“The reality is, everything hinges on the new host!” continues the source. “The face of the show will make or break it, so the wrong move could be a disaster for the network.”
This is Your Life debuted back in 1975, hosted by the late great Mike Willesee. The heartwarming format soon found its way into the hearts of the nation.
Over the years, its tried-and-tested formula celebrating the lives of remarkable Australians with other big-name hosts, like distinguished veteran Roger Climpson, and later Mike Munro and Eddie McGuire, was a TV ratings winner.
Aussie legends Steve Irwin, Betty Cuthbert, and Bert Newton were among those honoured for their extraordinary contribution, including special visits from international stars such as John Travolta.
“Michael is the obvious choice and the frontrunner to get it – he has a lovely warmth about him. That said, the network may take a bit of a gamble and test the waters with Shane. He’s keen to secure a new gig that gives him some longevity,” says the insider.
Indeed, Shane is likely itching for a project given COVID restrictions derailed his judging gig on Australia’s Got Talent in 2021. The program has been shelved for some months, with no official word from Channel 7 about its future.
“Joh might give chase for the gig – she would be the first woman to host the show in five decades, which could do well for Channel 7,” tells the source.
“But then there’s Sam. She’s realised this could be her big break. It remains to be seen if Channel 7 is prepared to take such a risk, considering she’s really only done breakfast TV.”
What’s more, the insider reveals there’s plans to engage both new viewers and the generations of Australians who remember the show from before, with This is Your Life returning as a series of special events.
“Whoever they choose, they need to be sure the original format is not lost. Who didn’t love the tear-jerker reunions?!” says the source.
“This is Australia’s favourite show, so they need to get it right.”
Read more in this week's issue of New Idea, on sale now.