Cult game show Blankety Blank is making a comeback – with Bradley Walsh at the helm.
BBC bosses have commissioned a top-secret pilot of the popular programme after The Chase star agreed to take on hosting duties.
A source told The Mirror: “Bradley is honoured to be following in the footsteps of such great presenters and TV legends. It’s a lot of pressure reviving such a well-loved format but Bradley’s up for it. If the pilot goes well – and everyone expects it will be a roaring success – a full series will follow.”
Fronted by Sir Terry Wogan from its debut in 1979 until 1983, he was succeeded by Les Dawson, the host until 1990.
O’Grady presented the revival as alter-ego Lily Savage on the BBC from 1997 to 1999, then on ITV from 2001 to 2002.
At its height the show had 20 million viewers.
Throughout the show’s time, it pulled in plenty of celebrity guests, including Kenny Everett, Lorraine Chase and Cheryl Baker.
Comic Kenny often had viewers in stitches – especially when he broke Sir Terry’s microphone.
In the game contestants from the public had to fill in the missing word in a sentence and they got a point for each of the six celebs on the panel who gave the same answer.
The winner often came away with a rubbish prize, or the consolation Blankety Blank chequebook.
When a trip on Concorde was offered one week, Dawson told the audience, “Don’t get excited – it just goes to the end of the runway and back.”
The show, which started on the BBC, wasn’t always universally loved by Beeb bigwigs who thought of it as a little too downmarket.
The BBC’s Annual Report once commented how the show was “harmless fun handled skilfully by Terry Wogan“, then added, “yet the prominence of its success in the schedules led to suggestions that the whole network had become trivialised”.
Wogan agreed saying: “It’s a bit noisy, all those bells ringing and lights flashing – the sort of thing ITV usually do”.
The show was last on our screens for a one-off ITV Christmas special hosted by David Walliams.
Little Britain star Walliams was then joined by guests Anne Robinson, Louis Walsh, Lesley Joseph, Joe Lycett, Brooke Vincent and the Chuckle Brothers.
Blankety Blank’s comeback follows the return of shows including Catchphrase and Family Fortunes.
This week footage emerged of Colonel Tom appearing on quiz show Blankety Blank in the 1980s.
Aged 63, he was on the 1983 Christmas special of the BBC show, hosted by Wogan.
He left with the infamous consolation prize — a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen.
-- to www.mirror.co.uk