Harry Hill to quit TV Burp?

What are the chances of that happening?

Harry Hill could be ready to quit TV Burp after nine years, it has been reported.

His ITV contract expires next year, and the comic is said to have turned down an extra £1million deal to continue.

However, both ITV and Avalon – Hill’s agents and the producers of TV Burp – insist no decision has yet been made.

Contract negotiations have yet to be held about the future of TV Burp beyond 2012 - but budget, Hill’s willingness to continue, and the length of the series will all be factors.

The 46-year-old comic has previously spoken about how demanding the show is to make. ‘I do dread making the show. Watching TV is all-consuming,’ he said after the stress of making 21 episodes a year took its toll. ‘It would be easy to coast and make the same show every week, and we could probably get away with it, but we are quite hard on ourselves’.

Recent series have been eight episodes to reduce the stress.

Elsewhere, it has been reported that Hill has been approached by Simon Cowell’s company about writing jokes for a planned new West End musical based around the X Factor.

Last year, before ITV signed the £5million deal for two more years of TV Burp and You've Been Framed, it was reported that Sky had been interested in poaching him. But at the time, Hill said: ‘If you're a light entertainer there's really only one place to be on a Saturday night, and that's ITV.’

TV Burp is a ratings winner for ITV, but the last series showed a notable decline in audiences, averaging 4.9million compared to 6.1million in 2010. The new series starts on October 8, with another batch of episodes starting after the new year.

A spokesperson for Avalon said: ‘Harry has a lot of commitments in the next year, but a final decision has not yet been reached and everyone is very much looking forward to the upcoming series.’

Following reports in The Sun today that Hill would be quitting, ITV added that they had a ‘great relationship’ with the comedian, and that a further series would be shown in 2012.

Published: 29 Sep 2011

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