Body Heat (ITV, 1994-1996)
This is a game show (another production from Action Time) that was all about health and fitness. It isn’t really the kind of thing that I am interested in usually, but I remember watching this on Friday evenings in the summer of ’94 to try and keep my mind off my impending start at secondary school which was a rather big change in my life. Could this show give the similar ITV show Gladiators a run for its money?
Body Heat was hosted by Mike Smith (having a day off from That’s Showbusiness) with a little help from sport stars Sally Gunnell and Jeremy Guscott. Three teams of two (one male and one female) take part in various challenges to determine who is the fittest. These included competing on various things such as rowing machines, treadmills or bikes, with their progress being tracked by some computer graphics and points were awarded for where they finished.
Also featuring was a round with questions about fitness and nutrition that had to be answered by the contestants running to a button to give the correct answer. There were also tests of arm and leg strength, with contestants having to lift weights and aiming to reach a predetermined target (and scoring a bonus if they were able to exceed it). And well, I got exhausted just watching this one.
Another round was a bleep test, where contestants had to run up and down constantly, and again there were bonuses on offer for being able to reach an advanced level, so don’t forget to pace yourself now will you. There was also a round that was made on location where contestants had to compete in a course with obstacles which was a little similar to The Krypton Factor.
The climax consisted of a large wall with lights on it that randomly lit and had to be extinguished by being hit with a bat against the clock. This might not sound that difficult, but by this point the contestants were completely cream-crackered and their hand/eye co-ordination had gone, making this a rather difficult task that added some tension to the contest.
When this was over, the team with the most points (which could usually be over 1,000) were declared the winners, and I think there was also a trophy on offer for the highest scoring teams throughout the series. Body Heat ran for a few series, and concluded in 1996 with a celebrity special featuring some athletes that had recently taken part at the Atlanta Olympics. I’m not sure if the show encouraged many viewers to go out and try some of the events themselves, but it was rather action-packed and fast-moving.