This is someone who I wanted to feature because although he is another host who might divide opinion, because of his longevity, and the sheer number of game shows that he has hosted (which I think might be just about more than anybody else now), I think that he has earned a place in this series. And once again, I’m fairly sure that he is following me on Twitter, but that hasn’t influenced my decision, no, really, it hasn’t.
Eamonn Holmes started out on TV in the early-80s, as the host of the news in the UTV region, and at the time he was the youngest news host anywhere on ITV. His career beyond this has taken in lots of other things, including being one of the launch hosts of GMTV, but I’ll concentrate on the game shows for now. A lot of them that he has hosted have only been shown in Northern Ireland, so of course I haven’t seen those ones.
But of the ones that I have seen, I do remember some of them were shown in a daytime slot. He was the second host of Pass The Buck, and TV Scrabble on Challenge. But one of my favourites is Playing For Time. This was partly because in the final round when the contestant looked like they were going to win the star prize, he would get rather excited, and it always amuses me when the host gets more excited than the contestant by a big win.
He then went on to further shows in a primetime slot, including Jet Set and Hard Spell. And there was also Sudo-Q, which might’ve seemed like it was jumping on the bandwagon when there was the first wave of the sudoku craze, but there was actually a decent game here (maybe I should review that one day too). He even hosted comedy panel game It’s Not Me, It’s You rather late at night on Channel 5.
In more recent years, he got married to Ruth Langsford, who might be a familiar face going back many years, if you were in the TSW region, where she was an in-vision announcer. They have gone on to host several shows together, including This Morning, along with the game Gift Wrapped. He is another one who I imagine will be hosting more game shows for many years to come.
And that’s it. This is planned to be the last entry in this series, as I think that 20 is enough for now. Thanks for all of your comments and memories. Although of course I have enjoyed many more people beyond the ones that I have featured, I feel that all of them have in various ways helped to shape and enhance game shows in this country more than most.
3 thoughts on “Game Show Memories – Game Show Stars Part 20.”
Adam, when are you going to write about any female game show stars such as Cilla Black, Davina McCall, Ulrika Johnsson, Anneka Rice etc; on Twitter you say that 20 is enough for now?
Well, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series, and I absolutely respect all twenty of Adam’s choices.
To quote what he said when he started the series: “Qualification is to have hosted at least a couple of shows that I have liked.” That so many of the shows he has liked have been hosted by men – and hence relatively few women qualify – is purely a coincidence, no bad intentions on his part whatsoever.
And to be fair, even today it seems that there are more game shows with male hosts than there are with female hosts. (Indeed, while Anne Robinson has become Countdown’s first female main host, Paddy McGuinness has taken over the host’s chair on A Question of Sport from the long-standing Sue Barker.)
Should Adam resume this series at some point in the future, I wouldn’t object at all if he chose more men. At the same time, however, I wouldn’t object at all to a greater proportion of game shows hosted by women – there *must* be a good format or two for Rachel Riley besides the ‘Down and its spin-off, and there are several ladies who I think would do a decent job filling Jeremy Paxman’s shoes when he stands down from University Challenge (including Kirsty Wark, Fiona Bruce and – yep – Rachel Riley). 😉
Thanks for your comment, I have realised that I probably should include a female host, and I’ll pick one to feature eventually.
I hope you’ll appreciate that enjoying game shows from the 80s and 90s was a time when there were very few female hosts compared to now.
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