herald

Thursday 21 August 2014

Busy Craig motors his way on to primetime with new series

HE'S finally happy with the format of the Craig Doyle Show -- and now Craig (41) has landed a primetime UK series.

"I've a new reality TV show starting on ITV," Craig told the Herald.

"It's called GT Academy and it's a reality racing car show."

The show is like the X Factor but for future Formula One drivers.

Created by Nissan and Playstation, the series turns virtual boy racers into real-life ones.

"It's been running for years," the former BBC Sports anchor explained.

"It was a show on Channel 4 for the last couple of years but ITV have now bought the format. I present the show and think it's awesome. I'm a big sports fan so loved working on it."

The show sees online video gamers trade their console for a circuit. They leave the online community behind and take to the track, in a bid to become the next Lewis Hamilton.

The show will air early next year and Craig can't wait.

"I'm really looking forward to it. I think it's going to be great."

It's a busy few months for Craig.

"I'm working away on the Craig Doyle Show and I've got some other projects I'm doing for ITV so I'm a busy man."

It's been a year of highs and lows for Enniskerry native Craig.

While he's been inundated with work, his flagship series The Craig Doyle Show hasn't fared so well. The show was subjected to much criticism when it first started as The Social.



TINKERING

However, thanks to some tinkering, his show, since renamed The Craig Doyle Show, has flourished.

Craig insists that the series has finally found its feet and puts its success down to the Euros.

"It took a while for it to establish itself," Craig admits.

"But I think the Euros really helped us find our niche and cleared up the identity of the series. "You've got to find your groove," Craig explained. "Ryan does his thing on Friday night and Brendan has his crowd on Saturday. So we had to find our own 'thing'.

"I think RTE needed someone to do sports chat and more 'lads stuff' and that's what I'm about."

Craig says that once he stopped trying so hard, the series really came into its own.

"Being a chat show host is weird because you start doing a chat show and pretend to be a chat show host and you make a b******s of it.

And then you sort of go 'stuff this' and you just be yourself and you do a much better job."

hnews@herald.ie

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