Crackerjack: Sam and Mark to host revival of children’s TV classic

Crackerjack, the classic children’s TV show which had millions of young fans in its heyday, is being revived after 35 years.

The chaotic, fun-filled show, filmed in front of a live studio audience of children, featured quiz games, comedy sketches, memorable catchphrases, a music spot and a talent contest.

Its catchphrase “it’s Friday, it’s five to five and it’s Crackerjack” helped it become a staple of kids’ TV for nearly 30 years after it launched in 1955.

Its roster of hosts included some of the biggest names in television during the period, including Eamonn Andrews, Leslie Crowther, Michael Aspel and Ed Stewart.

Boom, boom, boom! Let me hear you say wayhoo! ✏️ and πŸ₯¬ ready? Because it’s Friday! It’s 5 to 5! It’s……#CRACKERJACK πŸŽ‰ And Stu says let the weekend begin πŸ‘πŸ» Fill your boots tweeps 😜

— Jam.I.E 🌟 (@ValleyAllBlack) February 8, 2019

Among the many comedy acts to appear before it was cancelled in 1984 were Little and Large, The Krankies, Basil Brush and Bernie Clifton.

In re-launching the show, the BBC has said it will be updated for “today’s connected generation, giving them an all-round, interactive experience while retaining the beating heart of what etched Crackerjack into the affections of British children for three decades”.

The show ran for nearly 30 years before being dropped in 1984

The new hosts are former Pop Idol competitors turned children’s TV presenters Sam and Mark.

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Judging by the generally positive reaction on social media, it is a popular move.

Ten programmes have been commissioned for the re-boot, which will have a mixture of magic, comedy and silly studio sitcom, along with the famous Double or Drop quiz.

They'll never top this classic edition. #crackerjack

— Jonny Morris (@jonnymorris1973) February 11, 2019

The segment sees children plucked from the studio audience to answer questions in a bid to win prizes – including the much-loved Crackerjack pencil – while avoiding being given a cabbage for wrong answers.

Every time a contestant answered correctly, they were given a prize, which they had to hold in their arms, or a cabbage if they got it wrong.

In 'It's Monday, it's the morning… it's Crackerjack news' news, #Crackerjack will return to @cbbc & @BBCiPlayer next year, hosted by Sam & Mark

— Toby Earle (@TobyonTV) February 11, 2019

Dropping anything or making three wrong answers would put them out.

Every runner-up won one of the famous marbled propelling pencils, which became so popular that in 1961 Queen Elizabeth was presented with Crackerjack! pencils for Anne and Charles.

Cheryl Taylor, head of content for BBC Children’s, said Crackerjack is “the perfect vehicle for our much-loved stars Sam and Mark and promises to usher in a new era of frenetic family fun and whizzbang audience antics”.

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