Stephen Merchant to present The Crystal Maze

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Stephen Merchant

Stephen Merchant

Stephen Merchant has confirmed he will present 'The Crystal Maze' when it returns for a one-off celebrity special later this year.

Stephen Merchant will present 'The Crystal Maze'.

The 41-year-old comedian will host the iconic Channel 4 game show - which was previously fronted by 'The Rocky Horror Show' creator Richard O'Brien and punk rocker Ed Tudor-Pole - when it returns this October for a one-off celebrity special following 21 years away from the screen.

He said of his new gig: "As a huge fan of the original series, I'm honoured to support Stand Up To Cancer by hosting this one-off edition of 'The Crystal Maze'.

"Richard O'Brien and Ed Tudor-Pole leave big shoes to fill, but I have size 14 feet, so I'll do my best."

It was initially thought David Tennant was being lined up to take on the hosting duties but, although he won't be involved in the presenting, he could still take part in the game show.

Stephen said: "We wanted something extra special for the Stand Up To Cancer campaign this year, so we're delighted 'Crystal Maze' will be returning for a celebrity one-off."

Meanwhile, although it's yet to hit screens, bosses are keen to make a new series of the high-energy contest, which originally ran between 1990 and 1995, if it proves a success.

A source said recently: "Channel 4 are hoping to tap into that nostalgia and believe viewers will jump at the chance to finally take on the show's adventurous challenges themselves."

At the height of its popularity the series drew in up to six million viewers per episode, making it the most popular show on Channel 4 at the time.

The programme famously featured four zones, Aztec, Industrial - which was later replaced by Ocean - Futuristic and Medieval, where the contestants took part in a series of challenges and games in order to win crystals, each of which gave them five seconds in the final crystal dome.

In the finale, the teams had to grab 100 gold tokens which blew around the dome, but lost one for every silver they also had.

Just 18 out of the 83 teams who took part in the show over the years managed to win.

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