One of my favourite TV genres is game shows – oh, I love game shows! As you’ll soon find out. One of the things that I will be doing on here is talking about some of my favourite game shows, some that you will have heard of, some maybe not. I will mostly be talking about daytime and primetime shows, I’ll be reviewing CBBC/CITV shows and comedy panel games separately, and I’ll pick about two-dozen of my favourites to talk about on here. Or maybe three-dozen. Or maybe even four-dozen, I’ll see how it goes.
Here’s a quick story about me and showbusiness. I have never really been interested in the idea of celebrity that much, I have never particularly wanted to meet any TV stars or get their autographs, however much I might watch and admire them, I would just get overawed and all embarrassed. But here’s a story about how I did once end up in the studio audience for a show that I liked.
As I said before, we never had satellite in our house, but in 1993, I used to visit a friend who did. So when I went round in the evening they would always have Sky One on, so I remember such shows as terrible Australian soap E Street, some 999-type programme with William Shatner, and the American sitcom Full House. I also remember a show about computer games called Games World.
It was on every weekday and it was essentially a computer games magazine on the TV. One day there would be advice on cheats, another day there would be reviews of the latest games, and there would also be a day which featured a game show.
This show featured various “puffy jackets” as Digitiser used to call them who thought they were good at games to play against colourful characters who would appear regularly on the show who were supposedly the experts. If the contestants did beat them, it was lots of prizes for them. Looking back it was essentially a cross between The Chase and Gamesmaster, with some dumb WWE-style trash talking thrown in as well.
I always used to enjoy this show. It was hosted by Bob “Medinner” Mills who was a witty host and would commentate on the games alongside a writer from a games magazine. There were lots of characters including some tubby bloke called Big Boy Barry who would insist he was brilliant at games, and he didn’t like it when he got beaten.
It’s a rather long story but in 1994 I was actually in the studio audience for this show. So you can imagine what it was like to suddenly actually be there with Bob and Barry and computer games and all this racket in front of me and everything. It was the first time that I had been in a TV studio, it was a terrific experience and I was thrilled.
Then granddad died the next day and that brought me back down somewhat…