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BBC to reboot Tomorrow's World for one-off live special

November 03,2018 06:08

The BBC is reviving its science and technology show Tomorrow's World, 15 years after it was axed. The popular series is making a comeback, with two of its original presenters Maggie Philbin and Howard Stableford, for a live special this month, which ...


Television & radio

Exclusive: much-loved technology show returns, updated for modern viewers

The Tomorrow’s World presenting team in the show’s heyday, from left: James Burke, Judith Hann, Raymond Baxter, Maggie Philbin, Peter Macann and Howard Stableford. Photograph: PA
The BBC is reviving its science and technology show Tomorrow’s World, 15 years after it was axed.
The popular series is making a comeback, with two of its original presenters Maggie Philbin and Howard Stableford, for a live special this month, which Philbin said was timely given “technology is moving faster than ever”.
The show is being updated for modern audiences, with Dr Hannah Fry joining the line-up, plus the 90-minute live show will be interactive.
As well as looking to the future, the show will examine its archive to see how some of the inventions it featured have fared. Those include driverless cars, robots, microsurgery and the Sinclair C5, the electric trike invented by Sir Clive Sinclair, which his nephew Grant has updated and will demonstrate.

Philbin said she was “beyond excited” about the return of Tomorrow’s World. “Like everyone who worked on the programme, I cared deeply about it, and I now know it inspired many thousands of people who are now shaping the future of science and technology across the UK. We will once again shine a light on the future but this time, thanks to all that technology we promised, [audiences] will be able to join in.
“At a time when technology is moving faster than ever, and when fake news has too much currency, Tomorrow’s World has never been more needed to provide the counterweight of honesty, accuracy and of course the nerve-wracking live demos of tech which always has a life of its own.”
Stableford added: “I don’t know what excites me more, the chance to update stories from the past, present brand new ones, or the opportunity to introduce the show to a whole new generation that didn’t grow up watching it. I’m also scared stiff. Will the curse of Tomorrow’s World come back to plague our live TV demonstrations? We will all find out very soon.”
The live show will be filmed in Glasgow and air on BBC Four. Cassian Harrison, the channel’s controller, said: “Tomorrow’s World stands as one of the BBC’s most celebrated programmes. It introduced generations to the cutting edge of new technology with wit, warmth and sometimes unintentional humour.”
The original show ran for almost 40 years on BBC One from 1965.
Harrison said it would be for “a once-only live special, to remind us all how far we’ve come, and to explore where we might still go”. Fans will hope that with the fashion for TV revivals, after the success of Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing, it may have future potential.
• Tomorrow’s World is on 22 November on BBC Four

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