Entertainment & Arts

Blankety Blank: David Walliams to host quiz show Christmas special

David Walliams and Terry Wogan Image copyright Getty/BBC
Image caption Walliams said he had 'big shoes to fill' by taking over the presenting duties

David Walliams is to front a revival of quiz show Blankety Blank in a one-off Christmas special of the TV quiz show - the first full episode since 2002.

It was formerly hosted by Sir Terry Wogan, Les Dawson and Lily Savage.

Walliams tweeted a photograph of former host Sir Terry, saying he had "very big shoes to fill".

The panel show, to be shown on ITV, will see six celebrities help two contestants win prizes by filling in blanked-out words in a phrase.

Image caption Sir Terry, seen here with guests including Spike Milligan and Beryl Reid, was first to host the show

Britain's Got Talent star Walliams said: "I loved Terry Wogan and Les Dawson as a child, and Paul O'Grady was absolutely hilarious.

"I hope I can bring this much loved show to life for a new generation," added Walliams, who also starred in and co-wrote the hugely successful comedy sketch series Little Britain.

Referring to Sir Terry's trademark microphone he used on the show, Walliams also commented on Twitter: "It seems like you all want the stick microphone back on #BlanketyBlank.

"But who should snap it in two like Kenny Everett did go [sic] Terry Wogan?"

Some of his Twitter followers joked that younger viewers may not know what a chequebook and pen - the traditional consolation prize on the show - actually are.

Image caption Les Dawson then presented the show until 1990
Image copyright Comic Relief
Image caption Walliams starred as a panellist on a Comic Relief Blankety Blank special in 2011 with Paul O'Grady

Blankety Blank was first broadcast on BBC One in the 1980s, hosted first by Sir Terry and then Les Dawson.

Lily Savage - the alter ego of Paul O'Grady - then took on the presenting duties from 1998 to 2002 on the show, which was broadcast on BBC One before moving to ITV.

Walliams, who is also a highly successful children's author, has previously appeared on a Comic Relief version of the show, with host O'Grady.

It had also been revived for Children in Need, with Sir Terry as the host.

'Warm personality'

ITV's head of comedy entertainment Peter Davey said the show would "delight fans of the original" while attracting new fans.

"David Walliams is the perfect host for this - he'll bring his comedic talents and warm personality to the show," he said.

Earlier this year, Alec Baldwin launched a revival of US quiz Match Game, which was the inspiration for Blankety Blank.


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