Comedian Rosie Jones is to host a new cooking and chat show for Channel 4 in a “big stride forward” for representation of disability in the TV formats.
Dine Hard, which will feature one third disabled talent in front of and behind the camera and sees the TV star joined by famous friends, is one of three new commissions for Bridlington-born Rosie from the channel.
She will also get back on the road for a second series of her adventure series Trip Hazard, in which she travels to the unlikeliest destinations around the UK to experience the unusual and quirky activities on offer in each location.
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Rosie, who has ataxic cerebral palsy, which causes slow speech, will also front a one-off, as yet untitled documentary exploring society’s attitudes towards disabled people.
The panel show regular frequently receives abuse on social media and will use this as a starting point to investigate how widespread the problem is, looking particularly at the specifics of the language used towards disabled people to build a picture of the nature of society’s attitudes towards them.
She will meet other people targeted for abuse about being disabled as well as those campaigning for change.
Rosie, 31, said: “It gives me immense pleasure to be heading up not one, not two, but three Channel 4 shows. How lucky am I?
“In my opinion, Channel 4 has always been the pioneer channel when it comes to championing and celebrating diversity, and showcasing different, important stories. All three of these shows do just that. Oh, do I have a brilliantly busy year ahead.”
Dine Hard, which will be a digital series for Channel 4, was commissioned by digital commissioning executive Thomas Pullen.
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He said: “The representation of disability in cooking and chat show formats hasn’t come as far as in some other genres, so with Rosie Jones: Dine Hard, we wanted to take a big stride forward and throw Rosie in at the deep end, asking her to do both those things at once – cooking and chat – and, in true Rosie style, she has risen to that challenge.
“But this is about way more than just on-screen representation – we wanted to make this a really inclusive production with over a third of our on and off-screen team made up of disabled talent.”
Phil Harris, head of entertainment and events at Channel 4, said: “Rosie Jones is a brilliant talent and we absolutely love working with her.
“We’re over the moon viewers will get to see more of the Rosie they love in Trip Hazard, as well as a different side to her in the documentary which looks at a massively important issue that is incredibly close to Rosie’s heart.”
The super-sized second series of Trip Hazard means longer episodes and more chance to explore for Rosie and her famous companions, who will have more time to create mischief, get stuck in with the locals and go head to head in a contest for a big finale to each episode.
Of Dine Hard, which is being produced by Rockerdale Studios and will be a five-parter, Channel 4 said: “Cooking may not come naturally to Rosie but manipulating her famous friends certainly does and she might ask a favour or three before she’s finished the starter.
“Expect great chat, mediocre food and (hopefully) very few culinary-related trips to A&E.”
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