If the recent news of a one-off celebrity Crystal Maze revival didn’t QUITE give you a big enough nostalgic 90s rush, then we have some good news for you – Richard O’Brien, the original host of the cult Channel 4 game show, is back for the Stand Up to Cancer special.
Now, before you get too excited, we should point out that he’s not actually hosting the series again – a shaven-headed Stephen Merchant, describing himself on set as “the Mitchell brother they keep locked in the attic”, is channelling his style instead, below – but O’Brien is making a substantial pre-recorded cameo in the episode, which RadioTimes.com witnessed on the Crystal Maze set and can confirm has all the acid-tongued weirdness we’d come to love about the original series.
And he’s not the only classic figure from The Crystal Maze to be making a return, with fortune-teller Mumsey also making a comeback in the new episode, played by actress Maureen Lipman (in character below, taking over the role from Sandra Caron), and even a nod to ex-presenter Ed Tudor-Pole, who hosted the game show for its last two series. How nice.
Speaking about the one-off special, which will air on Channel 4 this Sunday 16 October as part of the broadcaster’s Stand Up to Cancer series of comedy programmes, new host Stephen Merchant said: “I’m paying homage to Richard O’Brien with my look for the show.
“What’s impossible to emulate is Richard’s unique persona – he’s a total one-off — but I’ve been inspired by his irreverence and winking complicity with the audience at home. When Ed Tudor-Pole took over, he made the show his own, which is all I can try and do.”
Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, who joins Michelle Keegan, Sara Cox, Rio Ferdinand and Josh Widdecombe in the team of celebrity contestants, added: “[Stephen’s] outfit was crazy. I went into make-up, sat down and I thought ‘Who’s this guy?!’ and then I realised it was him. I thought he was wearing one of those bald caps, then I found out that he’d actually shaved all his hair off. It was perfect. He really went for it.”
“It wasn’t until I signed on that I discovered how much people cherish the original Crystal Maze,” Merchant concluded. “I hope people will enjoy this as a loving tribute.”
Richard O’Brien AND Mumsey back in the action? Will you start the fans, PLEASE!
The Crystal Maze will air on Channel 4 on Sunday 16 October at 9pm