Last week, Cruising with Jane McDonald fans were left feeling bereft following the sad news that Jane would be stepping down from her eponymous role as presenter of the BAFTA-winning Channel 5 programme.
And now, Channel 5 has quickly followed this up with the shock announcement that Susan Calman will be stepping into Jane’s shoes. The popular Edinburgh comedian will be taking over from Jane McDonald as presenter of both Channel 5 shows Cruising with and Holidaying with.
Following on from the success of her popular series Secret Scotland with Susan Calman, Calman will be heading out on new adventures, following in Jane’s footsteps as she explores the high seas, renowned cruise ships and popular holiday destinations.
Commenting on her new position, Calman said: “I’m over the moon to be working with Channel 5 on such a prestigious group of shows. I can’t wait to go on exciting voyages and incredible journeys and take the wonderful viewers with me. It’s the start of a magnificent chapter and I can’t wait to get going!!”
As well as presenting her own TV show, writer and panellist Calman has appeared on a number of BBC Radio 4 shows, including The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. Calman was one of the relief presenters for Fred MacAulay on his BBC Radio Scotland show MacAulay and Co and also appeared as the ninth contestant on series 15 of Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, partnered with Kevin Clifton.
Director of programming at Channel 5, Ben Frow, said: “Susan was my first and only choice for these shows and I am absolutely cock-a-hoop that she is doing more with Channel 5. I have encouraged her to make both shows uniquely hers and I am genuinely excited to see how she evolves them in her own, inimitable style. The world is, literally, her oyster and I can’t wait to travel it with her.”
Following the news that Jane McDonald would be quitting Channel 5, there was an outpouring of emotion on social media from the cruise legend’s devoted fans, who were devastated to hear that she would be leaving their TV screens, including @MrRichieW, who tweeted: “Oh Jane!! You’ll be sorely missed on Channel 5! Looking forward to some new music and spectacular Live Shows instead Face throwing a kiss.”
While Jane did not reveal exactly what she would be up to next, she did stress that this was not the last fans would be seeing of her as she will now be focusing more time on her music and tours, along with “other exciting projects”.
Cruising with Susan Calman will be commissioned by factual commissioning editor, Guy Davies, while Holidaying with Susan Calman will be commissioned by Greg Barnett. Both programmes will be made by Viacom International Studios.