Another ITV classic set to return is that a Surprise Surprise?
Following a number of classic television revivals in recent times ITV is reportedly set to revive another old favorite, the dreams come true series, Surprise! Surprise!
The original series, produced by LWT, ran on ITV from 1984 until 1997 before being axed by the network due to ‘declining ratings’. In reality the series had been shunted around the schedules. The programme proved to be a stable regular ratings winner on Sunday evenings, but when it was switched to various times on a Friday night its glory slipped away.
It plodded on as an annual special until 2001, usually airing at Easter or Christmas. Fronted by singer Cilla Black the show mixed family reunions with making wishes come true for those who deserved some form of celebration. The notorious ‘Cilla Gram’ provided amusement as Black turned up unexpected to ‘Surprise! Surprise!’ the public.
Press reports suggest that owners of the format – ITV Studios – are looking at reviving the series as a one off special to be produced by their production arm and if successful the format may return as a series. The new host is being mooted in the press is This Morning ‘babe’ Holly Willoughby.
Previous revivals by ITV after many years off-air include Play Your Cards Right – which is rumoured to be set for yet another revival, The Price Is Right, Crossroads and Family Fortunes. Other old ITV favourites have also seen semi-successful revivals on other networks, Upstairs Downstairs returned, this time on the BBC, Bullseye made a comeback on Challenge and currently Blockbusters is scheduled for a new series on the same network.