Memory Bank (Five, 2004)
This is another game show that was shown live on Channel 5 in the afternoon, although this was only really so it could feature a constantly promoted phone-in viewers competition, but of course this happened on just about every other game show at the time, there was even one inserted into the revival of Going For Gold, but let’s not think about that, let’s concentrate on the game.
Memory Bank was from the same team as BrainTeaser and was usually hosted by Rachel Pierman, it was a big test of memory. Three contestants took part. The first round is Double Vision which is played individually. There are 12 squares featuring things such as flags, Roman numerals, or traffic signs. They have to memorise where they all are. A picture is shown and against the clock they have to give the number containing the matching picture to make a pair, there are five points for every correct match.
The next round is Back 2 Front. There are 16 answers to general knowledge questions that have to be memorised (although sometimes these answers might be themed). The question is then asked and contestants have to give the number that is concealing the correct answer. There are ten points for a correct answer, and if they get it wrong, it gets passed on to the next contestant. There are some amusing moments here when the contestants make a totally incorrect match.
The next round is Double Vision. It’s like the first round, only this time there are 16 pictures, and contestants take it in turns to answer with ten points for a correct answer again. When time is up, the lowest scoring contestants at this point are eliminated, with the winner going into the final called Memory Check. The phone-in competition has been referenced about 19 times by this point.
In the final, there are 20 words that appear on the screen individually. The contestant then has to recall them (in any order) in 45 seconds. The more correct answers they give, the more money they win. There is £50 for the first ten words remembered, £100 for the next five, and £200 for the final five, meaning that a maximum prize of £2,000 can be won. Imagine what you could buy with that.
Memory Bank was extended to an hour in its later editions (meaning there was a slight format change), but it just didn’t have the longevity of BrainTeaser and ran for less than a year. I do miss game shows like this on Channel 5. 100%, Topranko!, Whittle, Win Beadle’s Money… I know that none of them were exactly big-budget award-winning affairs but they were entertaining enough and kept me watching. It would be great of they tried out a few more ideas like these again.