From tonight Simon Mayo will hosts a new series of the cult hit quiz show Blockbusters which became a popular part of afternoon viewing on ITV in the 1980s and 1990s.
The 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. – Sky Say.

The general knowledge quiz pits two players against one in a race to complete a path across a honeycomb board of 20 lettered hexagons. The double team play vertically across the board with blue hexagons, while the single player takes the shorter vertical route with white hexagons. Each question posed by the quiz master corresponds to a letter on the board chosen by one of the players, with the person who answers a question correctly choosing the next letter. The team that wins the best of three matches goes on to play the Gold Run, where they must work their way from left to right across a board of hexagons containing various letter combinations within 60 seconds.

Challenge TV online has developed a play-along quiz game to accompany the series. With both single player and multiplayer modes, fans of Blockbusters can now compete against each other answering general knowledge questions. Once a player has won a best of three games, they will be invited to play the Gold Run for the chance to score extra bonus points.Players will be able to design their own avatar which will be present throughout the game. The Blockbusters game will be available at www.challenge.co.uk – Sky add.

Simon Mayo is no stranger to broadcasting. 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, he was recognised 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.

Blockbusters first broadcast in 1982 in the UK on ITV, produced by Central Television in Nottingham and occasionally Birmingham, was hosted by the late Bob Holness, the original format ran for eleven years. Later episodes were made for Sky One before airing later on ITV, the show was revived by BBC Two briefly and hosted by Michael Aspel before returning to Sky One in the 2000s. The new series of Blockbusters however is based on the original Central Television style and look and carries on with that feel in an updated form.

Blockbusters airs nightly from tonight at 8pm on Challenge TV.

[Written by Neil Lang. Image courtesy of Sky/Challenge]

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