Mary Portas is to front a new show on Channel 4 covering the progress of the Government’s town centre improvement pilot schemes.

The first wave of 12 ‘Portas Pilots’ is expected to be unveiled in early May and the broadcaster will choose three to cover in-depth over a series.

The show will be subject to approval by C4 and its potential sponsor depending on the quality of the pilot town bids. Both parties are likely to learn the locations of the pilot towns before they are made public.

Each of the 12 towns will receive a share of a £1m fund. Almost 300 applications have poured in via YouTube.

The Government said it would fund a second wave of 12 Portas Pilots in response to her high street review. It is understood those locations will be revealed in June.

Prime Minister David Cameron said in response to the review: “Local people must take control, developing the vision for the future of their high streets.”

Portas has fronted several shows including Mary Queen of Shops and Mary’s Bottom Line, which sought to re-energise British manufacturing.