Edmonds to front Swap Shop one-off

Liz Thomas

BBC2 is bringing back Swap Shop for a special seasonal edition featuring the original presenters including Noel Edmonds, Keith Chegwin, Maggie Philbin, and John Craven.

The two-hour show, which will celebrate 30 years of Saturday morning kids’ TV, aims to reunite everyone that was involved in the production and the genre as whole.

Edmonds will take viewers through a nostalgic journey tackling the social history and changes in technology from the early start of interactive phone-in entertainment to present day. He said: “I have some amazing memories and a special affection for Swap Shop, it was a programme that broke the mould and I am proud to have been a part of it. It’s going to be like a giant Friends Reunited party.”

Independent production house Unique Television has been commissioned to make the show, which will also feature Gordon the Gopher and highlights from old sketch and game show favourites from Saturday mornings such as Swing Ya Pants, Run the Risk, and Rugrats.

Executive producer David Sankey commented: “Generations can be defined by the presenters they grew up watching and their respective show… Phillip and Sarah, Andi and Emma, Zoe and Jamie. But this is about more than just puppets, pop and cult cartoons. These shows launched the careers of some of our biggest TV names and defined a turning point in entertainment formats.”

The programme has been commissioned by Katie Taylor, executive editor BBC comedy entertainment and will be produced by Fiona Clark. Executive producers are Sankey and Mike Brosnan.

Programme consultant Chris Bellinger said: “There will be a call to arms for any now grown-up kid who called, swapped, sang, danced, questioned or quite simply watched on Saturdays.”

A website has been established to act as a search tool to track down original Swapshop contributors. www.saturdaymornings.co.uk

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