Crackerjack to return, with comedy and sitcom

Monday 11th February 2019, 11:07am

  • After a break of 35 years, the BBC is to bring back kids TV format Crackerjack
  • The new ten-part series will be hosted by double act Sam & Mark
  • Due to air in 2020, the BBC says the show will feature "laugh out loud comedy and silly studio sitcom"

Classic children's TV format Crackerjack is to be revived in 2020.

The revived series is set to bring "laugh out loud comedy and silly studio sitcom" to CBBC.

A staple of children's television from 1955 to 1984, the classic show marked the start of the weekend for generations of children with its mix of sketches, pop performances and games. The BBC confirms: "Now, 35 years after its last outing, it is making a comeback."

The corporation explains: "The retro classic will be revitalised for today's connected generation giving them an all-round, interactive experience while retaining the beating heart of what etched Crackerjack into the affections of British children for three decades.

"There will be a heady mix of jaw dropping magic, laugh out loud comedy and silly studio sitcom - and of course it will still air on Fridays with hundreds of kids in the studio taking part in all the fun.

"As part of the new show, Double or Drop returns in which kids get plucked from the audience to answer questions and go head to head to win prizes - or cabbages if they get it wrong - and the much-coveted Crackerjack pencil."

Image shows from L to R: Sam Nixon, Mark Rhodes.

Crackerjack was originally presented by This Is Your Life's Eamonn Andrews. He was followed by Leslie Crowther, Michael Aspel, Ed Stewart and Stu Francis. The new hosts have been announced as Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes. Known as Sam & Mark (pictured), the duo have been presenting shows on CBBC for over a decade.

Ten 45-minute episodes will be made for broadcast in 2020.

Cheryl Taylor, Head of Content for BBC Children's, says: "Crackerjack is just one of several fabulous series that Children's In-House Productions have developed this year. It's the perfect vehicle for our much-loved stars Sam and Mark and promises to usher in a new era of frenetic family fun and whizzbang audience antics."

Helen Bullough, Head of Children's In-House Productions, says: "We can't wait to introduce a new set of Crackerjack 'crush-a-grape' catchphrases to a new generation of fans! The format has always been an amazing showcase for talent. And that commitment to showcasing talent is always at the heart of our wider production ambitions too, and a common theme across all of these new commissions for In House, across all the age groups we serve and from writers to on screen performers."

As well as Crackerjack, BBC Children's In-House Productions has also announced today teen mystery drama Get Even, live action drama Princess Mirror-Belle, animated series Love Monster and a new version of iconic 1990s thriller The Demon Headmaster.

The BBC has also confirmed that sketch show Classed Dismissed will return, and a seventh series of comedy panel show The Dog Ate My Homework will be filmed.

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