Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Monday, 4 July 2005 12:14 UK

New chapter opening for Jackanory

Kenneth Williams
Kenneth Williams appeared on 69 episodes of Jackanory

Classic children's storytelling programme Jackanory is to be brought back to TV screens.

Alison Sharman, who took over as controller of the BBC's children's department in June, has signalled her intention to revive it.

She told The Guardian it would return next year on special occasions rather than a full series.

The programme, which aired between 1965 and 1996, saw many stars read nightly extracts from children's novels.

Acclaimed readers

Ms Sharman said she loved Jackanory as a child and planned to bring it back in time for Christmas 2006.

Among the big names to have recited stories were Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles read extracts from his own story

Prince Charles read from his own book The Old Man of Lochnager.

Among the most memorable editions was Rik Mayall's reading of Roald Dahl's George Marvellous Medicine, in which a young boy attempts to kill off his horrible grandmother.

At the time it provoked complaints because of the naughty nature of the book and Mayall's anarchic storytelling. But it has since become ensconced in Jackanory history.

Bernard Cribbins holds the record for the most appearances, notching up 111, while Kenneth Williams was another firm fixture with 69 episodes.

In total the BBC show ran for 3,500 episodes, in which time 650 stories were shared.

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