Mel and Sue’s The Generation Game revival cut to just two episodes

The BBC has defended the decision, saying: "It's not unusual for a new series to change length as the format evolves"

Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins’ The Generation Game revival has been cut down to just two episodes.

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The comedy duo were initially lined up for a four-episode run of the game show, which originally began on BBC1 in 1971 with Sir Bruce Forsyth as host.

There have been reports in The Sun that four episodes have already been filmed and that the cost of cutting them down to two is “around £400,000” – but the BBC has labelled this as “speculation”.

“During the production process it’s not unusual for a new series to change length as the format evolves,” said the BBC in a statement to bbc.co.uk.

“We’ve got a brilliant show for audiences on BBC1 this spring.”

The Generation Game features pairs of family members across generations who must compete to win prizes, performing silly tasks and challenges. The reboot will combine classic aspects of the series with new games.

A new version of The Generation Game has been in the works since 2014, but originally Miranda Hart was slated to host. The star was said to have filmed a pilot shortly after Miranda came to an end, but the project was abandoned – leaving Mel and Sue to step in post-Bake Off.

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Sir Bruce was the longest-running presenter, but Larry Grayson and Jim Davidson have also served as hosts. More recently, Graham Norton presented a Christmas special in 2005, while Vernon Kay hosted in 2011 for Comic Relief.