Generation Game to be brought back with Mel and Sue

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Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins

Former Great British Bake Off hosts Mel and Sue are to host the return of BBC classic show The Generation Game.

It has been commissioned for an initial four-episode run, although a launch date has yet to be set.

"It's a cuddly toy, it's a toaster, it's a circular power saw, no it's Mel and Sue doing the Generation Game! We can't believe it, we are so excited!" the hosts said.

The new show will combine aspects of the original series with new games.

Perkins had hinted earlier this month on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs that the presenting duo might reunite for another TV project soon, after quitting The Great British Bake Off last year when the BBC lost the rights to Channel 4.

"I'm very hopeful Mel and I will do some pratting about, but I couldn't tell you exactly what yet. Possibly some prime-time pratting," she told Kirsty Young.

BBC Studios said audiences had identified the Generation Game as "the TV show that viewers most wanted to see back on their screens".

The show sees pairs of family members across generations take part in performance and task-based games, with the ultimate goal of facing the Conveyor Belt.

This is a memory test whereby the winning pair watches prizes pass on the belt before attempting to remember each one to win it, from household appliances to the infamous cuddly toy.

Image caption,
Sir Bruce Forsyth fronted the Generation Game from 1971-77 and again from 1990-94

All the family pairs will start the show in the studio audience and only find out which game they are playing when Mel and Sue announce them.

A panel of star judges will score the pairs after each game and decide which will get to face the Conveyor Belt.

Charlotte Moore, the director of BBC content, said: "The Generation Game is an iconic BBC One show, so to be able to bring it back for today's audience with Mel and Sue overseeing things is a wonderful moment for the channel."

Image caption,
Larry Grayson and Jim Davidson have also presented the Generation Game
Image caption,
One-off editions of the show were hosted by Vernon Kay in 2011 and Graham Norton in 2005

The Generation Game began on BBC One in 1971, with Sir Bruce Forsyth as its longest-serving host. The entertainer fronted the show for two spells from 1971 to 1977 and 1990 to 1994.

The Generation Game was presented by Larry Grayson between 1978 and 1982 and Jim Davidson from 1995 to 2002.

There have also been two one-off editions of the show. Graham Norton presented a Christmas edition in 2005, while Vernon Kay took charge of a version for Comic Relief in 2011.

In 2014, one of the contestants on the Comic Relief special, Miranda Hart, was reported to be in talks to host a revival herself.

The announcement of the show's revival with Mel and Sue was described by comedian Susan Calman on Twitter as "smashing", while Sally-Ann Burgon tweeted: "Just perfect, literally just the most perfect "regeneration" of a show".

Image source, @SusanCalman

But Mark Rice was among several people to wonder why an old format was being revived, tweeting: "Love Mel and Sue but, seriously, the Generation Game? Can the BBC not come up with any fresh ideas for such great presenters?"

Meanwhile, Daily Mirror TV critic Ian Hyland mischievously suggested: "The BBC should put Mel & Sue's Generation Game on at the same time as Bake Off on C4. And have a cake icing round featuring Mary Berry."

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