Bad Influence (CITV, 1992-1996)
In the not particularly illustrious history of television programmes about the world of computer games, I think that CITV’s Bad Influence is definitely one of the better ones. It was hosted by Andy Crane and Violet Berlin and it would give us the latest information in the world of games.
When Bad Influence began it was in the 16-bit era of Nintendo and Sega, Sony and Microsoft hadn’t entered the market with their consoles yet, so the items on the show were mostly all about what was happening with the Super Nintendo, Mega Drive, Game Boy and Game Gear, among others. It also reminds me of the bizarre advertising campaigns that were around for games at the time such as “to be this good takes ages” and all of that.
There would be reviews of the latest games by viewers and we would also have all of the latest news that was happening in the games industry, with Andy and Violet travelling around the world to report on the newest consoles and technology.
The show would occasionally be interrupted by someone called Nam Rood who would be coming live from his shed. He would tell us all about the latest gaming cheats by sticking some codes to his forehead and urging us to be naughty and try them ourselves. Oh, he’s so outrageous.
There was also a short-lived tie-in magazine. The first issue came with a free tape, but there would only be one more. The show also ended with the Datablast, where lots of information would appear on the screen very quickly as the credits ran, so you would have to record the show and then watch it back in slow motion to discover all the messages, they really did fit a lot into the show.
Bad Influence ran for four series and went on to be one of the most popular CITV shows of its era, covering the games industry in a positive way. I remember after the first episode ended Tommy Boyd saying how great he thought the show was, and if it meets Tommy’s approval, then I would say that it is definitely a good show.