Game Show Memories – Quiz Night.

Quiz Night (ITV, 1988-1995)

It’s time for yet another game show review. Quiz Night was launched in the late-80s, seemingly as an attempt to include a general knowledge game show as part of the new ITV nighttime schedule along with the imports and repeats. It’s another one that I don’t really remember watching at the time, but that’s mostly because it was usually shown in some regions around 3am.

Quiz Night was a rather long-running show that went through various formats and five hosts, but this piece will concentrate on the earlier years when the host was Richard Madeley (who also had Runway on the go around the same time). The show began with the studio audience clapping along to the theme music as if they were on Blockbusters, or maybe they were just very excited by the prospect of what they were about to see. vlcsnap-00665

I suppose that the basic idea behind Quiz Night was that it was a glamorised pub quiz. Two teams of three representing pubs from across the country took part in a knockout format to win the trophy and be the overall series champions. The format was rather straightforward, and in this version two games were played in every show, so most teams didn’t even get one whole edition to compete. vlcsnap-00672

The first round was Team Work. There were 80 seconds on the clock, and contestants had to answer questions individually in turn. There were two points for a correct answer, but if they had to confer, it was only one point. Round two was Spotlight. One team member is nominated to play and they have to answer five questions on a specialist subject. Three points for a correct answer, and it gets passed to their opponent if they don’t know. vlcsnap-00674

The third and final round is On The Buzzer. Fast-moving questions are fired for 100 seconds, with two points for a correct answer, and one deducted for a wrong answer. The University Challenge visual effect where the two teams appear to be stacked on top of each other is used here. When time is up, the winner is declared and they progress to the next round, much to the delight of their scarf waving supporters in the studio audience. vlcsnap-00676

Quiz Night ran for seven years, and in later series there were some innovations. It was made to feel much more like it was actually being held in a pub as there were pint glasses scattered around, along with a beer pump. Also, some of the early series were repeated on Granada Plus in the 90s, and you can’t really see that channel’s nearest present-day equivalent ITV3 doing something similar now which is rather unfortunate.

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