A replacement for Chris Harrison has been found for US reality dating show The Bachelor after the host’s controversial exit from the series.
In June this year, it emerged that Harrison, 50, had permanently stepped down from his role as the host of The Bachelor franchise after almost two decades.
He had previously announced his decision to ‘step aside’ in February, after he ‘defended’ contestant Rachael Kirkconnell when she was accused of racist behaviour.
Now that Harrison is formally exiting the franchise, a replacement has been found – former NFL star Jesse Palmer.
Palmer, 42, has his own personal history with The Bachelor, having appeared as a contestant in 2004.
The Canadian TV personality was the first professional athlete ever to appear on The Bachelor franchise, in addition to being the first ever Bachelor who wasn’t American.
While he chose fellow contestant Jessica Bowlin by the end of the series, their relationship only lasted a few months after the final episode aired.
Palmer expressed his excitement over taking on his new role, saying he felt ‘humbled by the opportunity’ to help other people find love.
‘For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,’ he said in a statement.
‘Falling in love is one of life’s greatest gifts and I am humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host this season to offer the newest Bachelor advice gained from first-hand experience and I am grateful to play a small part in his journey.’
While Palmer found fame as an athlete, he does have previous TV presenting experience already under his belt, having joined Good Morning America as a contributor in 2015 and having presented reality series The Proposal for ABC in 2018.
Earlier this year, The Bachelor faced backlash over a race controversy, when pictures circulated of contestant Kirkconnell attending a plantation-themed party in 2018.
She was also accused of bullying an old schoolmate for dating a Black man.
Kirk Connell has since apologised, saying in a statement published in February this year: ‘While there have been rumors circulating, there have also been truths that have come to light that I need to address. I hear you, and I’m here to say I was wrong.
‘At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.’
The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise airs on ABC, while it is available to stream on hayu in the UK.
Credit: Original article published here.