Tibs And Fibs (Channel 5, 1997-1998)
Let’s go back to the world of comedy panel games again. When Channel 5 launched, after The Jack Docherty Show (which was going to be their main late-night hit, honest), there would be a comedy show. I have already looked back at sketch show We Know Where You Live, and I was also planning to review comedy panel game Bring Me The Head Of Light Entertainment, which was originally hosted by Graham Norton.
But there don’t seem to be any editions of that online at the moment, so for now I’ll look back at this one instead (I’m fairly sure like with many other shows I set the video for this once out of curiosity of what Channel 5’s late-night comedy strand was like). There seemed to be a lot of comedy panel games around at this time covering various subjects, and this one was all about medicine and health.
Tibs And Fibs was hosted by Tony Slattery, who knew a thing or two about these type of shows by this point (and devised the format himself), and it was produced and directed by Mike Mansfield, how marvellous. The team captains were Dr Phil Hammond and Tony Gardner, who had also been in a medical-themed comedy double act called Struck Off And Die.
Every week they would be joined by two guest panellists (usually someone along the lines of Craig Charles), and some of the answers would receive additional comments from the hunky breakfast TV Doctor Hilary. Now if you are thinking that this means the show was just an opportunity to make crude jokes about people’s most intimate body parts, well you are right really.
If you expect people to try and be tacky and vulgar on these type of shows then there was plenty of that here. There were several rounds played, most of them weren’t highly original, they were just a chance to mess around. And there wasn’t much track kept of the scores either because as ever making people laugh was the priority, but it was good to discover if the panellists knew their fibulas from their phobias.
Rounds included every panellist being asked a question individually, and having to guess where something was in the body. After the break (which always included an advert for Super Attak, that’s the way to glue things), there was a public information film from the archive shown and questions had to be answered on it, having to mime various things against the clock, having to identify what a mystery item would be used for, and finishing off with the usual quickfire buzzer round.
Tony would also finish with a lovely joke such as “Doctor, doctor, I feel like a bridge. What’s come over you?”. Tibs And Fibs was not exactly highbrow stuff, but it did have plenty of laughs and it was still more entertaining than what is usually on TV at midnight nowadays, it might have even stretched to a second series, and I think that it was shown on the Paramount Comedy Channel rather late at night too.