Studio 5 makes way for OK TV

Launched last month, Channel 5's teatime show OK TV aims to "celebrate the world of celebrity" after replacing Live at Studio 5. Nikki Wicks reports

OK TV: Presenters Kate Walsh and Matt Johnson hope to connect with audiences more successfully than Live from Studio 5
OK TV: Presenters Kate Walsh and Matt Johnson hope to connect with audiences more successfully than Live from Studio 5

PR professionals who have weekly magazine OK on their media lists should start familiarising themselves with a new outlet for celebrity gossip, news and interviews - Channel 5's teatime show OK TV.

The magazine spin-off made its television debut on 14 February after a Channel 5 rebrand under new owner Richard Desmond, who bought the channel in July 2010 for £103m.

Last week, it was reported that Desmond had begun proceedings for the sale of his Northern & Shell magazine empire, including the flagship celebrity-led monthly OK, suggesting further investment in his television venture.

OK TV replaces Live from Studio 5, the ill-fated programme that launched in September 2009 but failed to win over audiences.

David Kermode, editor of 5 News and OK TV, says the new show has similarities to Live at Studio 5, but it is a 'much more mainstream, glossier proposition that really celebrates the world of celebrity'. Like its predecessor and 5 News, the show is produced by BSkyB.

Kermode says the show will have the same feel as OK magazine in terms of content, style and tone.

However, he warns PROs that the programme is not simply the magazine transferred to television.

'There are rules that Ofcom imposes governing what we do,' Kermode explains. 'We're not allowed to replicate the magazine on the television. We operate separately.

'Clearly we are trying to reflect the magazine brand in a positive way, but it's not simply a case of what goes in the magazine goes on OK TV, or vice versa.'

However, Justin Jeffreys, account director at Taylor Herring, says the magazine is a good place to start when looking for inspiration on what might work for OK TV.

'From a PR point of view you can get a good idea of what is going to work for a show like that because you only have to pick up a copy of the magazine and it is obvious that there is a synergy between the two.'

The programme is broadcast at 6.35pm on weekdays for 35 minutes and presented by Kate Walsh and Matt Johnson. It features a number of regular contributors including fashion commentator and Eden Cancan's creative director Nick Ede and Big Brother winner Josie Gibson, who presents a weekly report on the world of celebrity Twitter.

Kermode says the celebrity emphasis of OK TV is a great opportunity for PROs: 'We obviously have a market for big-name guests. If there is a brand launch with a major celebrity spearheading it, there is a good opportunity to get them on for a chat.'

Jeffreys adds: 'It's one of the only evening chat shows on TV that is celebrity focused, so for a PRO it certainly serves a purpose.

'The show is on later in the evening, so it always fits in quite well when putting together a press schedule.'

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