Home Run (ITV, 1988-1993?)
I have now reviewed just about all of the game shows that I remember watching (that I can find clips of online for now at least). But I have wanted to review even more from the 80s and 90s even if I don’t remember them from the time because I find them fascinating and just really enjoying writing about them. So let’s go on and look back at this one that I’ve found.
And I do have a good excuse for not remembering this one, because it was only shown in the Central region. Also, far be it from me to question the wisdom of the UK Game Shows website, but their piece on this show says that it was hosted by Jim Bowen, when the ones I’ve seen were hosted by Andy Craig, who hosted a few other game shows around this time including Sporting Triangles, along with Central News. I’m sure it would’ve been marvellous seeing Jim host a show that wasn’t Bullseye though. Also, it is stated that the show launched in 1990, when the editions I’ve seen are dated 1988.
In Home Run, two teams of three took part representing various towns and cities in the Central region that were captained by a celebrity. So for example you’d get musician Roy Wood on the Birmingham team, and Debbie Shore off Children’s ITV on the Derby team. The centrepiece of the show was a map divided into all the places in the Central region (Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, and so on). A starting place is chosen about four away from their own and they have to get back home.
There were various rounds were questions were asked so get ready on those buzzers. These included having to watch some clips about shows that were produced by Central and then answer questions on them, Misplaced Face, where a celebrity had to be identified, Quiz Box, where it had to be guessed what four things had in common, and many others, all worth lots of points.
Whoever got the most points in the round would be asked a bonus multiple-choice question based on the area they nominate on the map to try and get one place closer to their home destination. Although their opponents could steal the place and block them in a Blockbusters style. If they do get back home though, they score a “home run”, and then take the Solo Sprint, where one contestant is asked questions for 45 seconds worth two points each, for a chance to really extend their score.
Home Run had a knockout format, and when it was time for the final, it really was a big occasion. The overall series champions received a special trophy from the managing director of Central, and their score was converted into pounds and donated to charity. I’m not sure when Home Run was shown exactly, but it seems that it might have been at the weekend in the slot usually filled by Bullseye.