Retro shows that are due for a comeback

Neela Debnath

Anneka 300x225 Retro shows that are due for a comebackLast week I wrote an article about classic television shows that I thought should be brought back to our screens and who should present them. The piece was a response to presenter Anneka Rice’s calls for the return of her eighties teatime classic ‘Treasure Hunt’ with a new face to front the programme. I wanted to elaborate on my suggestions and explain why I think some of these shows should be resurrected.

Firstly, there’s ‘The Crystal Maze’ which has been off the air for far too long. The game show saw a team complete a series of challenges in order to collect time crystals. The more crystals that were collected the more time the team had in the Crystal Dome, a giant orb-like structure. The team would then enter the dome to gather gold tokens in order to win prizes.

Although it would be tricky to find someone to match host Richard O’Brien’s zany charisma, Chris Tarrant could take up the role. In order to give him an edge though, he should only speak to the contestants via a loudspeaker or an intercom to feed them instructions. He would be a sinister disembodied voice, a sort of Big Brother figure who would lord over the proceedings and would only appear in the final round. Saying this, Anne Robinson would also be a worthy contender to rule over ‘The Crystal Maze’.

Then there’s ‘Stars in Their Eyes’, a personal Saturday night favourite. Before ‘The X Factor’ there was ‘Stars in Their Eyes, a karaoke show involving dressing up…a bit like ‘The X Factor’. Contestants would be made up as their musical heroes and perform one of their songs. The audience would then vote on who was the best impersonator.

There was that magical moment when a person stepped behind the doors only to reappear moments later as their music legend of choice. It was great television with the immortal line: ‘Tonight I’m going to be…’. If this programme were to be brought back, Ben Shephard would be the man for the job. He’s got relevant experience from presenting ‘The Xtra Factor’ and ‘Soapstar Superstar’ so it would make sense. But now the public vote should determine the winner. Also, get previous winners from the show to judge the performances.

After the death of Sir Jimmy Savile last year, ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ should definitely make a comeback. For those unfamiliar with Sir Jimmy’s show, children would write to him about the one dream they wanted to come true and Sir Jimmy would then try to make it so each week.

In memory of Sir Jimmy, there was a Christmas special of ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ last year with Shane Richie as host but perhaps a current children’s presenter could take on the role. There’s ‘The Secret Millionaire’ for the grown-ups but in these austere times we need a show like this for children to spread some hope. Let’s bring this show back and make some more kids’ dreams comes true.

Finally, there’s ‘Knightmare’, a children’s show where a team guided one member (known as the dungeoneer) on a quest through a computer-generated medieval world. The team had to collect clues to retrieve an object such as a crown or a shield and get their dungeoneer back safely. Although CGI was still in its infancy when the show first started, with clunky graphics that looked like they had been created on Microsoft Paint, there was something compelling about it. ‘Knightmare’ was hosted by the dungeon master Treguard, played by actor Hugo Myatt. This time around the role of dungeon master could be portrayed by an experienced thespian of the Shakespearean variety.

There was an unsuccessful attempt to bring it back in the mid-noughties but the pilot was met with mixed reaction due to being too different to the original. But maybe now it is time. If the makers can return to something closer to the original format and use better computer graphics then it could become a children’s favourite once more.

So, there you have it, some of the best programmes from the eighties and nineties that should rise from the ashes and be restored to their former glory.

Image credit: Getty Images

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  • William ‘Will K’ Kinsella

    Regarding this, ITV were successful with The Krypton Factor (presented by Ben Shephard) despite only being on for two years; the same with Sky 1’s Gladiators.

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