Night Fever (Channel 5, 1997-2002)
When Channel 5 launched in 1997, among their programmes that they hoped would make an impact with viewers was Night Fever, an attempt at a Saturday night entertainment show which was based on a French format that was mostly a celebrity singing competition which had just enough of a game show element for it to be featured here. It was also hosted by Suggs from the Nutty Boys of Madness.
Night Fever could be classed as a musical “battle of the sexes” as it featured two teams of five, one all-male and one all-female. These would usually feature celebrities, or, failing that, cast members of Hollyoaks. The idea was that various rounds would be played and we would really see who knew the most about pop music in both how they sang and their general knowledge.
Rounds included contestants who would pick a classic pop song and then they would have to perform it, and the studio audience would jump up and down and clap along, and the words also appeared on the screen for anyone who wanted to have a go at some karaoke themselves. They would then be given points on how well it was thought that they did, and words like “GROOVY!” would appear on the screen like in a similar style to Fun House.
There would also be rounds featuring questions like “can you guess what pop star this is from this picture” for points, and most shows would ended with the usual quickfire buzzer round before the winner was declared by the ghost of Mozart, and every week the overall winning team were delighted to have got one over on their rivals of the opposite sex.
Also in various editions pop stars of the “I was famous in the 80s, you know” variety would appear on the show to perform one of their big hits, and again everyone was welcome to join in, with even Suggs at this point jumping up and down on the desk, and a wide variety of acts took part.There were also several themed specials of Night Fever, with shows dedicated to featuring songs all from the 60s, 70s or 80s and so on, and again these would always be lively affairs.
Night Fever was clearly one of those shows where it was hoped that the atmosphere in the studio would come through to the viewers, who would want to join in and have a boogie on down themselves at home, and somehow it was popular enough to run for five years, but it had ran out of steam by the end. It was a shame that Channel 5 never attempted another similar straightforward show like this where everyone was clearly having fun.