Esther Rantzen, 78, set for for That’s Life! comeback

That’s Life! set for a comeback 24 years after it was axed with former host Esther Rantzen, 78, returning as a consultant

It was one of the biggest shows of the seventies and eighties pulling in more than 20million viewers on a Sunday night at its peak.

And nearly a quarter of a century after it was axed, That’s Life! could be returning to the BBC, former presenter and producer Dame Esther Rantzen has said. 

The hugely popular show, fronted by Esther, managed to blend serious consumer issues with humour and satire for 21 years. 

A new lease! Nearly a quarter of a century after it was axed, That’s Life! could be returning to the BBC, former presenter and producer Esther Rantzen has said 

Now Dame Esther, 78, says she could return to the revamped show as a consultant. She said it could be back on our screens as early as January.


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Dame Esther told the Daily Mirror: ‘’I think there is a need for the programme. I definitely do.

‘We talked about injustices, washing machines that broke and showed you a talking dog at its funniest.

Refreshing: Dame Esther, 78, told the Daily Mirror: ‘I think there is a need for the programme. I definitely do’

‘What I would have done was refresh it cosmetically but keep that content. So maybe that is what is going to happen in January.’

That’s Life! regularly offered helplines on the issues discussed in the show. 

A segment on child abuse was the inspiration for the launch of Childline in 1986.

Sweet: The show is remembered fondly for its light-hearted segments, including oddly, sometime phallic, shaped vegetables, as well as a talking dog who said ‘sausages’ and ‘Esther’

But the show is fondly remembered for its light-hearted scenes, including oddly, sometime phallic, shaped vegetables, as well as a talking dog who said ‘sausages’ and ‘Esther’.

The programme rran for 21 years before it was axed by former BBC chief Alan Yentob in 1994.

Rumours the show was coming back began last summer, when Esther cheekily described plans for the programme as  ‘a twinkle in someone’s eye’. 

Helpful: That’s Life! regularly offered helplines on the issues discussed in the show. One on child abuse was the inspiration for the launch of Childline in 1986

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