Classic Blockbusters Returning to Challenge TV

Challenge TV is to air classic editions of the game show Blockbusters, featuring Bob Holness. A promo for the planned broadcasts has been playing on the channel.

Blockbusters was created in the US by Goodson Todman Productions. It was hosted by Bill Cullen and ran between 1980 and 1982. It was brought to the UK in 1983, with Bob Holness as host. It aired on ITV for 10 series until 1993. It was then revived on Sky One with Holness continuing as host. Further versions continued to be made during and after this run, with hosts including Michael Aspel, Liza Tarbuck, Simon Mayo, and Dara Ó Briain.

The Bob Holness version featured sixth-form students, with a team of two and an individual playing against each other. The game board was made up of a series of hexagons with letters inside. A player would pick a letter, such as J, and Bob would ask a question in the manner of “What J is…” If the player got the answer correct, the corresponding hexagon would turn their team’s colour. Players could move down or across the board. The team that wins are the ones who manage to get across the board. The winning players then move onto a timed quickfire “gold run” version of the board. The hexagons in this round had 2 to 4 letters inside them; those letters were the initials of the correct answer. If players won, they would receive a prize. If they failed, they’d receive £10 for each answer. Champions could keep coming back for a specific number of times before it moved on to other contestants.

It is unknown which era of Bob Holness will be aired on Challenge. The last era to be aired was the first 179 episodes of the Sky One series, starting from 2016. The channel has been showing its 2012 rebooted version, hosted by Simon Mayo since then.

EDIT: Challenge are airing series 1 from 1983, starting from an episode or two into the series.

Challenge, formerly the Family Channel, has been showing classic game shows for nearly 30 years. It started with classic TVS game shows like The Pyramid Game, All Clued Up, and Catchphrase. Blockbusters was the first game show to be broadcast after the 1997 rebrand. In recent times, the amount of 70s, 80s, and 90s shows has diminished, with newer hits such as The Chase, Pointless, and Tenable taking their place. Classics including Bullseye, Supermarket Sweep and Play Your Cards Right still have a place on the channel. Recent acquisitions have included Dickinson’s Real Deal, Cash in the Attic and The Crystal Maze.

Blockbusters will air on Challenge TV each weekday at 4pm, starting on Monday the 4th of March. Please see the channel schedule for any changes.

Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

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