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Step forward Greymouth: classic '80s show Top Town is coming back to TV.

The West Coast centre still calls itself Top Town after winning the final series of the light-hearted obstacle race in 1990.

But that could change when 15 teams, each made up of six men and six women, meet in Christchurch to film a modern version of the show.

Old favourites such as walking a greasy pole balanced over a pool will be among the races facing would-be Top Towns.

Eyeworks New Zealand producer Greg Heathcote said the races would be more difficult than in Top Town's heyday, with plenty of mud and water and "less egg and spoon".

Greymouth has already signed up to defend its title in December. Other teams have until the end of today to put their names forward.

The popular series was a source of semi-serious provincial rivalry from when it first aired in 1976, hosted by Howard Morrison. It returned in 1986 fronted by Mark Leishman, Barry Holland and Ian Ferguson.

Viewers lined up for the chance to see a neighbour, friend or local celebrity come a-cropper in a slippery race.

The show toured with game show It's in the Bag, offering towns a trophy and the coveted chance to display a road sign declaring themselves New Zealand's Top Town.

This time around, the entire series will be filmed over eight weeks, starting in early December.