As a reasonably new grandmother, I am constantly amazed to see the children’s programmes my son watched as a child are still around and kicking. Whenever I am with Tristan, who is two-and-a-half, I search on YouTube and find wonders like “Noddy,” “Andy Pandy” and “Bill and Ben Flowerpot Men.”

Those particular ones were around when I was a child myself, many moons ago. However the latest is “Crackerjack,” a popular kid’s show in the 1980s, which is coming back to life on the BBC.

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More children need to watch TV says the BBC

One would have thought kids already watch too much TV. However, the BBC says a new and revived version of “Crackerjack” is set to air 35 years after its last episode. The show originally ran from 1955 to 1984, meaning, yes, I did see it as a child myself! According to their statement, the BBC will be recording the show at MediaCityUK in Salford. It will be created by the broadcaster’s children’s in-house production team and will air in 2020 on iPlayer and CBBC.

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According to the BBC, the revived TV show will be updated to suit today’s “connected generation” and will offer them an “all-round interactive experience.” However, the show will retain the concept which had British children glued to the TV for three decades. The initial season will have 10 episodes with children competing in comedy, music acts and other games.

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All contestants to receive ‘Crackerjack’ pencils

The BBC's children's show will feature the popular Double or Drop game, where children in the audience are picked to answer questions and win prizes for the correct answers, or a cabbage when they get the answers wrong. After that, winning kids have to hang on to their prizes throughout the competition, losing them if they drop them. While only some win, all will receive a “Crackerjack” pencil to take home.

As reported by the BBC, Mark Rhodes and Sam Nixon will be presenting "Crackerjack," following in the famous footsteps of TV people like Eamonn Andrews, Michael Aspel, Leslie Crowther, Stu Francis and Ed Stewart.

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Other BBC Children’s content in 2019/2020

The head of BBC Children’s content, Cheryl Taylor, said the revived “Crackerjack” is one of a number of great series being developed this year. Taylor added that this one is the “perfect vehicle” for Sam and Mark and looks to bring in a new era of family fun and audience antics.

Among other content returning to the screen, “The Demon Headmaster,” always a favourite in the 1990s, will be back.

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The “super head” is the villain of the story, based on Gillian Cross’s children’s books. The story follows a bunch of kids who find out their headmaster uses hypnotism to completely control the school’s pupils.

More original programming needed for kids

As reported by The Guardian, Ofcom, the media regulator, had in the past requested British broadcasters to feature more original programming for children and young people. Research they had run showed that UK children between the ages of five and 15 spend more time browsing the Internet than watching physical TV.

As the grandmother of a small boy who goes into “zombie mode,” with only the words “This one!” being heard, I can concur with their research showing YouTube is the most popular platform for children. In the study, it was found 80 percent of them use the video site. 49 percent of all kids and 32 percent of children between the ages of three and four tend to watch streaming services like Netflix, Now TV and Amazon Prime Video.

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