Anneka Rice reacts as Challenge Anneka pulled from Channel 5 over the weekend in scheduling shake-up
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Anneka Rice has reacted to news Channel 5 have pulled her show, Challenge Anneka, which was due to air over the weekend. The much-loved presenter took to Twitter as it emerged the programme had been removed from the Saturday night slot.
Hit series Challenge Anneka - which originally ran from 1989 to 1995 - made a return to our screens recently, with two brand-new episodes released on March 18 and 25. Fans welcomed the return of the show during its first rebooted episode, congratulating Channel 5 on bringing it back.
However, the broadcaster announced that due to competition from rival primetime shows such as ITV’s Starstruck, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel, Challenge Anneka has struggled to pull in viewers.
The show’s second episode was watched by less than half a million people, as some favoured other programmes. Channel 5’s decision means that the third and fourth episode from the series won’t air until a later date.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the channel said: “The first episode of Challenge Anneka was enjoyed by 1.25 million viewers, but Saturday evenings are always highly competitive, especially at this time of year.
“The public and critical reaction to Challenge Anneka’s return has been amazing and we have decided to preserve the remaining two shows and reschedule them soon."
This Saturday, Channel 5 will be showing Royal documentaries instead including Zara & Mike: The People’s Royals and Fergie & Meghan: Inconvenient Royals.
Anneka has responded to the news on Twitter saying: “Thanks if you’ve watched so far!” she tweeted. “We always knew we were on a ‘floating schedule’ so might be bumped off at any moment.
“We’ll keep you posted. The main thing for me is the projects are all up and running and I love & salute our army of volunteers who made this possible. Thank you.”
She also tweeted a picture of Dave, her sound man, with the caption: “Hey Dave. We’ve got 24 hours to find a new home”. She posted again on Wednesday morning in response to a tweet criticising the decision to say: “This made me laugh and then cry”.