Double Dare (CBBC, 1987-1992)
Double Dare must be one of the silliest game shows to have ever been on TV. Like CITV’s nearest equivalent Fun House it began on American TV in the 1980s before coming to the UK. Double Dare was often shown during the Saturday Morning extravaganza Going Live!, but it also occasionally appeared as an individual programme during the summer holidays. The show was hosted in front of a rather enthusiastic studio audience in a somewhat unique style by none other than Peter Simon.
Two teams of two took part. First of all they played a quick challenge to determine who got control of the game. On your marks, get set, go! They would then be asked general knowledge questions. If they didn’t know the answer, they would “dare” it over to their opponents. If they didn’t know either they would “double dare” it back. If still no-one knew the team had to take a physical challenge, and what fun this would be.
The team had to complete a daft challenge in a very short time. If they did it, they won the points on offer. If not, the other team got them. This would carry on until a high-tech electronic noise signalled that it was time for Double Double Dare, where the points were doubled, can you deal with how exciting all this is. They did this until time ran out and the highest scoring team went on to the obstacle course.
There were eight obstacles and 60 seconds on the clock. The more obstacles the team successfully navigated, the more prizes they won. If they get all eight they win the star prize, what a good job! Not many teams did this and it really was a terrific achievement.
The mixture of all this was very good but the thing that really made Double Dare always worth watching for me was Peter Simon. His somewhat madcap style of presenting was rather remarkable really. He is best remembered for not having the ability to walk during the physical challenges and yet it was still funny every single time as he got covered in gunge and lost control of what has happening. He also seemed to get more excited than the contestants did when they completed to obstacle course which is always an amusing sight and he started jumping around with them before falling over yet again. What a guy.
Double Dare was a rather short show, with not many episodes running longer than 20 minutes but they packed a lot of great fun in. There were also variations with Celebrity Double Dare and Family Double Dare. After Double Dare ended, the final series of Going Live! featured the new gunge-filled game show Run The Risk, which then continued into the early days of Live & Kicking. Peter Simon stayed on for this and he was joined by Shane Richie. This show was great too and I’ll review that soon.