Pass The Buck (BBC1, 1998-2000)
It’s time for yet another review of a BBC daytime game show. Pass The Buck was hosted in the first series by Fred Dinenage, who presumably had a day off from hosting the news on Meridian, and this was a show where contestants were tested on both their general knowledge and memory, and it was another example of a show where performing seemingly simple tasks was actually a lot tougher when in the spotlight playing for prizes.
The show began with 11 contestants. Fred would give a category with several answers, such as “Oscar winning actresses” and then the contestants would take it in turn to give an answer. This continued until a contestant gave a wrong answer, was unable to give an answer or repeated an already given correct answer. Whoever did this was eliminated from the game, and then another would category would be given to the next contestant in line and the sequence would begin again with Fred saying “the buck restarts with you” which seemed to be the attempt at creating a catchphrase for the show.
This elimination process carried on until there were five contestants remaining, who went into the second round. In this, the game was the same, but this time, contestants were given three lights, meaning that this time they wouldn’t be eliminated until they had made three errors, and this carried on until there were two contestants remaining who both went into the Big Buck final.
In this, the remaining pair would now play against one another with 90 seconds on the clock. Fred would read out a category and the contestants alternated in giving their answers, scoring one point each for a correct one. Again, if a contestant made a mistake, they would not score a point and the category would change. When time was up, whoever had scored the most points was declared the winner and won a cash prize and trophy.
When Pass The Buck returned for a second series, it was now hosted by Eamonn Holmes, who also seemed to be hosting just about every other game show on the BBC at the time. There was also the addition of a new round called the “Memory Moment” which tested the memory skills of contestants instead of general knowledge. At the start of the show Eamonn would read out 18 words, and then at a random point an alarm would go off and the contestants would then have to recall these words, with the usual rules applying, and this was also used in the third and final series.
Pass The Buck wasn’t that bad a show, although there seems to be little about it online, and it has long since been surpassed by Pointless as the best-known show based around trying to find answers on various lists, and Eamonn was also hosting another game show around this time called Playing For Time which was good as well and I plan to review that one soon.