Bradley Walsh 'sparks BBC and ITV bidding war as they battle to sign the new Brucie'
BRADLEY Walsh has reportedly started an intense "bidding war" between the BBC and ITV as they search for the next Bruce Forsyth.
The presenter, who now appears on the box most days of the week, is high in demand – clocking up 28 hours of viewing time in the past 21 days.
Now Bradley, 60, is said to be stuck in the middle of a battle between the two network giants – who both want him exclusively.
A source told the Mail on Sunday: "There are some high up at the BBC who see him as the next Bruce Forsyth.
"Bradley is the man they want to present their Saturday night prime-time shows."
The actor, who is thought to be worth £11.5million, hasn't signed any golden handcuff deals yet, though.
Those close to him have hinted that Bradley is enjoying being able to pick and choose what shows to appear on.
"He is holding the cards," the source added. "He is a ratings winner, so can have the pick of whatever he wants.
"It has become a competition now: who can land Bradley?"
Bradley recently accepted to star in ITV's The Darling Buds Of May later this year as Pop Larkin, originally played by David Jason in the 1990s series.
However, it's also thought he will host a new series of Blankety Blank on the BBC following the success of the Christmas pilot, which attracted 5.3million viewers.
The festive period alone – from December 20 to yesterday – saw the presenter clock up 27 hours, 33 minutes and 30 seconds of time across all networks.
ITV quiz show The Chase took up 23 hours of Walsh's hosting time, including the celebrity special, the 'bloopers' episode and Beat The Chasers.
He was also the front man for the one-hour ITV programme Bradley Walsh's How To Win A Gameshow on December 20.
On Christmas Day, Blankety Blank saw Bradley back for another 40 minutes on the box, stepping into the shoes of late legends Terry Wogan and Les Dawson.
New Year's Eve continued with more appearances, where he starred in his final episode of Doctor Who on BBC1.
Bradley, who is married to actress Donna Derby, also has his own ITV show called Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad, with son Barney, 23.
The latest series begins tomorrow after it was cancelled on last Monday to make way for Boris Johnson's address to the nation.
Promoting all of his shows, Bradley spent an hour with Jonathan Ross for an ITV Christmas special, as well as eight minutes on This Morning.
Before turning his hand to presenting, Walsh previously starred in Coronation Street and Law & Order: UK.
He was a professional footballer before switching to showbusiness, playing for both Brentford and Barnet.
If that wasn't all – he is also a talented musician, winning the best-selling debut by a British artist in 2016, beating One Direction's Zayn Malik.
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