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Jools Holland to be joined by co-hosts in shake-up to music show

BBC Studios retains contracts for Jools Holland’s Later and Hootenanny (Ian West/PA)
BBC Studios retains contracts for Jools Holland’s Later and Hootenanny (Ian West/PA)

Jools Holland will be joined by co-hosts on his music show as part of a revamp of the series, the BBC has announced.

The contemporary music programme airs twice weekly, with a 30-minute midweek episode and an hour-long episode at the end of the week.

It features a variety of artists performing in front of a studio audience as Holland acts as master of ceremonies and joins in on the piano.

Holland will share presenting duties with a different special guest each week during the longer of the two broadcasts.

In the previous series, a guest would introduce one act but this will be the first time in the programme’s 27 years that Holland has had an official co-host.

A new bid from the programme’s long-time production company BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, also pledged to revitalise the series by making the 60-minute end of week show “more relaxed”.

It now will include “unique” performances, bespoke films and backstage interviews.

BBC Studios fended off competition from a number of bids from other producers to take over Later… with Jools Holland and his Annual Hootenanny following a tender process, part of a strategy launched by the BBC in 2014 in line with the latest Charter agreement.

The Government has asked for all existing BBC Studios network TV output to be put out to competitive tender over the next 11 years.

Both Later… with Jools Holland and his New Year’s Eve special will continue to be produced by BBC Studios for a further two years.

Its proposal was considered to be the strongest from all of the bids and was praised for its “fresh ideas” to help evolve the shows.

There will be four series of six weeks each of Later… with Jools Holland over two years from autumn 2019 to spring 2021, and two Annual Hootenanny shows in December 2019 and 2020.

Filming will return to London, after moving to Maidstone Studios in 2012 during Television Centre’s redevelopment.

Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two, said: “With its unique curatorial vision and commitment to performance, Later… with Jools Holland is a vital part of the BBC Two schedule.

“For this tender process, we asked for fresh ideas to evolve this great show and were really excited by the vision and bold thinking of the BBC Studios team.

“I’m confident that the winning bid will build on the show’s famous history and develop it in an exciting direction.

“I’d like to thank all those that took part in the tender process and congratulate BBC Studios.”

Jan Younghusband, head of music TV commissioning, said: “BBC Studios, with their unique combination of musical expertise in live shows, knowledge of the music industry and artists, and narrative excellence, were the right choice to take the show forward to its future and attract new audiences whilst maintaining its strong musical curation.”

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