Challenge Anneka review – she’s back and it’s like she has never been away

Challenge Anneka review – she’s back and it’s like she has never been away

Anneka Rice with a labrador puppy at Foal Farm, Kent.

Anneka Rice comes to the animal rescue … at Foal Farm, Kent. Photograph: Two Four/Channel 5

Rice jumps into a helicopter, shouts ‘gosh’ a lot and helps the community in a way that feels utterly right. Perhaps it has something to do with long periods of Tory rule?

Almost 30 years since the last series, Challenge Anneka is back for a bite of that big nostalgia pie. Perhaps you remember it. Perhaps, like one of the people Anneka Rice gets on the phone in an attempt to blag some building materials, it means nothing to you at all. Still, here she is again, in a helicopter, flying over a field in Essex, shouting “gosh!” a lot, trying to make people’s lives better by agreeing to do an enormous job in an incredibly tight period of time. Challenge Anneka walked so DIY SOS could run, and now it’s back and it deserves its credit.

The helicopter, its most iconic feature, pushes the same retro buttons as the theme tune, but it turns out to be a bit pointless. Rice flies into the sky in order to read a giant “challenge card” laid out in a field, which she has to use binoculars to read, and which poses the question of why they didn’t show her a normal-sized card, on the ground, because she could have just used a pair of reading specs and saved everyone the fuel. Still! It’s a nod to the original, and they’re so confident that this is for people who loved the original that they don’t even bother explaining what is going on.

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