Odd One Out (BBC1, 1982-1985)
As I said before, the late Paul Daniels had an unusual double career of hosting magic shows and game shows on TV. I was a fan of Every Second Counts and Wipeout, but I don’t remember the first part of his game show trilogy Odd One Out, which was based on an American show called Knockout. Thankfully there a couple of editions on YouTube which helped me put this piece together. First of all, there’s a great title sequence with Paul expertly performing the “haven’t worked out the answer”/”just worked out the answer” expressions that contestants make on these shows.
Unsurprisingly Odd One Out was a show where it had to be determined which one of the clues didn’t fit the link that the other ones did. Three contestants took part. There were four clues that were revealed one at a time. A contestant buzzed in and scored two points for pointing the odd one out, and also explaining why it was for another three points. They could also challenge one of their opponents to guess. Some of the humour in the show came from contestants buzzing in after only one clue had been revealed and they had to explain the link with almost no information.
The winner of this part of the game goes into the bonus round. The contestant is shown three clues, and they have to guess what the link is. They quicker they spot the link, the lovelier the prize is that they win, and who hasn’t ever wanted a croquet set? The whole sequence then starts again with three more contestants taking part, with the winner again going into the bonus round.
In the final, the two winners played against one another, and this time there was more variety on offer as there was also audio and picture clues where the odd one out had to be identified, and this carried on until there was a nice wibbly-wobbly sound and the overall winner was declared, with the loser taking away a consolation prize, and the winner playing the final bonus round.
The final was like the bonus round, as again they had to make the link between three clues, but this time they could only see one. After they picked one at random and it was revealed, they were told if it was the easy, medium or hard difficultly clue. If after some thinking time they get it right, they win the star prize and they can return in the next show as the defending champion. Although earlier series had a “winner stays on” format, in the later ones winning contestants had to retire undefeated after three shows.
It was good to finally see Odd One Out, it was definitely as fun and quirky as Daniels’ other shows and it eventually ran for four series. It also used computer graphics to display the clues which must have been impressive for the time. The show unexpectedly had another lease of life in the 90s when it was repeated in the early days of satellite channel UK Gold, and it’s definitely a shame that beyond Challenge there aren’t many channels repeating things like this now.