Bosses of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey's recent variety show have been slammed for failing to consult the men who invented the concept.

CHRIS BEARDE, who served as producer on the classic SONNY + CHER COMEDY HOUR, admits he has mixed feelings about the pop couple's NICK + JESSICA VARIETY HOUR, which aired earlier this month (APR04).

He says, "(I was surprised) when I got calls from friends congratulating me on being back on the air with my old format. I didn't see the show when it aired, but five people sent me copies.

"It's kind of a CATCH 22, because it's flattering, but then, I can't be happy with whoever it was who copied the format so closely without even consulting me or (fellow producer) ALLAN BLYE."

But the success of the television special has also been good for Bearde, who describes Simpson and Lachey as "adorable" - hordes of producers have since contacted him and he'll now be creating a new variety show.

29/04/2004 02:32