The Crystal Maze: Stephen Merchant Quits As Host. Who Will Replace Him?

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The Sun are today reporting that whilst the recent revival of The Crystal Maze will return to Channel 4 for a full series in 2017, Stephen Merchant has stepped down as host of the show.

A Channel 4 spokesperson stated “Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Stand Up To Cancer special, early conversations are being had about The Crystal Maze. And whilst Stephen was an electrifying host, he was always very clear that work commitments meant he would only be able to do the celebrity special,”

So who could replace Stephen Merchant as the show’s fourth presenter? Here are a few potential candidates.

David Tennant

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David Tennant was originally rumoured to present the Stand Up To Cancer Celebrity Special before Stephen Merchant was announced as the host, so could it be second time lucky for everybody’s favourite Doctor?

The show’s original presenter Richard O’ Brien believes David Tennant would be a good choice, having told Stephen Merchant in the celebrity special ‘I’ll tell you who would’ve been good. That chap that played Doctor Who,’.

Add to that the fact that David Tennant already has presenting experience, having previously presented panel show Comedy World Cup for Channel 4 and a special Doctor Who themed Never Mind The Buzzcocks on BBC2 and David Tennant looks like a fairly strong choice.

Scarlett Moffatt

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On the other hand, I wouldn’t put it past Channel 4 to make Scarlett Moffatt the show’s first female presenter.

Scarlett is arguably the most popular star of Channel 4’s Gogglebox and has shown herself to be a very funny, down to earth woman on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!. She also has a wonderful eccentricity – essential for a Crystal Maze presenter – having screamed her desire for chicken kebabs whilst trapped in a pitch black room full of creepy crawlies and pondered the nature of time travel with her fellow campmates. And after three male presenters, perhaps its time for a female Crystal Maze presenter?

Christopher Biggins

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He’s camp, he’s larger than life and he’s a natural-born leader. Simply put, Christopher Biggins is perfect for the Crystal Maze.

Who doesn’t love him? The guy is infectious, which is why he won I’m A Celebrity in 2007. Channel 4 could do much worse than hiring Christopher Biggins to host the new series of Crystal Maze.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

As with Scarlett Moffatt, Matt Smith has no actual presenting experience. However I’ve always thought he would be a more natural choice for hosting The Crystal Maze than my earlier entry on the list, David Tennant. Matt Smith has a genuine eccentricity not dissimilar to his portrayal of the eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who and could therefore offer similar qualities to Richard O’Brien in the role. He’s hugely popular in America too, having played the Doctor during the point where Doctor Who boomed in popularity across the pond – so if they decide to sell The Crystal Maze overseas, he would be a smart choice for the show’s host.

Matt Smith wouldn’t necessarily need to present, in fact, so long as he simply plays an exaggerated version of himself. A quick look at IMDB (the International Movie Data Base) tells me that Richard O’Brien actually didn’t present anything until The Crystal Maze. Matt Smith could perhaps perform a similar feat; after all, every presenter has to start somewhere.

Joe Wilkinson

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Joe Wilkinson is weird. Richard O’Brien was also weird. Joe Wilkinson would therefore be a good choice for The Crystal Maze. Joe Wilkinson’s antics on 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown seem almost like a tribute to Richard O’Brien on The Crystal Maze, given how wacky and off-the-wall they are.

Most importantly, people seem to love him. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown was originally intended as a one-off crossover of 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Countdown…and now it’s in its ninth series. If Joe Wilkinson can do with The Crystal Maze what his comical turn has done for Jimmy Carr’s  8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, then Channel 4 could have a hit on their hands.

Do you agree with my choices? Let me know in the comments below.

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