Challenge Anneka to make a comeback after nearly 30 years

Challenge Anneka to return to screens after nearly 30 years (Picture: REX)

Anneka Rice will race against the clock for a good cause yet again as her TV hit show, Challenge Anneka, is set to hit our screens after almost 30 years.

The TV presenter confirmed today that Channel 5 is remaking the programme, which had viewers glued to their screens when it originally appeared on the BBC from 1989-1995.

The new four-part series will see the 63-year-old TV presenter and her team of volunteers tackle a variety of challenges, celebrate everyday heroes and assist communities in need of help.

Anneka said of the new series: ‘There will always be a room for challenge on television, because it’s about kindness, it’s about community, it’s about the power of the collective. As humans we are totally hardwired to be altruistic.’

She added to Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘It might not be on the screen, but it’s been in my heart for the last 30 years because I’m still so involved with all those projects. 

‘The issues might look a bit different today, but they’re not at its heart.’

Anneka also believes that not being replaced by a younger woman for the relaunch is also a great look for the show as it challenges stereotypes about the role of older female presenters. 

Anneka Rice At Launch Of New Tv Show 'challenge Anneka'

Anneka at the launch of Challenge Anneka in 1989 (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)
The TV presenter has stayed charitable since the end of her TV show as she’s seen here in 2007 at an ambitious and star-studded project to help raise money for children hospices throughout the UK (Picture: ITV)

‘Forty years ago, you have to remember where women were placed in television,’ said Anneka, who last year revealed that her stint as a contestant on 2019’s Strictly Come Dancing put more strain on her than Challenge Anneka ever did.

‘They were usually either draped over cars as a prize on a quiz game or they were behind a news desk.

‘I feel just the same as they did 30 years ago, but possibly there’s more conversation about how we look, or about how we might be coping with it, whereas for men they just get on and do it, and their image and brand stays intact.’

She said Channel 5’s director of programming, Ben Frow, also did not want to update the programme just to attract the younger generation of viewers.

 Challenge Anneka was rebooted on ITV for two special episodes which aired in 2006 and 2007 (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Challenge Anneka was rebooted on ITV for two special episodes which aired in 2006 and 2007 (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

‘He didn’t want to change anything,’ she revealed. ‘He wanted analogue. He wanted Dave the sound man, the truck and that absolutely powered this whole thing. I don’t think it needs [updating] because at the end of the day, it’s about community.’

She also told PA News of the new show: ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening. 

‘The last few years have shown us all the power of community and how it’s good to be part of something bigger than ourselves… 

Anneka, pictured with dancer Kevin Clifton during her 2019 stint on Strictly, later said her time on the ballroom show was more grueling and physically strenuous than Chanelling Anneka (Picture: BBC)

‘Three decades on, the issues may look different but at their core they are the same, they’re about people and communities.

‘And we may look a bit different too but our hearts and willingness to get stuck in are the same.’

The original show, which was rebooted on ITV for two special episodes that aired in 2006 and 2007, would attract an audience of up to 12 million people who would tune in to see Anneka landing by helicopter into a place which she had no prior knowledge of.

Anneka, who previously admitted she never liked the name of the show, would then be tasked with persuading people and companies to help her complete a charitable project in record time.

Filming on the new series starts later this year and Anneka has appealed to members of the public to share ideas for projects by emailing: [email protected]

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