More TV Memories – Hit, Miss Or Maybe.

Hit, Miss Or Maybe (BBC2, 1997-1999)

Something that was a regular feature on CBBC Saturday Morning shows for many years (well during the time that I watched them anyway), was the record review. A rather unlikely combination of people would be put together as a panel. They would be shown a few videos of some songs that were about to be released, and then they would give various scores based on how much they liked them.

They were not likely to make or break many careers by doing this, and the verdicts weren’t usually as harsh as they were on shows like Juke Box Jury, but it did give a few groups a brief moment of fame as a debate about their songs took place. This carried on into the days of Live & Kicking in the 90s, although by this point the feature would be hosted by the comedy double-act Trevor And Simon.

Depending on what series it was, this would be known as the Video Garden, the Video Galleon, the Video Grand Prix, and so on. Although the scoring system had gone by this point, panellists were still encouraged to be rather opinionated, and this was usually rather enjoyable to watch. After Trevor And Simon’s departure, for the fifth series, the decision was made to change the format.

This led to the launch of Hit, Miss Or Maybe, which was one of three segments from Live & Kicking that would be subsequently repeated in an evening slot on BBC2 to try and attract some teenage viewers (the others being Transmission Impossible and Electric Circus). The host was Zoe Ball, who by this point was also the host of the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, which is a rather coveted slot.

Zoe knew plenty about pop music though, and at this time she was usually carrying on with the drummer from a different Britpop group every week. Three panellists took part, and it was always interesting seeing pop stars offering their view on other groups, and finding out what they really think about each other. This was not a game show as such, but there was definitely a competitive element to be right.

Three videos would be shown, and this time the panel would predict the success of them with some comedy oversized hands that had the thumb sticking out. This meant that if they pointed the thumb up, they were sure that this was going to be a “hit”, pointing down meant that this would be a “miss”, and pointing sideways meant they weren’t sure and this was a “maybe”.

I don’t know how accurate their decisions would go on to be, but the rather nice disembodied voice of “Showbiz Mitch” (as he called himself) would be available to help Zoe and try and keep track of the results. After a couple of years, Hit, Miss Or Maybe came to an end after Zoe departed Live & Kicking at the end of the sixth series (let’s not think about the series after that).


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