Game Show Memories – Do The Right Thing.

Do The Right Thing (BBC1, 1994-1995)

This is a game show (just about) that was shown on weekend nights in the mid-90s, and it was hosted by Terry Wogan whose long-running primetime chat show had come to an end by this point, and this was seemingly an attempt at finding a new popular format. It was also another production by Action Time who were rather prolific in TV game shows around this time.

Do The Right Thing was a game show that was based on a Brazilian format which was all about moral dilemmas, such as “would you sell your tawdry little story to the newspapers?”, and the opening sequence seemed to suggest that people could have a difficult decision was to whether they would listen to the angel or the devil or their shoulder in such a situation. vlcsnap-00136

There would be a pre-recorded sequence shown which would establish the situation. Terry would then get the opinions of the people in the studio, beginning with the three celebrity panellists. These changed every week, but Frank Skinner did take part regularly, and the show would have a wider scope of panellists than most, as along with comedians, politicians and newspaper columnists would also often take part. vlcsnap-00102

There would then be a segment where Terry asked the studio audience to “vote with your feet”, and they would all have to get up and walk over to a row of seats that said “yes” or “no”, and Terry would then whip his microphone out and ask a few of them why they made such a decision. The story would then continue to play out, until we got to just before the end, at which point the viewers at home could get involved. dtrt3

The phonelines would be opened for about five minutes, and viewers could vote for either “yes” or “no” to confirm what the final decision would be. Two endings had been made. The one that received the most votes would be shown, with the other remaining unseen. When time was up the results were revealed, and then we would see the chosen ending. Had we done the right thing? Terry would introduce the ending by solemnly turning to the camera and saying “I hope you can live with yourselves…”. vlcsnap-00096

Do The Right Thing ran for a couple of series (the first was on Saturdays in a 45-minute slot, the second on Fridays in a 30-minute slot), and while it didn’t cause much of a stir, it was definitely an interesting idea which kept people guessing to the end. Once again, it is a show that doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry and isn’t much remembered now, but I do remember watching it at the time, and Terry Wogan was as ever a reliable host who kept everything running smoothly.

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