Hold Tight (CITV, 1982-1987)
This is a CITV show that I don’t really remember watching at the time, but I have found out a few interesting things about it that makes me feel that it’s worth featuring here for a review. Hold Tight was a mixture of a game show and a pop music show, that was held at theme park Alton Towers. There were a lot of hosts over the years, the original host was Bob Carolgees (he didn’t have Spit The Dog with him though unfortunately), along with co-hosts including Sue Robbie and Janette Beverley.
The centrepiece of the game show segment was the huge Snakes And Ladders board. Two teams of three children took part, along with one of their schoolteachers. A question would be asked, and the teams would have to find the right answer from a big pile of letters and numbers available. The team that gave the right answer in the quickest time could move up the board!
If they moved on to a square with a ladder, they had to answer a bonus question correctly to be able to go up. Remember to try and avoid those snakes! The pop music segment of the show featured a lot of the big groups of the time performing a hit single on a rather wobbly-looking stage. As it was the early/mid-80s, lots of famous acts appeared, including Depeche Mode, Prefab Sprout, The Thompson Twins, and so on.
There were also various challenges played that would be worth moves on the board for the winner. The next round involved teams having to make words, and the final round went back to having to choose a letter or number. Whoever was in the lead when time was up won the star prize! The theme music in the early series was provided by Bad Manners (just as they had for another other 80s CITV show Educating Marmalade).
The fifth series in 1986 had a slight change of format and a new presenting lineup. They were Jacqueline Reddin, Michael Waterman, and much to my surprise, none other than the award-winning Peter Simon! I never realised that he hosted a show on CITV, I thought that he was a CBBC man all the way through, this would’ve been about a year before the launch of Double Dare on Saturday Morning show Going Live!
Peter would also introduce the musical acts, so we had the pleasure of seeing him interact with bands including The Men They Couldn’t Hang and chart-toppers The Housemartins. I’m sure that the likes of Top Of The Pops and The Tube were on the phone right away to try and acquire Peter’s services. There would also be a few exciting stunts and lots of prizes to be won.
The sixth and final series in 1987 had another format change, with Hold Tight dropping the game show segment altogether and becoming a straightforward pop music show, along with a few comedy sketches. The new host was Barbie Wilde, and groups who performed their song (along with The Chart Show-style facts) would also be interviewed. And yes, I know I always bring it back to them, but appearing in this series were Bananarama, Fuzzbox, and Swing Out Sister, and it is always great seeing them on TV!