Going For Gold (Five, 2008-2009)
Today is the 35th anniversary of the launch of Going For Gold, the BBC1 game show which ran in a daytime slot for almost a decade, and was rather popular, going on to have several repeat runs on Challenge. There were two revivals, both on Channel 5. The first was renamed One To Win, but the second used the Going For Gold name again.
There were a lot of differences between this second revival, and the original version though. The rather inferior version of the famous theme music gave us a clue about what this was going to be like. This was shown live and was an hour long, meaning that any fluffs would have to be left in, and the new host was John Suchet. This was someone who was known as a news host on ITV for many years, and this was his first game show.
And the contestants did not come from across Europe, but only from the UK and Ireland. There was no preliminary round either, we went straight into the first round, with four contestants. This was the same as the original, but nine points were needed to progress to the next round. This was also played as usual, with four in a row required, and the two highest scorers going into the final.
There was a difference with this though, as there was no fixed score to win, and they played on until time ran out. The daily winner received a prize, and was invited to play again in the next edition. But the real reason that this version was live and an hour long was because there was a phone-in competition for viewers to promote, after rounds, and seemingly during them too.
At the end of the show, a caller was taken to air and could win a cash prize, but unfortunately more often than not they didn’t succeed. Suchet looked a little flustered by all of this, so his role was soon changed to only ask the contestants questions, and Alex Kramer, who used to host on a lot of late-night phone-in channels, was brought in to host the game for the viewers.
Also around this time, other Channel 5 game shows including BrainTeaser were known for doing this, but it didn’t really seem right here. There were also some international editions, that did feature some foreign contestants, and there was also a knockout stage at the end of the series to determine the overall champion who would receive a cash prize. But viewers were rather frustrated by this awkward mix, and there was only one series.