Midas Touch (ITV, 1995-1996)
This is a game show that I actually have no memory of watching at all when it was originally shown, so why is it being included as part of this series? It’s because when I first found out about it, I thought that it seemed a rather interesting idea, and now that I have finally seen an edition, it’s time for a review. One of the things that attracted me was the host.
Midas Touch was hosted by Bradley Walsh, and this was over a decade before The Chase, and also long before every time he laughed (and seemingly leaving viewers STUNNED in the process) it was turned into a news story on social media as if it was incredibly important. However the first time I can remember seeing Bradley on TV was when he hosted a comedy show on ITV in 1992 called Only Joking, I wonder if that’s worth revisiting.
Five contestants took part, seemingly drown from closer to the “I’m crazy, me!” end of the game show contestants pool. The star prize was a gold bar worth £5,000! There is a pyramid on stage and the contestants stand at the bottom level. Only four of the contestants will go through to the next round. A question with a numerical answer is asked and they have to guess what it is. After the answers are revealed, and once Bradley has stopped laughing because they were usually way off, the contestant whose guess was closest goes through to the next round and up to the next level.
This is then done twice more. When there are two contestants remaining, they have a play-off to determine who takes the final place on offer. Some of those games wouldn’t have looked out of place on shows like Double Dare or Run The Risk, as they have to complete a challenge whilst wearing a silly costume (there was a theme running through the games every week such as the farm or the circus), and then Bradley laughs some more. The winner takes the final place, and the loser is eliminated.
This is then done again to reduce four contestants to three, and then three contestants to two. The final round is called the Bank Raid. The contestants must enter the first number of a code at the bottom level, the second at the level above, and the third at the level above that. They must then enter all three digits at the next level (if they can remember them) to unlock the gold bar at the top level and become the winner.
I’m not really sure why Midas Touch passed me by as I remember many of the game shows from this era (maybe it wasn’t shown in my region?), but it was rather fun and ran for a couple of series, although it is little remembered now (it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry), and after it ended in 1996, Bradley went off to host the much more successful Wheel Of Fortune along with many other shows right up to the present (including The Chase which has now been repeated about 10,000 times on Challenge).