More TV Memories – Passport To Paradise.

Passport To Paradise (BBC1, 2004)

This is another one of those shows that is almost a game show, but I feel that it is more a general entertainment show really. In the late-90s, Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen were paired together on Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast, and they were arguably the only duo who came anywhere near being as entertaining as the original lineup of Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin, I definitely remember enjoying them.

So someone clearly thought that it would be a good idea reunite them for a Saturday Night show that would be live on BBC1. Passport To Paradise was another one of those shows that was similar to Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, Noel’s House Party, and Saturday Night Takeaway where lots of creative ideas are tried out and hopefully it will be a success. The studio audience had clearly been whipped into a frenzy, but would the viewers at home feel the same? vlcsnap-00990

It seemed that this one could have some potential, and there were various features. These included a game where people came on stage who Johnny and Denise hadn’t seen in advance, and they had to guess who they looked like. The one who was voted as being the best lookalike won a trophy. There was also a game where a camera would be at an event, and if you were there and were rang by someone telling you were on TV you could enter a telephone box and win £1,000 for yourself and the caller. vlcsnap-00991

To make sure that there was an interactive element, viewers were encouraged to send in silly pictures of themselves to the constantly plugged website, and again there was a prize for the best one. Denise would then perform a musical number, and be joined on stage by some people who were the family and friends of an audience member. So we would be treated to someone making an “is that who I think it is?”-style face during all of this and getting a big surprise. They would then answer some questions for a prize. vlcsnap-00992

The centrepiece of the show was where one half of a couple was away on holiday, and the other half is in the studio. Questions are asked about what they have been up to while they have been away. If they get three out of five right, they win their “passport to paradise” and can join their companion on the holiday. If not, the one on holiday has to return home. It’s usually around this point that Johnny and Denise run out of time and crash the credits whilst saying goodbye. vlcsnap-00996

Also occasionally featuring in all this were some comedy sketches. Passport To Paradise ran for only one series, and Johnny and Denise went their separate ways not long after. The show doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry, and 15 years on it’s just another one of those Saturday Night formats that promised so much but produced so little. It was still better than ‘Orrible though.

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