Challenge Anneka and her jumpsuit are back
Challenge Anneka (Channel 5, 8.50pm)
The jumpsuit is back. After her last Challenge nearly three decades ago, Anneka Rice returns to take on more mystery tasks that will benefit local communities.
Challenge Anneka originally ran on BBC One from 1987 to 1995 for 70 episodes and was one of the UK’s most popular programmes.
The hit show was revived in 2006 for a one-off special which saw the team rebuild a maternity clinic, cricket pavilion and children’s play centre in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami.
Now, Anneka, who turns 65 in October, will be strapping on her Lycra again for four more editions, as Channel 5 revives the hit show.
Just like in the original series, Anneka will take on mystery challenges against the clock and pull in favours from big brands, well-known faces and local heroes.
She will whizz around in her lorry and buggy, with sidekick Dave the Soundman lending a hand.
As well as hosting Challenge Anneka, Rice was a huge star in the 1980s and 90s, fronting Treasure Hunt, Wish You Were Here? and the BBC’s Holiday show.
Since then, she has taken part in Celebrity Come Dine With Me, Hell’s Kitchen, House of Games, Celebrity Hunted and the 2019 series of Strictly.
“I can’t believe this is actually happening,” she says of the Challenge Anneka reboot.
“The last few years have shown us all the power of community and how it’s good to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
“Dave the Soundman and I may have 130 years between us, but the whole team is as motivated as ever to make a difference and shine a spotlight on people and organisations who need help.”
Anneka’s first challenge is inspired by two extraordinary women: Lisa and Denise.
For 60 years, Foal Farm in Kent has rescued and rehomed thousands of abandoned dogs.
The farm has reached capacity and they now have to face the heartache of turning homeless dogs away.
Anneka’s challenge is to build a brand new mega-block of kennels, a grooming parlour and a doggie play area all in time for Foal Farm’s 60th anniversary.
And, there will also be a giant dog show as part of the celebrations.
Anneka soon learns about the power of Foal Farm when she meets Pippa the Shih Tzu, and she then comes up with an idea to update their website, but it means putting on a chaotic dog-driven photo shoot.
Meanwhile, to get the dog show started, Anneka hijacks a local radio station, while back at the farm, a huge cast of builders, tradespeople and helpers face an uphill struggle to keep the build on track.
Anneka meets more Foal Farm success stories where the team have helped mistreated dogs with physio, and this inspires the Challenge team to find and blag a big game-changing gift for the newly made-over location – a brand-new full-size hydrotherapy pool.
Then, with the Farm due to throw open the gates to hundreds of dogs and their owners, it’s touch and go whether the team will make it. Will a massive late-night push be enough?