Peter Crouch’s status as king of the podcasts has landed him a primetime slot on the BBC.
The former Stoke City striker has been top of the BBC charts for That Peter Crouch Podcast, which was downloaded and played 12 million times in 2019.
And now he has been lined up to fill the void left by Euro 2020, which has been pushed back until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer will start on BBC One at 9.15pm on Saturday, with episode one featuring appearances from Rio Ferdinand, comedian Chris Ramsey and Kasabian star Serge Pizzorno; Mo Farah and Ellie Simmonds joining Crouch for “this week’s sporting tournament” and Crouch sky-diving with Jermaine Jenas.
Comedian Alex Horne and Radio One DJ Maya Jama will be co-presenting what Crouch describes as a mix of comedy, sport and music.
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The 45-minute programme replaces Mrs Brown’s Boys in the Saturday night schedule, following Michael McIntyre’s Big Show and followed by the news and the lockdown version of Match of the Day; MOTD Top 10 with Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright.
Crouch said: “Everything’s been cancelled – Wimbledon. Euros, music festivals, Olympics… We are attempting to bring a little bit of all of them in a show on a Saturday night.
“We have an amazing studio guest each night, sportsmen competing against each other and a music gig from some top bands and artists from their garden.
“Hopefully it will put a smile on faces. That’s the aim. I’ve signed up because I know it will be fun, hopefully everyone gets on board and has a great time with us.
“We have Olympians competing against each other, we have great music, acts surprising fans and me trying not to kill myself with a load of my football mates in extreme retirement videos.”
The show had been intended to be a companion programme for the football but plans have had to be changed.
Horne added in an interview for The Guardian: “The idea was that Peter, me and my band [the Horne Section] and Maya Jama would host a show maybe once or twice a week during the Euros, talking about a game with some music and comedy.
“Although the games are off, the BBC have trusted us to have a go and bring a bit of sunshine to viewers. It might even be better without the football, as England can be quite disappointing.”
It is another big step in the post-playing career of 39-year-old Crouch, who left Stoke in January 2019 after seven-and-a-half years.
He has also released two hit books offering anecdotes from the changing room and training ground and worked as a Premier League and Champions League pundit.
The BBC’s blurb says: “Using the full scope of communication technology and the hosts showbiz-heavy phonebook, Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer will take advantage of everyone being stuck at home to remotely bring audiences live music, replacement sports action, exclusive comedy, celebrity guests, interactive audience fun and VT adventures from all over the country – and beyond.
“An entertainment show like no other for a time like no other, the series picks up where the cancelled festivals, tournaments and gatherings left off and takes a running jump into the night.
“So sit back with Peter, Maya, Alex and his band plus a host of other special guests and get ready to party for a summer like no other. Besides, who needs a studio audience, anyway?”