Wipeout (BBC1, 1998-2002)
After the enjoyable game show Wipeout with Paul Daniels ended in 1997, about a year later it returned to the screen, but this time in a weekday daytime slot. There was also a new host, and Bob Monkhouse took over much to the surprise to some people as this was the first time that he had hosted a daytime game show in his long career. The format was also changed slightly.
Again three contestants took part. This time though in the first round there were only two grids instead of three because the show was now in a shorter 25 minute slot, and there was also £50 for every correct answer, with again contestants having to avoid the incorrect answers and losing all their money. There were no bonus prizes on offer in this version.
The second round was in a similar style to the original version with the Wipeout auction still taking place to determine who made the final. I’m sure that for at least one series contestants could still lose their money if they got a wrong answer in this round which seemed rather harsh, but for most series the money that they had already won was safe.
The final was also slightly different. The contestants still picked from four categories, and had to get the six right answers, but this time the star prize was a holiday to a destination in Europe of their choice. They would be given a “Monkhouse minute” to win it, and then they would have to push “Bob’s button” as he liked to call it because he liked his catchphrases to determine how many right answers they had.
Somewhat surprisingly this version is considered as rather inferior to the primetime version. The opening titles, graphics and sound effects were all changed and seemed a lot worse (and they always seemed to play the same annoying canned studio audience “aahhhh” sound effect every time a wrong answer was given). The set design also changed from purple to blue at some point.
Bob would sometimes also irritatingly give whether the answer was right or wrong away before the computer revealed it, and some viewers also felt that Bob’s hosting style came across as if being on a daytime show was a little beneath him. Worst of all, there was no longer a paperweight as a consolation prize!
That’s not to say that the show wasn’t without its good moments though. Bob always started the show with some of his amusing jokes and observations (but they were made in front of nobody as the show wasn’t recorded in front of a live studio audience because they made five a day so they used the same annoying canned laughter sound effect in every show), and it was clear that all the contestants enjoyed being in Bob’s company.
A few celebrity specials were made too and the show has often been repeated on Challenge. However, by the end of the run Bob’s health began to fail and the show ended at the end of 2002 after a massive 423 episodes had been made, and Bob died about a year later, meaning that this was his final game show. That just about wipes us out.