Telly Addicts (BBC1, 1985-1996)
Telly Addicts was a great show, unsurprisingly it was all about the world of classic television programmes over the years and all the nostalgic memories that evokes, and it was hosted by Noel Edmonds who always enjoyed any opportunity to wear a horrible sweater.
The format changed a lot over the years but the basic idea was to ask teams questions about the history of television. Two teams of four competed against one another. In the first series there was a “winner stays on” format but this was changed after the same team won every week so they were there for just about the whole of the series.
After this the format changed to a regular knockout competition. Lots of different rounds were played over the years. These included a round where teams were shown a clip from a genre of TV and then had to answer three questions about what they saw. Each question appeared on screen supposedly by Noel pressing buttons on what he called his “hoofer-doofer”.
Other rounds included being given clues to a TV personality and having to guess who it was, being shown various clips and having to guess which year they were from, and even a round in some series where the one team wrote some questions on TV that one member of the opposing team had to answer.
In the final round the contestants had the spotlight put on them and faced questions against the clock and at the end whichever team had the highest score went through to the next round. There was a great use of archive material on the show and the grand final was always an exciting occasion with a really impressive overall star prize on offer for the series winners such as a great holiday.
The set design changed a lot over the years too, with some series featuring famous TV faces from over the years in the background, and later series looked like they were actually coming from inside a TV, with everyone surrounded by various parts. A chap called Charles would help Noel with the scores in later series too which was all rather odd.
Telly Addicts was successful enough to run for over a decade and it was always an enjoyable watch, and it was popular enough for there to be lots of Christmas specials featuring celebrities taking part and spin-off question books. However, the final series featured such a redesign of the format that I am going to treat it separately and review it soon.
Despite the show leaving the screens in the late-90s it wasn’t over just yet though, Telly Addicts was revived in more recent years when an interactive DVD version was released that was hosted by Noel and was very similar to the original format of the show, and it was great seeing him don the sweater again.