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BBC cancels much-loved quiz show after just two seasons

BBC Lightning host Zoe Lyons
BBC Lightning host Zoe Lyons shared the sad news on social media. (Image credit: BBC)

BBC quiz show Lightning has not been renewed by the BBC, with a spokesperson confirming the Zoe Lyons fronted programme will come to an end after two years.

Citing "new opportunities" for its cancellation, the BBC has thanked presenter and comedian for her time working on the series, but now they're making room for different programmes.

Speaking about the news, the BBC told Daily Star: "Lightning has had two great series but we need to make room for new opportunities. We'd like to thank Zoe and the team for all their hard work."

Writing on social media, Zoe added: "Sadly all good quizzes must come to an end but I can't tell you what a joy it was to work on Lightning for BBC2. We made 2 cracking series and I loved every second of working with my pals at BBC Belfast. Every contestant was a star and you can still catch up on BBC iPlayer."

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Lightning gave contestants a chance to win a £3,000 jackpot, where they competed across six rounds testing their general knowledge, quick thinking and speedy reactions whilst a ruthless spotlight patrols the studio.

Hence the name, contestants had to be lightning-quick and they aim to pass the dreaded light from themselves onto a rival of their choice by correctly answering a question. However, only viewers at home can see the ticking clock, and whoever gets caught in the light when the time runs out at the end of the round is struck by lightning and eliminated from the game so it was a high-pressure game!

Fans are also devastated by the show's cancellation with one fan writing: "I thought the show properly found its feet in S2. What a shame to axe it now"

A former contestant added: "Gutted!! Absolutely loved my time on the show! Will always remain a highlight! The whole production team were fabulous"

And another fan said: "Oh no! The quiz was such fun to watch and you were great with the contestants."

It's not yet known what the BBC plan on replacing Lightning with, but the broadcaster still has some great quiz shows on air such as Pointless, Only Connect and newcomer Bridge of Lies with EastEnders legend Ross Kemp, so we can get our trivia fix!

Lightning is available on-demand via BBC iPlayer.

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story and Black Mirror, but recently she's loving everything about Apple TV's Severance