Channel 5 executive Ben Frow has cited Eldorado as one of the shows he’d like to revive.
In an interview with ThisIsVERiFiED, Frow – Director of Programmes for the broadcaster – noted that the soap would “play nicely with our two current ‘sunny’ soaps, Neighbours and Home & Away”.
Eldorado was a short-lived BBC One venture created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland in 1992. It ran for just a year before being axed by incoming BBC One controller Alan Yentob following bad press. The soap was plagued with production problems from the start which made for a very bumpy on-screen debut, however an upturn in quality saw ratings increase (editions routinely attracted over 8 million viewers) before the show’s demise.
The Spanish based soap opera was set in the fictional town of Los Barcos and starred, among others, Jesse Birdsall, Patricia Brake, Polly Perkins and Derek Martin. It followed the exploits of Ex-Pats living on the Costa Del Sol. The BBC hoped its exotic location and sunny nature would make it a hit but they hadn’t counted on an array of problems blighting it.
Despite only having aired for a year the s how remains popular thanks to repeats on UK Gold in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Last year the possibility of the BBC reviving Eldorado was widely touted by the press. Earlier this year a poll by ATV Today found Eldorado was the soap most readers wanted to see revived.
Channel 5 currently airs two soaps; Australian imports Neighbours and Home & Away. It has not had a home-grown soap since it cancelled Family Affairs in 2005. When the network launched in 1997 bosses originally hoped to revive the Midlands based series Crossroads but owners Central Television declined permission, although they would later see a short lived revival for it later on its original ITV home running from 2001 to 2003. Without Crossroads Channel 5 opted for a new midland-set soap Family Affairs which later relocated to London in the storyline. It had always been produced in the capital.
For the broadcaster’s early years on-air Family Affairs sat alongside American imports such as The Bold and the Beautiful and Sunset Beach. The Reg Watson soap opera Prisoner Cell Block H has also been repeated on Channel 5 in a late-night slot becoming a cult favourite. Although Prisoner had aired on various ITV regions it was the first time it had ever been networked across the country. Channel 5 aired all the episodes of Prisoner with its repeat-run concluding in 2001.