Comedian Guy Williams says it is "absolutely ludicrous" to blame him and his new show, Come Dine With Me, for the demise of Campbell Live.
Anger greeted TV3's news that a New Zealand version of the UK home cooking reality show will launch in 7pm weekday slot from Monday, a replacement for Road Cops which has screened since Campbell Live ended.
"Awesome ... we get a very unfunny moron fronting a crap reality show to replace a true journalist whose show made a real difference to so many people's lives ... congratulations TV3 I did not think you could stoop any lower," wrote one Facebook commentator.
TV3 says Come Dine With Me is an interim measure while a new 7pm current affairs show is prepared.
In an interview with the Herald, Williams said he had been swamped by negativity across social media since yesterday's announcement.
The Jono and Ben star, who will provide comical commentary for the New Zealand adaptation of the UK show, called it a "terrifying and weird" experience.
"We've just been named as a temporary show," Williams said.
"We're just a small little entertainment show. It's absolutely ludicrous to think this show has anything to do with (what happened to Campbell Live) two weeks ago ... we have nothing to do with it."
Williams confirmed Come Dine With Me had been fast-tracked into the 7pm slot after Campbell Live ended, following a six-week review that saw host John Campbell resign.
"It wasn't originally in the 7pm slot. It's amazing how fast quick decisions happen ... It was only two days ago that I found out it was going into this particular timeslot," Williams said.
"Anyone who links me to the ending of Campbell live - it's absolutely ridiculous."
Come Dine With Me, which will screen Monday to Friday, features five contestants taking turns hosting each other for dinner, with a $2000 cash prize on offer for those with the highest scores.
Williams' role in the show, which has run for 34 seasons in the UK, is to poke fun at the contestants - but he said his brand of edgy comedy would be "toned back" for the show.
"I really enjoy taking the joke too far. It's okay to do it with someone powerful, a politician or a sportsperson, but it's not okay to beat up on some punters who are having a crack at cooking up some dinner for a cash prize.
"I'm definitely not as ruthless as I would be with perhaps the Prime Minister. It's one of those situations where you try and laugh with the contestants, rather than at them."
* Come Dine With Me screens on TV3 from Monday at 7pm.