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Best Host of a Format

About this category

Best Host of a Format


FredFilIn the international format business, the host of the show often plays second fiddle to the format itself, since it’s commercially imperative that the format can be adapted in new territories with new presenters and still work as a show.


Nevertheless, the host is key to making the format a success in each territory where it is produced. And there are many instances when the host really gives the format an extra something that goes beyond what was written on paper or originally envisaged by the creators. Would the original Who Wants to be a Millionaire? have been the same without Chris Tarrant at the helm? And think of the extra ‘secret sauce’ that Steve Harvey has brought to formats like Family Feud.


JokoSometimes the host even gives the show a whole new dimension that then becomes an integral part of the format itself, and is replicated by local hosts when the format travels. Who can forget how Anne Robinson’s acerbic wit and raised eyebrow transformed what was a straightforward daytime quiz format into The Weakest Link?


Therefore, it’s only right and proper that hosts get their own category at the International Format Awards, which are this year being held online. The awards will be presented on, surrounded by a series of digital initiatives that celebrate the best in creativity from all around the world, held in association with FRAPA, EMC and MipFormats this month.


MichaelThe Best Host of a Format award is designed to recognise talent in front of the camera and will be given to the person the judges feel have played a key role in enhancing a format by the sheer strength of personality, flair and unique approach to fronting a television format.


Finalists in the category this year include eight hosts of six programmes from four countries: Sweden, Germany, the UK and the US. Two finalists are actually double-acts hosting, and the genres covered in the category this year include quiz, physical challenge and comedy.


From Sweden comes duo Filip Hammar and Fredrik Wikingsson (aka Filip and Fredrik), hosts of Kanal 5’s high-volume quizshow Head to Head. The award-winning show is produced by Nexiko, which the hosts set up with former Kanal 5 exec Lars Beckung, and is distributed by All3Media International.


StephenAnother hosting double-act is in the mix with Joko Winterscheidt and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf (aka Joko and Klaas), who front German show Beat the Channel on ProSieben. The format, already commissioned for a third season by the broadcaster, is being distributed by Red Arrow Studios International. Described as “a riotous new entertainment gameshow,” it gives two TV presenters the chance to win a 15-minute live broadcast slot and is produced by Joko and Klaas’ prodco Florida Entertainment.


The hosts of two UK series are also finalists in this category: Michael McIntyre and Stephen Mulhern. McIntyre is in the running for his turn hosting primetime Saturday night comedy series Michael McIntyre’s Big Show for BBC1, which is produced by Hungry Bear Media and distributed by NBCUniversal Formats Distribution.


RobMulhern, meanwhile, is the face of action-packed gameshow In For A Penny on ITV, based on a popular segment from variety show Saturday Night Takeaway. The gameshow, which takes place on the streets with unsuspecting members of the public, is produced by ITV Studios and Mitre Television and is distributed by ITV Studios.


Two hosts of big US network primetime shows are also in the running for best host this year. Rob Riggle, host of Holey Moley on ABC, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who presents The Titan Games on NBC.


RockProduced for ABC by Eureka Productions and Unanimous Media, golf-themed Holey Moley premiered stateside in June last year and was renewed last fall, with the second season teeing off last month. The format is being distributed internationally by Disney/ABC.


The Titan Games, meanwhile, is produced by NBCUniversal Television Alternative Studio, Seven Bucks Productions and A Smith & Co Productions. The show debuted on the US network in January 2019 and last month launched its second season. The format is distributed by NBCUniversal Formats Distribution.


Watch out for the finalists in the Best Multi-Platform Format category tomorrow on


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