N V S (ITV, 1998-1999)
Here’s another game show! This one was called N V S (which sounds a little like “envious”, but I don’t know if that was intentional…). This actually stood for North Vs South. The host was Dominik Diamond, who had come through six series of GamesMaster, and somehow managed to survive. I also remember that he hosted a live phone-in on BBC Radio 5 Live around this time too.
This was a game that was all about pop music, and I think that this was shown in the post-The Chart Show slot on Saturday afternoons (although this would’ve actually been the post-CD:UK slot by this point of course). I think that this was only shown in the Granada and LWT regions, which explained the north/south rivalry, and well I had to be on the side of the southerners, didn’t I.
Two teams of three took part, who were around their early-teens. Dominik was rather witty, but it did seem that his style of humour might’ve sometimes gone over the heads of the young audience and contestants. There were various rounds, and none of them were particularly groundbreaking, but it was an excuse to show clips of lots of music videos, and then they were asked questions about them.
As this was the late-90s, there was a lot of Steps, Five, and B*Witched featured, the kind of groups who were probably asked how they got their hunky six-pack by Mizz or some such magazine at the time, it must’ve been like being trapped in an edition of The Pepsi Chart. I was in my mid-teens when this was shown, so I was fairly familiar with all of these groups.
And to finish things off, oh look, there’s a quickfire buzzer round! No conferring now. About the only thing that I remember from watching this (and I’m fairly sure that this happened), was when a young contestant answered by saying “is it Skunk And Nancy?”, and well, they got that rather wrong, useless there was a duo called that who were successful.
The winning team with the most points won a bag with some pens and that in it, how terrific. Well I suppose that their classmates would be proud of them, and they could brag in the playground about it. Around the same time, Dominik hosted a similar game show called Swot Or Wot?, but this was only shown in the Anglia and Central regions.