The Saturday Roadshow (BBC1, 1988-1990)
The Saturday Roadshow is the second part of the Noel Edmonds Saturday Night trilogy (the first part is The Late Late Breakfast Show which ran on BBC1 from 1982-1986 but I never watched that one so I don’t have any plans to review it). It is a little odd to realise that this show isn’t as remembered as its successor Noel’s House Party, especially as most of the features that would make that show a success were established in this one. Even the theme music is similar.
There were some differences though. Firstly, this show was pre-recorded, and it was claimed that every week it was coming from a different location, such as the Channel Tunnel, or maybe even a space station, with Noel insisting that they were travelling up and down the country and beyond to host the show from unusual places, when it was actually always the same redesigned studio set.
Features included Wait Till I Get You Home!, where parents of children had to guess the answers that they would give to Noel’s questions to win prizes. The gunge tank was also featured in the game In Other Words. A contestant would be teamed with a celebrity and they would have to work together to solve word puzzles against the clock. If they don’t get enough right in time, I’m sure you can guess what happens next.
Another feature was Clown Court, where a celebrity guest would be shown some of the amusing mistakes that they had made on TV over the years, and they would be made to defend them by Noel playing a judge in a court setting, and Noel would also take part in various silly comedy sketches along with celebrities including the likes of Les Dennis and Shane Richie.
One of the most popular features was where a practical joke would be played on a celebrity and they would receive a Gotcha Oscar from Noel (later renamed simply a Gotcha). This turned out to be another long-running feature and inevitably the celebrities would line up to get their own back on Noel at the end of the series. Let’s see how he likes it!
The Saturday Roadshow ran for three series and I do remember watching some editions and enjoying them, I do think it is a show that deserves more acknowledgement in Noel’s long TV career. It was successful enough to be relaunched in 1991 as Noel’s House Party, where Noel would now greet us from the same location every week, coming live from his big house in Crinkley Bottom. How terrific.