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Monday, February 11 2019

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  Crackerjack

The BBC is reviving cult classic children’s TV show, Crackerjack.

The show, a staple of children’s television from 1955-1984, marked the start of the weekend with its mix of sketches, pop performances and games.

Now, 35 years after its last outing, it is making a comeback. It will be made at MediaCityUK in Salford by BBC Children’s In-House Productions and will be on CBBC and BBC iPlayer.

The retro classic will be revitalised 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.

As part of the new show, Double or Drop returns in which kids get plucked from the audience to answer questions and go head to head to win prizes - or cabbages if they get it wrong - and the much-coveted Crackerjack pencil.

The show was originally presented by This Is Your Life’s Eamonn Andrews. He was followed by Leslie Crowther, Michael Aspel, Ed Stewart and Stu Francis.

This new 10x45’ series will be presented by Bafta-winning children’s TV favourites, Sam and Mark, and will air next year.

Stephen Merchant

Stephen Merchant is to play real-life serial killer Stephen Port in a new BBC drama.

Playing the murderer who killed four young men he met through dating websites between 2014 and 2015 is the most significant dramatic role yet for The Office co-creator.

Provisionally title The Barking Murders, the three-part series comes from the perspective of the families of Port’s victims as they fight to uncover the truth about what happened to their lost sons and brothers in the face of a now widely-criticised police investigation.

Sheridan Smith will play Sarah Sak, the mother of Port’s first victim, Anthony Walgate, while Jaime Winstone will star as Donna Taylor, sister of Jack Taylor.

Merchant said: ‘This is a story that can’t be ignored - how four young lives were lost and their families’ brave attempt to uncover what happened.  This factual drama will shed light on their story, so it’s a privilege to be a part of telling it.’

Port, dubbed The Grindr Killer, was given a life sentence in 2016 for the murders of Walgate, Taylor, Daniel Whitworth and Gabriel Kovari.

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