Cowell is said to be in advanced talks with ITV and Marks & Spencer about a new cooking show which will feature dishes having a strong British theme.
The programme would start off with a number of regional heats in front of a panel of food experts before moving on to the finals stage which might involve contestants having to cook on live primetime television.
The eventual winner would go home with a cash prize of £20k as well as having the opportunity to have their special meal sold through Marks & Spencer nationwide. A source close to Cowell said that the show would have a strong Jubilee/Best of British theme and they stressed that the programme would be open to all ages and all sorts of cuisine.
Cowell has talked before about launching a new food programme and said at the time that his ideal host would be Dawn French. It is thought however that with Dawn recently signing up to be a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar the frontrunner to host the new show is Dermot O’Leary who has worked with him before on the X Factor. O’Leary also has a strong interest in food as he is the co-owner of restaurant Fishy Fishy in East Street, Brighton. This gives a further link with Cowell as Brighton is his city of birth.
A formal announcement on the new cooking show is expected later this month with a likely airing date of February next year.
The shots show Lindsay Lohan recreating one of Elizabeth Taylor’s signature looks with her dark hair, expensive jewellery and a stunning low-cut dress.
The new movie stars Lohan as Taylor and Grant Bowler as her fiery lover and two-time husband Richard Burton. The pair caused a lot of controversy when they became lovers after becoming attracted to one another whilst filming Cleopatra. At the time Taylor was married to Eddie Fisher the US singer who had left his wife Debbie Reynolds to marry her. Burton was also married at the time to his first wife Sybil Williams although he something of a reputation already as a ladies man.
The Burton Taylor affair led to such a public outcry that The Vatican went so far as to accuse Taylor of “erotic vagrancy.” It is interesting to note that despite the fact he was also married that Burton was not accused in the same way.
The filming of Cleopatra was controversial in many ways apart from the on and off-screen chemistry between Taylor and Burton. Taylor asked for and got a record $1m fee for her role as Cleopatra and the movie is still judged as probably the most expensive film ever made when you adjust the 1960’s costs for inflation (it cost $44m back in 1963).
Lindsay Lohan has said of her new role: ‘I have always admired and had enormous respect for Elizabeth Taylor. She was not only an incredible actress but an amazing woman as well. I am very honoured to have been asked to play this role.’
Her new role might prove a welcome return to acting form for Lohan who has made more headlines in recent years for her off-screen activities in court, in jail and doing community service at the local morgue.
When Lohan and Bowler first walked on set in full make up and costume it is said that there were audible gasps from the people on set. The pair are said to have a striking resemblance to the 1960’s looks of Burton and Taylor.
Liz and Dick is due to be screened some time this autumn.