rick Edwards has bemoaned a “real absence” of programmes to give young presenters their start.

The Impossible game show host found fame on T4 on Channel 4 and E4, which aired at weekends and in school holidays.

Other presenters who got their breaks on the scheduling slot include Simon Amstell, Dave Berry, Alexa Chung, Matt Edmondson, Nick Grimshaw, Jameela Jamil, Vernon Kay and Miquita Oliver.

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Alexa Chung also hosted T4 (Ian West/PA)

Edwards, who was a presenter from 2007 to 2011, told the Press Association: “I wonder how people come through now, without it (that kind of show).

“T4 was amazing for that. If you look at all of the people who have come through it, all of them, pretty much, have done well.

“Or even the music stuff, I started out doing music stuff on E4. There is a bit of that on 4Music, but there is no CD:UK or SMTV, shows where young presenters can start out. There’s a real absence.”

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Ant McPartlin, Declan Donnelly and Cat Deeley hosted SMTV Live (Peter Jordan/PA)

Edwards added that the advent of social media has changed things a lot, adding: “When I started out trying to be a TV presenter, I had no means of filming myself. So you’d pretty much just go in and meet people and say, ‘Well, I think I would be good at this’.

“Whereas now obviously you can film stuff, to a pretty high quality, yourself, on your phone, upload it, see if people like it and that’s really helpful.

“But at the same time, I don’t know where that necessarily leads, because I think that there is a difference between being a YouTuber (and a presenter).

“I think what they do is similar to presenting but it isn’t presenting. I couldn’t do what they do, it’s very natural, very honest, very open, really good communicators, but it isn’t the same as presenting.

“I think there was a time I imagined that all of the new presenters would be YouTubers but that hasn’t really happened. And I think it’s because they’re different skill sets.”

Edwards said he is still in touch with his friends and colleagues from his T4 days, saying he was about to meet Miquita Oliver.

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Edwards is still friends with Miquita Oliver (Peter Byrne/PA)

He said: “And I still see Alexa, although she’s all over the place all of the time. I think I’m seeing her in the next couple of weeks.

“I used to see Steve (Jones) more before he started doing Formula One, but now he’s just never in the country.

“So haven’t seen him for a while, but would like to – me and Miquita and Steve used to go out and play pool together quite a lot.

“And I still see Grimmy and Matt, so kind of stayed in touch with everyone really.”

Edwards’s quiz show Impossible will soon return with celebrity contestants, including Gregg Wallace and Debbie McGee, and he said: “I really love the show, I love the format, I think it really works and it makes sense that it would work with celebrities.

“You don’t quite know, but I think it really did. And it was fun doing it with celebrities. They’re sort of a nightmare, when you’ve got 18 of them, trying to wrangle them all. But it’s worth it.”

Impossible Celebrities starts on BBC One on Saturday, August 18.

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