Game Show Memories – The Great British Quiz.

The Great British Quiz (BBC1, 1994-1995)

This is yet another BBC1 daytime general knowledge game show that I remember from the 90s. While it can’t really put in the same group as the great Turnabout or even Going For Gold as far as popularity or lasting legacy goes, I still think that it’s worthy of a review. The Great British Quiz was so-called because the teams that took part were from all around the country, and most of the questions had a link to Britain, even if some of them were rather vague.

The Great British Quiz (not to be confused with the similarly-named call-and-lose interactive TV channel from about a decade later The Great Big British Quiz) was originally hosted by Janice Long, who had also hosted Top Of The Pops in the 80s, and appeared as a contestant on 3-2-1 in the 70s. The opening theme had something of an Irish sound to it which was a little odd as it was a show about Britain, and the unusual set design has been likened to a lot of rather large shoelaces. vlcsnap-01119

Two teams (that had assigned themselves amusing names) of three took part, indeed some elements of the format were rather similar to the 80s BBC1 game show Masterteam that I also reviewed a while back. The first round was on the buzzer, with two points for a correct answer, but get it wrong and the opposing team score a point and get a chance to answer. vlcsnap-01120

The next round was The Hot Seat, which was where one team member was nominated by the captain and answered questions individually from a choice of six categories such as Television And Radio or Pop Music. A big spotlight descended on them, and then they had 60 seconds on the clock, with two points for every correct answer. vlcsnap-01126

Then it’s Animal Vegetable Mineral, where an item has to be guessed. The team captains take it in turns to ask a question that receives a “yes” or “no” response from the host. There are 150 seconds on the clock, and the points value which starts at 15 begins to descend, so the quicker they get it right, the more points they score. Then two more contestants are chosen to play The Hot Seat round. vlcsnap-01123

Next is Double Your Points. There are 90 seconds on the clock. Questions are asked where more than one answer is needed, and if they get them all right their score is doubled, so for example if it was a three-part answer, giving two right answers would score two points, but getting all three right would score six. The final round is back on the buzzer, but this time it’s five points for a correct answer, and three points for the other team if they get it wrong. vlcsnap-01127

The show had a knockout format and the star prize for the overall series winners was a holiday somewhere rather fancy. The second and third series were hosted by Philip Hayton, best known for hosting the excitement of The BBC One O’Clock News, but the format remained just about the same. I’m fairly sure that The Great British Quiz doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry but I do remember watching the show.

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