National Lottery Live through the years: Kelly Brook among the balls, Mystic Meg and an over-excited Noel Edmunds

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When it launched in 1994 with Noel Edmonds as host, the very first National Lottery draw captivated 22million viewers.

It may not have produced a millionaire – much to the embarrassment of Camelot – but from then on ticket holders across Britain were glued to the screen every weekend to find out whether they’d bagged themselves a winner.

Along the way it made huge stars out of Anthea Turner and Carol Smillie who fronted the show while Mystic Meg sat attentively trying to predict the outcome.

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Over the years, the draw’s many wraparound shows have included Big Ticket, Winning Lines and Jet Set with Ulrika Jonsson, Eamonn Holmes, Myleene Klass and Jenni Falcolner among the many presenters.

But now, 22 years after it first launched, the National Lottery Live is being axed by BBC1.

As of January 7 2017, viewers will no longer be able to watch the balls to see if their numbers come up on the main channel on Saturday nights.

Instead potential lottery millionaires will have to check iPlayer to discover whether they’ve clinched the jackpot.

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The decision to make the draw itself digital only comes under a new three-year deal between the BBC and Lotto operator Camelot.

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It could mean the end for most of the gameshows which support it, including Dale Winton ’s In It To Win It, which has run for 18 series since 2002. More info

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