This is the second part looking at Ian Hyland of the Daily Mirror‘s Top 20 list of great game show hosts, and comparing this to my choices…
Robert Robinson. Another one who I don’t really remember, but he hosted Ask The Family on TV, along with Brain Of Britain on the radio for several years, and was admired by many.
Bradley Walsh. Match. Well of course there’s little doubt that he has enhanced The Chase, but he’s done much more beyond that, getting the best out of contestants at the quirkier end, while laughing a lot.
Michael Barrymore. Well I liked Strike It Lucky, actually I really did, but his other game shows are little-remembered now by comparison. He also played an exaggerated version of himself as the bitter host in sitcom Bob Martin.
Mike Reid. This is someone who I wouldn’t think of as a game show host, being more familiar with EastEnders and his stand-up comedy routine. It’s surprising that he is remembered for Runaround considering he didn’t even host every series, and it seemed to be fun but total chaos.
Michael McIntyre. Another one who is more of a comedian, and I must admit I’ve never really watched The Wheel much, so it’s tough for me to rate him. Er… I’m sure that he’s awfully nice though.
Angus Deayton. I didn’t want to include hosts of comedy panel games as they don’t deal with the public, and what they say is mostly scripted. Although Angus has had the chance to rehabilitate his career to some extent, by hosting Bognor Or Bust and Would I Lie To You, he hasn’t reached the heights of Have I Got News For You again, which hasn’t been the same without him.
Victoria Coren. I definitely do enjoy Only Connect, but I don’t know what she is on about half the time, maybe I just don’t get her style of humour.
Dale Winton. As much as I enjoyed Supermarket Sweep (well didn’t everybody), I never liked In It To Win It that much. He always claimed that he knew his strength was game shows and he simply wanted to entertain people and encourage them. He definitely did achieve that.
Mark Lamarr/Simon Amstell. Mark hosted Never Mind The Buzzcocks (another comedy panel game). He did have a deadpan wit at first, but by the end he looked like he hated doing it. His replacement Simon mostly learned his trade on Popworld where he looked at music in an amusingly unusual way, never taking things seriously. So when he became host he tried to be The World’s Most Sarcastic Man, and didn’t fear mocking anyone.
Jim Davidson. No, come back! Jim had two popular long-runners on the go with Big Break and The Generation Game, although they ended around the same time, at which point he dropped out of favour. But that Mr Blobby on The Generation Game? Well if it’s funny the first time, it’ll definitely be funny the 1,000th time I’m sure.
So there aren’t a huge amount of matches with my choices, but it does prove that whether they are cheeky, cheesy, or just plain crazy, there have been a variety of people who have entertained us in all kinds of game shows over the years.