Beadle’s Hot Shots (ITV, 1996-1997)
For many years, Jeremy Beadle hosted a lot of TV shows that featured pranks, or the public being captured in unexpectedly funny moments. In the 80s these included Game For A Laugh and People Do The Funniest Things, and in the 90s included Beadle’s About and You’ve Been Framed! That was a show that featured what are always called “home video howlers”, and it did very well in the ratings, this one was a variation on that.
Beadle’s Hot Shots featured clips that had been sent in from viewers, but this time they were short comedy sketches that had been made using their camcorders (I’m not sure if there was any professional involvement in the making of them though). The idea was that Beadle would introduce the sketch, and some of the people that featured in them would also be interviewed in the studio to reveal a little more about their ideas.
As well as some one-offs, there were also some sketches that featured in more than one edition to try and have a few regular characters appear on the show and gain some popularity. Some of the highlights included a terrible strongman who insisted that he was “hard as nails” before having a nasty mishap, a Bruce Forsyth fan club, and there were also parodies of TV adverts including fish fingers and washing powder (what are more irritating, the parodies, or the real thing?).
Some other things that I remember about the show include someone doing a parody of sitcom On The Buses, and while the actor who played Blakey was talking about the sketch, the real Blakey played by Stephen Lewis came on, and he was a little surprised to say the least. There was also a sketch where someone did a parody of Beadle himself, which he introduced by simply saying “at last… I’ve been framed!”.
I’m fairly sure that there were at least two series of Beadle’s Hot Shots shown at weekends on ITV, but there isn’t that much information about the show online, it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry. Around the same time there was a similar show late-night on Channel 4 called Take Over TV that was hosted by Adam Buxton, and of course with YouTube nowadays it’s easier than ever for anybody to share their amusing moments (by accident or design) online.
As much as I enjoyed the show, Beadle’s Hot Shots by some distance failed to match the success of some of his other shows, and some ITV regions burned off the later editions rather quietly in the period between Christmas and New Year. Around the same time that this show ended, Beadle also departed from You’ve Been Framed!, and apart from a few appearances on shows including Channel 5’s Win Beadle’s Money, he wasn’t seen on TV much after this.