Wake Up In The Wild Room (GMTV, 1996-1998)
As I have said before, at the start of 1997 (back in the old fuzzy analogue TV days) I set the video for GMTV on a Saturday to try and discover more about their children’s programming, and along with Bug Alert, this is another one that I was interested in seeing. Wake Up In The Wild Room was hosted by Dave Benson-Phillips, and it was a lively mix of games, features, and cartoons.
Every edition was about an hour long (including the advert breaks, usually featuring Sugar Puffs rather a lot). Dave was also accompanied by two floating puppet head things with big ears called Fluff and Scruff. The cartoons that were featured were from the Disney archive, and among those shown were Winnie The Pooh and Quack Pack. They were good, but they weren’t the highlight of the show for me.
I did enjoy the game element. Two teams of two took part (who introduced themselves with a video diary) and they took part in games in various rooms around the house that could sometimes feature some gunge. I remember one game that was part of the New Year special was to make the year 1997 that had just started. I really can’t believe how long ago that is now.
There was also a feature where Dave would go under his bed and come out of the other side at another place where he would meet some people who were doing an activity, such as playing football, or being in a steel band. This would almost always conclude with someone being encouraged to say the secret word which would result in them having a custard pie shoved in their face, which would make Dave laugh every single time.
The show clearly had a loyal fanbase, because viewers were encouraged to send in their pictures, that were usually of Fluff and Scruff, and any that were shown would win the star prize of a pen, and there were a few competitions too. Well it was exciting in those days. There were also be some celebrity guests, and after a few games were played, the teams had won some prizes, and the ones that had won the most now had the chance to play for even more brilliant ones.
In Sock The Star, the winning team had to go outside the house and throw socks at the open windows for one minute. The more pictures they knocked down, the better they did. But if they hit Gary The Ghost, he would randomly appear (dressed as a milkman), and give them each a custard pie (clearly a running theme in this show), and they would have to play out the remaining time all messy and still in shock, how strange.
Wake Up In The Wild Room was good fun to watch on a Saturday Morning, and it ran for about two years, before being replaced by Diggit (although I never really watched that one), and Dave went back off to host Get Your Own Back for about another five years. I don’t know where Fluff and Scruff are now though. Maybe they still live in the house together.