Anneka twice? No, say Channel 5 as they rule out second series following disastrous viewing figures
Anna twice? No, says Channel 5, because they exclude the second series after disastrous viewing figures
The big money reboot of ’90s favorite Challenge Anneka is up for the ax after being kicked by viewers.
Sources claim that Channel 5 has now abandoned plans for a second series – almost 30 years after the original BBC 1 show came to an end – after disastrous ratings.
The show, in which Anneka Rice fights to complete community projects, proved so unpopular that the last two episodes have already been shunted out of their Saturday night primetime slot.
The four-episode run, which sources said had ‘cost a fortune’, had been unveiled to much fanfare and was initially regarded as a success, as the first attracted 1.25 million viewers.
However, that fell below 500,000 for the second time, which was significantly surpassed by the ITV shows Saturday Night Takeaway and Starstruck.
Down the drain: Anneka Rice wields a garden hose during the remake of her show, Challenge Anneka
While Channel 5 claims no decision has been made on the future of Mrs Rice’s show, an insider said: ‘It’s so expensive to make and it needed a good return. Now Channel 5 doesn’t want to risk commissioning another series given how quickly the ratings dropped from the first.
“They just don’t see a way to make it worth it.”
Two weeks ago Ms Rice, 64, was redfaced when she learned that Channel 5 had pulled the last two episodes of the show from its schedule.
The news prompted her to post a photo of her sound engineer on Twitter with a caption, “Hey Dave, we have 24 hours to find a new home.”
She added: “We always knew we had a ‘floating schedule’ and we could be stopped at any moment. We will keep you informed. The projects are all running and I salute our army of volunteers who made this possible.’
It was reported last week that the third episode, in which Ms Rice’s team turns a bare plot at the headquarters of the Age UK charity into a giant ‘memory village’ for dementia sufferers, will now be screened on May 15 – a Monday. coincide with the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Week.
Last month, The Mail on Sunday reported that sources on the Challenge Anneka set claimed Ms Rice was often ‘curt and abrasive’, which had upset younger staff behind the scenes.
The show, starring Anneka Rice (pictured in 1989), proved so unpopular that the last two episodes have already been pulled from their primetime slots