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BBC bringing back iconic Sunday night show?

It was a huge hit for 21 years between 1973 and 1994

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Dame Esther Rantzen is in talks about bringing back her television series That’s Life!, it has been reported.

The 77-year-old fronted the programme – a mix of investigations, topical issues and entertainment – from 1973 to 1994.

According to the Mirror, the BBC now hope to resurrect it with Dame Esther in a role behind the camera.

Dame Esther Rantzen at a showbiz event
Esther Rantzen fronted the show (Credit: PA)

They quoted her as saying: “There is a possibility. A twinkle in someone’s eye. I say no more than that.”

A BBC spokesman said only that it is “a very very early development pilot”.

That’s Life! was a huge hit with viewers during its 21-year run and spawned several spin-offs and specials.

It was revived for one night only in 2013, when Dame Esther appeared on The One Show to present an updated version of the long-running magazine programme.

Is there really an appetite for old shows, though? Yesterday we reported on Blue Peter – a show that’s been going for half a century – and its recent no-viewers rating.

At the height of its success, each and every episode of Blue Peter was must-see viewing for the nation’s children.

Since the growth of digital TV, it has seen been sidelined from BBC One to CBBC – and its popularity has gradually dwindled as viewing options have expanded and tastes have changed.

But now the show has experienced a humiliating all-time low, as it has emerged that one episode last month drew in NO VIEWERS.

Now, to be fair to the show, this WAS a repeat airing. But it’s still a dire figure.

Modern-day Blue Peter (Credit: BBC)

This particular airing of the show was a repeat, and went out on Tuesday June 13 at 2.30pm.

Read more: Former Blue Peter presenter dies aged 83

That original episode was first shown on June 8 7.30pm, pulling in a much better figure of 53,100 viewers.

At its peak Blue Peter would rake in almost eight million viewers and, a decade ago, when it was aired three times a week on BBC1, it was getting just under one million viewers per episode.

Blue Peter presenters through the decades (Credit: BBC)

When it moved to CBBC things started to go downhill, with average viewing figures per episode hovering around 80,000.

CBBC controller Cheryl Taylor defended the show, saying: “I challenge any naysayers to check out last week’s enthralling episode on iPlayer if they have any doubts at all about its value and enduring appeal to the curious and clued-up CBBC audience.”

Read more: BBC in embarrassing U-turn as Saturday night primetime show axed

Blue Peter began in 1958 and quickly grew to national institution status, with children all over the UK dreaming of getting a Blue Peter badge – which was given to every guest who got to appear on the show, and sometimes as a recognition of achievement.

Who remembers being a little kid and wishing you could get your hands on one of those badges?

That famous badge (Credit: BBC)

We do! At the time they were a big deal for children and apart from being a source of pride, they actually got you free access to lots of well known attractions and theme parks!

Our inner child is sad at how times are changing, but for a show to even still be going after more than 50 years is a huge achievement they should be proud of!