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Hey Hey returns to Nine

Plucka DuckDaryl Somers has answered a Channel Nine mayday as the network seeks a return to its heyday with variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

The presenter, 58 in August, will front two one-off specials of the program in November as Nine digs into its vaults to try to boost ratings.

Hey Hey It’s Saturday first aired in 1971 with Somers as host but was controversially axed in 1999 after a run of 28 years.

The show featured a puppet sidekick, Ossie Ostrich, performed by Ernie Carroll and several female co-hosts, most famously Jackie MacDonald and Denise Drysdale.

It also featured the much-loved characters Dicky Knee and Plucka Duck along with sarcastic judge Red Symonds.

Somers, who went on to front Dancing With The Stars, says the return of Hey Hey is the result of 18 months of hard work and claims viewers demanded the show back.

“All the gang are really enthusiastic and can’t wait to recreate the fun we had over the 28 years of the show,” the presenter said.

“There is enormous groundswell of public support for this, so it’s the right time to do this while we are all still here.”

If the two one-off specials prove popular it could lead to a full-time return to our screens for Hey Hey.

“We are delighted to have Australia’s most popular, longest running variety show back on Nine where it all began,” Channel Nine program director, Michael Healey, said.

“Audiences are craving family viewing and Hey Hey appealed to all age groups. It’s a show the whole family can watch together and enjoy.”

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