Crackerjack set for a return

Crackerjack set for a return

35 years after it last aired, classic children’s show Crackerjack is set for a modern return to our screens on the BBC with presenters Sam and Mark as its hosts.

Stu Francis warns new hosts Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes to stay away from his catchphrases

The 68-year-old comic was well known for his iconic lines such as 'Ooh, I could crush a grape' when presenting the programme from 1979 until 1984 - thinks it would be a "backwards step" if they mimicked his signature phrases.

He told The Sun newspaper's Bizarre TV column: "They're not my copy-right as such, but I would like to think they've got more going for them than to do somebody else's catchphrases.

"That doesn't gel at all. That'd be like me going out on TV next week and saying, 'Nice to see you, to see you nice'. It's just not right.

"Everybody in the business associates those catchphrases with me. If they started doing that they'd be taking a backwards step."

The BBC have confirmed that some of the popular games from the show will be making a comeback including Double or Drop where young audience members are chosen to answer questions and go head-to-head to win prizes or a consolation cabbage if they give an incorrect answer. However, Stu isn’t convinced that children today will be as interested in the challenge as he thinks it is "too slow" for modern audiences.

He said: "They're going to need to bring the new version into 2019/20, and whether Double Or Drop will be too slow for kids of this day and age I don't know.

"Kids live at a faster pace than we did then. They're like, 'If I've got to wait 30 seconds I'm not interested'."


For those that need reminding, the popular children’s gameshow that ran from 1955 to 1984 was a hit with children all over Britain. You may remember the famous catchphrase each show was introduced with? It's Friday, it's five o'clock. . . It's Crackerjack!" or sometimes "It's Friday, it's five to five. . . It's Crackerjack!"

Some of its notable presenters over the years included Leslie Crowther, Eamonn Andrews and Micheal Aspel to name a few with regular sketches performed over the years by Peter Glaze and Don Maclean, Bernie Clifton (and his ostrich) and The Krankies.

Sam and Mark

Sam and Mark

The new series will be hosted by TV favourites Sam and Mark and the 10-part new series will be aired on CBBC and iPlayer next year and be made at Media City in Salford. The reboot will be made for modern audiences, making it an all round interactive viewing experience for younger audiences.

  • Did you ever watch Crackerjack? Are you pleased to hear it’s making a comeback? Let us know over on our Facebook page and Twitter Page.