Bring Back...The Christmas Number One
|Presented by||Justin Lee Collins|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||1–2 hours each|
|Production companies||So Television|
|Original channel||Channel 4|
|Original run||2005– 2009|
Bring Back... is a British television series comprising one-off shows where Justin Lee Collins tries to locate people from music, TV or film backgrounds to reunite them for a one-off performance or get-together. The series was broadcast on Channel 4.
Bring Back...Grange Hill
Collins looks back at the successful television series Grange Hill and in particular its anti-drugs campaign in 1986 which led to the production of the pop record "Just Say No". He tries to track down the original actors in the show at the time and reunite them for a one-off performance of the song. Justin has a problem in that he has just 10 days to trace them, but many have abandoned their acting careers altogether and are reluctant to relive their brush with adolescent stardom. However, he did manage to track down and interview:
- Alison Bettles - Fay Lucas
- George Christopher - Ziggy Greaves
- Mmoloki Chrystie - Kevin Baylon
- Lee MacDonald - Zammo McGuire
- Erkan Mustafa - Roland Browning
Only Bettles, MacDonald, Christopher and Mustafa arrived to sing their 80s hit at the Hammersmith Palais, but they were joined on stage by other former cast members who were not interviewed, among them was Mark Savage who played 'Gripper' Stebson.
Despite the title, Grange Hill was still airing at the time the show aired. On September 15, 2008 Grange Hill finally came to an end after 30 years.
Bring Back...The Christmas Number One
Collins attempts to make a Christmas-themed song to the Christmas number one single slot - a feat not accomplished since Cliff Richard's "Saviour's Day" in 1990, excluding the re-recorded version of the 1984 song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid 20 in 2004.
In the end, they produced the song "I'm Goin' Home", featuring the following musicians:
- David Essex (vocals)
- Mud's Rob Davis (guitar)
- Slade's Dave Hill (guitar)
- Slade's Don Powell (drums)
- Jona Lewie (piano)
- Mud's Dave Mount (drums)
- Showaddywaddy (backing vocals)
- Justin Lee Collins (backing vocals and sleigh bells)
The song was to be released so it could compete to be Christmas number 1 but the record company axed the release. However it was available for download from the Channel 4 website where it reached number 1 in the site's download chart.
Bring Back...One Hit Wonders
Collins attempts to reunite former pop artists from past decades who have only had one big, well known hit, to play at a one off gig. He interviewed:
- Joe Dolce
- Renato Pagliari of the duo Renée and Renato
- Clive Jackson of Doctor and the Medics
- Carl Douglas
- Mary Sandeman aka Aneka
Only Pagliari, Jackson and Douglas turned up to perform their hits at the Clapham Grand, London.
Bring Back...The A-Team
Justin attempts to re-unite the cast of his favourite show as a child, The A-Team. He has to secure interviews and appearances with the stars of the show who have not spoken to each other for some time.
Justin met with the below people to discuss the show and asked them to attend a reunion. All of them but Mr. T made it to the meeting, which took place at the Friars Club of Beverly Hills.
- Dirk Benedict - Templeton "Faceman" Peck
- Dwight Schultz - H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock
- Marla Heasley - Tawnia Baker
- Jack Ging - General Harlan "Bull" Fullbright
- Mr. T - B.A. Baracus
- Stephen Cannell - series co-creator
The below people although not being interviewed by Justin appeared at the meeting.
- William Lucking - Colonel Lynch
- Lance LeGault - Colonel Roderick Decker
- Christian Peppard - Representing his late father George Peppard
Justin often used very unorthodox methods, such as ambushing the actors in their homes, hotel rooms, or even while out shopping, without any prior warning and, for Mr. T, attempting to gatecrash his way into the Latin Grammy Awards.
During every interview, Collins would inquire about the rumored tension between Peppard and Mr T. Although Peppard was an established star of Hollywood movies, Mr. T was relatively new to on-screen acting yet, in a short time, he was generally regarded as the main star of the show. It was suggested that tension did indeed exist between the two and was most probably due to Peppard's bitterness of Mr. T's status in the show. During the interview with Mr. T, the trademark gold chains worn by his character were discussed. Mr. T stated that they were symbolic of the iron chains of his African slave-ancestors but made from gold because he thinks of himself as being a 'slave' except with a higher price now. As a lighthearted joke for the show, a medium attempted to contact the deceased George Peppard via seance.
The program never touched upon the fifth season of the series in any way, with no mention of Eddie Velez and Robert Vaughn's characters, and neither actor appearing at the reunion itself. Additionally, the episode in which Jack Ging's character General Fullbright is shot and killed is specifically described as the series' final episode; it was in fact the final episode of season four.
Collins tries to track down the retired stars of Dallas and reunite them together at his Oil Barons Ball. At the end of the show he managed to find and interview:
- Mary Crosby - Kristin Shepard
- Patrick Duffy - Bobby Ewing
- Linda Gray - Sue Ellen Ewing
- Larry Hagman - J. R. Ewing
- Susan Howard - Donna Culver Krebbs
- Ken Kercheval - Cliff Barnes
- Charlene Tilton - Lucy Ewing
- Eric Farlow - Baby Christopher (not originally interviewed)
Only Eric Farlow, the first actor to play Baby Christopher in the show, arrived, much to Collins' delight.
Production of Dallas resumed with a new series in 2012.
Bring Back...Star Wars
Collins attempts to reunite the stars of the original Star Wars trilogy. He was unable to secure any kind of meeting with Harrison Ford (Han Solo). He was offered an interview with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), albeit for the price of $50,000; after raising several thousand dollars, Collins was unable to negotiate the price any lower, and was forced to abandon any hopes of meeting Hamill. Collins did, however, succeed in securing interviews, through a combination of deception and surprise attacks, with the following people:
- Carrie Fisher - Princess Leia
- Anthony Daniels - C-3PO
- Kenny Baker - R2-D2
- Peter Mayhew - Chewbacca
- Jeremy Bulloch - Boba Fett
- David Prowse - Darth Vader
- Billy Dee Williams - Lando Calrissian
- Warwick Davis - Wicket
Of these, only Bulloch, Davis, Baker and Prowse were able to attend the reunion in London. Daniels called to say he could not attend. Fisher recorded a humorous video message to be played as a holographic message, akin to the one in the original Star Wars film. Mayhew and Williams also made short video clips to be played similarly, albeit without audio. Justin also had a lightsaber battle with Davis in which Davis was the victor.
Lee Collins attempts to reunite the cast of the vintage television show. He traveled to America to track down some of the surviving members of the hit movie and spin-off TV show, Fame. He successfully tracked down:
- Irene Cara - Coco Hernandez (Movie)
- Erica Gimpel - Coco Hernandez (TV)
- Carlo Imperato - Danny Amatullo
- Valerie Landsburg - Doris Schwartz
- Lee Curreri - Bruno Martelli
- Carol Mayo Jenkins - Elizabeth Sherwood
- Debbie Allen - Lydia Grant
Of those, Gimpel, Imperato, Landsburg, Curreli, Jenkins and Allen turned up for the street dance reunion that was arranged by Lee Collins. During the show he also talks to the mother of Gene Anthony Ray who played Leroy in the series. Ray died in 2003 from a stroke.
Bring Back...Star Trek
Collins attempts to track down the cast of the original Star Trek series (except for DeForest Kelley, who died in 1999, and James Doohan,who died in 2005), hoping to recreate the scene from the episode "Arena" in which Captain Kirk battles a Gorn.
He successfully tracked down:
- George Takei - Hikaru Sulu
- Grace Lee Whitney - Janice Rand
- Nichelle Nichols - Nyota Uhura
- Walter Koenig - Pavel Chekov
- Eddie Paskey - Lieutenant Leslie
- Bobby Clark - Gorn
- Leonard Nimoy - Spock
Despite his best efforts he was unable to interview William Shatner.
None of the cast attended the planned reunion, but he was able to create a scene on his own bridge of the USS Collins - JLC-1702, using footage filmed during interviews with Takei, Nichols and Koenig. Bobby Clark donned a version of the Gorn outfit to recreate the battle scene with Collins standing in for Shatner.