Game Show Memories – Gibberish.

Gibberish (BBC1, 1992)

This is another game show that I only vaguely remember, but as this month is the 30th anniversary of the launch of this one, and someone else somewhere must’ve watched this, I felt this should have a review. Gibberish was shown in a daytime slot on BBC1, so I presume that I only could’ve really seen this during the school holidays (I definitely never bunked off, honest).

This was hosted by Kenny Everett, following on from Brainstorm. Although his own TV comedy show had ended by this point, he could still be seen on various game shows and chat shows, where he was very entertaining and would always guarantee a giggle. Two teams of three celebrities took part, and they had to play improvised word games.

Some people felt that this came across as a cross between I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and Whose Line Is It Anyway, with the combination of all of the silly rounds. All of the information I have found makes it seem that the same six celebrities took part in every edition (and there were 40, the equivalent of eight weeks). Maybe they were rather cheap to get hold of.

They were Danny Baker, Barry Cryer, Steve Punt, Jessica Martin, Jan Ravens, and Carol Vorderman. Let’s hope that they were ready to be put through their paces. The rounds included Opening Letter, where the team were given a letter each and have to form a sentence. And there was Reveal Your Identity, where there was a phone conversation and they had to guess who the other person is supposed to be.

This would explain why the panellists all had telephones in front of them. I also noticed that Kenny had a bell, presumably it was rang when he’d had enough and the round ended (or maybe wanted his dinner). There were probably some points awarded, but once again, this was a show where creating the biggest laughs was the priority. Although this wasn’t groundbreaking, it was definitely amusing.

Also notable about Gibberish is that this was produced by Celador, which went on to produce the very successful Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, making everyone at the company themselves millionaires (probably). There was only one series which was just about Kenny’s final TV work. After this, he continued on radio station Capital Gold for a while, and died in 1995, ending the career of a true original.


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