A popular TV show is set to return 30 years after it went off air – sparking memories of the programme’s visit to Millport.

Challenge Anneka aired on BBC One between 1989 and 1995 and saw presenter Anneka Rice complete missions of goodwill against the clock.

Anneka and her team travelled to the island in 1992 with the aim of transforming a derelict building into a sports hall and accommodation in just 72 hours.

Former News Millport correspondent Mary Currie vividly recalls the celebrity’s visit to the town, after the Church of Scotland put out an SOS to help create a place for disadvantaged kids to holiday.

She explained: “The Church of Scotland had bought the derelict buildings called the Hush Hush, that were used to detect German subs during the Second World War.

“They wanted to give disadvantaged kids a place to holiday on the island, and called out to Anneka for help and the programme duly obliged.

“They renovated the whole area to create a sports hall and a residential building, which were both well used by the community.

“It was used by locals for a good number of years after the programme aired, although it is no longer in use now.”

Mary says the arrival of Anneka and her film crew on the island was kept quiet, but once word got out their visit spread around residents like wildfire.

She said: “They just turned up one day, and it wasn’t until then that we realised what was going on and what they were filming.

“The programme and Anneka herself were huge at the time, and we used to all sit down to watch it at weekends.

“It was very exciting but people gave them space to work, although you couldn’t miss their massive TV lorry and Anneka’s iconic jeep.

“They looked for tradesmen to volunteer their services, and the buildings were renovated in no time and a 1,000 strong cycle rally to the new facilities topped off the programme with Anneka out front.”

Mary recalls her own starring role in the programme, which she still watches with her children and grandchildren to this day.

She said: “I was working in the tourist information centre at the time and I hadn’t caught a lot of the early excitement.

“I ended up on the programme because she went into the Ritz to get an ice cream, and I popped over from the tourist information centre to say hello.

“I was involved with the Millport Pipe Band at the time and I asked if she would like them to play at the opening day which she said would be nice, so the crew asked me to film asking her again.

“I watched it with my sons about a year ago, and my grandchildren couldn’t believe it was me on the telly.”

The new series of Challenge Anneka will be shown on Channel Five and will see her visiting secret locations to meet the individuals at the heart of each challenge and be briefed on the task ahead.