Play to the Whistle axed

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 5 September 2017
Holly Willoughby

Holly Willoughby

Holly Willoughby's 'Play to the Whistle' has been axed due to the presenter and team captains Frank Lampard and Bradley Walsh's busy schedules

'Play to the Whistle' has been axed.

The Holly Willoughby-fronted sports quiz programme, which features Frank Lampard and Bradley Walsh as team captains, has received its marching orders after three series due to the trio's busy schedules and after failing to perform as well as show bosses had hoped.

A source said: "ITV loved the format and panel shows are historically popular.

"Having Holly as host is a big draw as are Bradley and Frank as captains.

"But it hasn't performed as they'd hoped so they are resting it for now."

However, the show will be substituted back onto the schedule for special episodes to run alongside major sporting events, such as next year's World Cup in Russia.

The source added to The Sun newspaper: "They still plan to bring it out for big sporting occasions, such as the football World Cup next year but it won't run for another full series.

"Holly is going to be up to her eyes in it with 'Dancing On Ice' and 'This Morning', and Frank and Bradley have a lot on their plate with their other commitments.

"The regulars and guests did a great job but it just didn't work out."

The panel game show - which is executive produced by Holly's husband Dan Baldwin - kicked off on April 2015 with an eight episode series.

The second and third series, which ended in April this year, featured just six eps.

'Play to the Whistle' had regularly attracted more than 3.5 million viewers for a number of shows, but one episode last season - featuring Ashley Cole as a guest - attracted just 1.43 million.

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