TV preview: Surprise, Surprise

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You can run but you can’t hide from Holly Willoughby at the moment. Telly’s Ms Nicer-than-Nice is being snapped up for all kinds of projects – and why wouldn’t she be?

The mother-of-two is approachable, chatty and you would never catch her showing off her underwear while not-so-gracefully crawling into taxi after a few too many juices one Saturday night.

So surprise, surprise – ah-hem – tonight, she returns for another run of Surprise, Surprise to heap praise, gifts and general niceness on to those people who deserve it most, thanks to their unrivalled selflessness and generosity.

After the reinvented show’s freshman series last year, we’re fully convinced that Ms Willoughby does a fine impression of Cilla Black. Stepping in to the then telly favourite’s shoes was always going to be a difficult task for anyone - Surprise Surprise was the entertainment staple of the 1980s and 1990s after all.

While Holly might be slightly easier on the eye, she does have all the charm and even the surprise-success-rate of her red-haired predecessor.

And while we’re giddy for the return of the series, no-one’s more excited than Holly herself.

She says: “It’s great to be back for a second series of Surprise Surprise. I had so much fun being part of the show last year and have so many fond memories of the wonderful people I met, and the incredible surprises we gave. I can’t wait to do it all again!”

So on with the show, as they say.

In the first episode of the new run, nine-year-old Domenic from Cornwall meets the man who saved his life.

Domenic was diagnosed with leukemia and desperately needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. The donor would be Neil Lovell from Northampton, and ever since that successful transplant, Domenic and his parents Mike and Amy have been waiting to meet the anonymous man who saved that little life.

Meanwhile, Holly also surprises Gary Bennett, whose life has been filled with tragedy. In a road accident in America, he lost his wife and son, and his nieces lost their mother. Ten years later, Gary’s brother passed away, leaving behind two girls Ellie and Lydia. Gary raised the girls, along with his own two daughters, Sarah and Leah, single-handedly - and now the four of them want to say a big thank you to him...

Plus, a lady who set up a social club for widowed men and women receives a big thanks, a teaching assistant who runs a cheerleading group for children with learning difficulties gets a nice surprise, and a man who has spent the last 44 years of his life doing hospital radio receives the recognition he deserves.

A granddaughter also nominates her grandmother for all the money she’s raised for local charities.

Of course, you don’t need us to tell you that it would be wise to keep a man-size box of tissues to hand - there will be tears, you mark our words.


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