Mega Mania (CITV, 1992)
Back in the early-90s I recorded various shows on CITV. One of them was Mega Mania, but it was incomplete, indeed, it only came to about one or two minutes. I was never really sure why there was such a short amount on the tape, but I must have had some interest to have recorded any of it at all. I couldn’t really remember much about it though, so I was very pleased to discover that every edition is in full on YouTube.
What was Mega Mania? I would say that it was a game show. It has teams competing in various games against one another to score points and win prizes, but it isn’t listed on the UK Game Shows website which is a surprise as they are usually the authority on these things. If even they don’t remember this one then it really has been lost in the mists of time, so here’s what it was about.
Mega Mania (a Thames production for ITV) was hosted by Joe Greco (who also appeared in some other CITV shows around this time including the sitcom Spatz) who represented the red team, and Lucy Alexander (who 26 years later is still on TV as one of the hosts of BBC1’s daytime show Hammers Under The Home or whatever it’s called, I’ve never seen it myself, and more impressively, appeared in an advert for Burger King) who represented the blue team.
Mega Mania toured the country and every week came from a different location such as a hospital, a supermarket, or a farm. Two teams of four took part and there were five rounds, which included some messy and rather silly games, making the show draw comparisons with Fun House. There were 20 points for the team that won the round, and 10 points for the losers, Joe and Lucy did their best to encourage them all the way through as they wanted their team to win, and it usually all to play for going into the final round.
Prizes on offer included a pair of trainers, a camera, a board game, and a NES console. Fantastic. Having now watched some editions of Mega Mania again, a lot of the games were rather well put together and enjoyable, and there were some funny moments, but the show ended after just five editions, never to been seen again (it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry).
However, the similar CITV shows Finders Keepers and Fun House were much more successful, maybe the market for wacky game shows (along with the likes of Double Dare and Get Your Own Back on CBBC) was already too overcrowded at the time for Mega Mania to stand out. Tommy Boyd thought that it was great though, and there can’t be much better endorsement than that.