Small Talk (BBC1, 1994-1996)
This was an enjoyable game from Reg Grundy Productions where funnyman Ronnie Corbett who had appeared in lots of comedy shows had a go at being a game show host and contestants were challenged on if they thought they could guess what a group of children thought about various things in the world.
Three contestants take part and nine children aged around six to ten from across the country are asked the questions, of course all of them have to be amusingly cheeky, introducing themselves by saying “hello, Mr Corbett!”, or some strange variation, and then telling us who they are. On a few shows two children appeared in one square.
In the first round a question such as “what is a toupee?” would be asked to the children, and contestants would score points if they could pick the children who they thought knew the answer and then we would hear their amusing responses. No points would be on offer if they got the answer wrong. Then in the next round another question is asked for double points, with the lowest-scoring contestant at this point being eliminated and winning the great consolation prize of a Small Talk trophy which I’m sure would look lovely on a mantelpiece.
In the next round with two contestants remaining, another question is asked but this time the children are selected by stopping a random light in a similar style to Catchphrase. They then again have to guess what their response would be, with more points on offer. Both contestants have three goes, and the highest scorer at this point goes into the final, with the other contestant winning not only the consolation prize of a trophy but a hamper too.
The final was rather exciting. The one remaining contestant had to pick five of the nine children. They were each asked a question and the contestant again had to guess whether they got it right or wrong. Each child was concealing a points value of either 50, 100, 250 or 500 points. If the contestant got the answer right they would also win the points value. So at the end it was all rather exciting as the children revealed the points that they had in a similar style to Deal Or No Deal. If the contestant managed to score a total of over 500 points they would win the star prize of a European holiday, but if not they won a consolation prize of an evening out, plus the trophy too of course.
I remember watching Small Talk when it was shown on Sunday evenings in the mid-90s, it was a rather fun game, mostly sold on the “don’t children say funny things” idea that has been used a few other shows over the years, and indeed lots of children with great personalities took part. I don’t think that the show has ever been repeated on Challenge, although it was popular with many viewers for the couple of years that it ran on BBC1.