Simon Mayo to host new ‘Blockbusters’ series on Challenge TV

by Lisa McGarry

Challenge TV today announced that Simon Mayo will be taking on the role of host of cult hit quiz show Blockbusters.

The iconic series, which is being produced by Thames, will return to screens later this spring and is being filmed at Sky’s new production facility, Sky Studios.

The new Simon Mayo fronted show marks Challenge TV’s first original commission since it re-launched on Freeview last year and supports Sky’s commitment to increase its investment in home grown content to £600m by 2014.

“Blockbusters is the ultimate cult TV quiz, and we think that Simon Mayo is the perfect host to bring it back to our screens,” commented Barbara Gibbon, director of Challenge TV. “We hope that it will be popular not only with those of us who loved it the first time around but also with a brand new generation of fans. We might even bring back the hand-jive!”

Simon Mayo is one of Britain’s well-known radio presenters. He joined Radio 1 in 1986 and now presents Drivetime on BBC Radio 2. He is also the co-presenter of Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live. In 2008, Mayo was recognized as the ‘Radio Broadcaster of the Year’ at the 34th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the ‘Speech Broadcaster of the Year’ at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.

Simon Mayo said: “Blockbusters is an iconic show and a winning format. I feel very honoured and excited.”

Blockbusters first broadcast in the UK on ITV in 1983 hosted by the late Bob Holness, where it ran for eleven years.

The new Blockbusters has been commissioned by Antonia Hurford-Jones, and executive produced by Suzy Lamb and Phil Parsons. The series producer is Helen Tumbridge.

Suzy Lamb, Head of Entertainment, Thames added: “It’s testament to the huge popularity of Blockbusters, that Challenge TV have commissioned a new series.”

Unlike the original series which featured students, the new Blockbusters is open to anyone over the age of 18.