Brainstorm (BBC1, 1988)
For many years, Kenny Everett featured in a lot of great comedy shows on the TV and radio, and this is a game show that he hosted in the late-80s. Brainstorm was a show that was all about science and technology, but Tomorrow’s World was never anything like this! Kenny was the man with the questions (and all the answers thankfully too), and he often enjoyed playing with the plasma ball that was on his futuristic desk.
Four contestants took part and the set design made it look like the show was coming from an abandoned spaceship. Rather than scoring points as such, correct answers were rewarded with watts, which were also indicated as lights. So the more brainpower you had, the more power your score would have. The first round was on the buzzer, with 100 watts for every correct answer.
Then there was the Guess The Gadget round, featuring one of those “can you guess what this odd-looking object does?”-style questions. Kenny’s old colleague Cleo Rocos put on her lab coat and helped out with this part, and there were up to 500 watts on offer for who had the closest guess. The next round was Brain Scan, where the contestants were picked at random and then individually asked questions for 45 seconds, again with 100 watts for every correct answer.
Cleo would then return with another strange object, this time Kenny would join in and help demonstrate it, and then there would be a multiple-choice question asked about it which could earn another 500 watts. Then there was a round were a guest scientist would come on to a demonstrate an explain a few things, and then a question would be asked about that for another chance to bump up those scores.
The final round was Brain Drain. Questions are asked on the buzzer, get it right, and your opponents all lose 100 watts. Get it wrong and they lose 100 watts. This carries on until someone loses all of their power, at which point they receive a consolation prize of a lightbulb, and they are eliminated from the game in rather spectacular style, as after Kenny pulls his plunger they evaporate into the air, never to be seen again.
The game then resumes, with after a short while a sound indicating 200 watts are at stake, and then 300 watts, until only one contestant is remaining and they are declared the winner and the Brain Of The Week. They would then win a special quirky prize such as a radio, and they would be invited to return on the next edition as the defending champion.
Brainstorm was good fun but it ran for just seven editions. After this, Cuddly Ken in his final years appeared on TV in some more game shows were he was always dependable for plenty of laughs, including being a team captain on BBC1’s That’s Showbusiness, and also hosting the daytime celebrity word game Gibberish on BBC1 in 1992, I would like to review that too but there don’t seem to be any clips of that one online unfortunately.