A quick update…

Before I bring you some more memories of various TV shows, I have decided to give you an update of the list of shows that I have already reviewed (in alphabetical order) on this blog. It’s been great to have finally been able to share so much of what I remember watching on TV over the years with you, so if you like the look of any of what is listed, then you can now read the review, and it’d be great to know what you think too.

Ad Fab
The Adam And Joe Show
The Adventure Game
The Adventures Of Captain Zeelig
The Adventures Of Sam And Max: Freelance Police!
After You’ve Gone
All Clued Up
All Over The Shop
The Alphabet Game
Ant And Dec Unzipped
The Armstrong And Miller Show
Art Attack
As If
Atlantis High
Auntie’s Bloomers
Bad Influence
Bang Bang It’s Reeves And Mortimer
Beat The Teacher
Bid TV
Big Break
The Big Breakfast
Big Brother
Big Train
The Biggest Game In Town
A Bit Of Fry And Laurie
Blankety Blank
Bob And Margaret
Bob Monkhouse On Game Shows
Bob Says Opportunity Knocks
Bob’s Fab Ads
Bob’s Full House
Bob’s Your Uncle
The Brittas Empire
Call My Bluff
Caught In The Act
Celebrity Squares
Chain Letters
The Chart Show
The Chase
Cheap Cheap Cheap
Chewin’ The Fat
Coogan’s Run
Count Arthur Strong
Cow And Chicken
Crazy Cottage
Cross Wits
The Crystal Maze
Cult Toons
The Dance Years
Danger Mouse
Danny Baker After All
Dare To Believe
Dark Angel
The Day Today
Dead Man Weds
Deal Or No Deal
The Dennis The Menace And Gnasher Show
Dick And Dom In Da Bungalow
Dizzy Heights
Don’t Blow The Inheritance
Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush
Double Dare
Dr Terrible’s House Of Horrible
Dr Zitbag’s Transylvania Pet Shop
End Of Part One
The End Of Thames

Every Second Counts
Everybody’s Equal
Family Affairs
Family Fortunes
Family Guy

The Fast Show

Father Ted
Finders Keepers
Football League Extra
Four Square
The Friday Zone
Full Swing
Fully Booked
Fun House
Garfield And Friends
Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace
The Generation Game
Get Fresh
Get Stuffed!!
Get Your Own Back
Ghost Train
Give Us A Clue
Glam Metal Detectives
Going For Gold
Going Live!
Goodbye To All That
Goodnight Sweetheart
The Great Bong
Hangar 17
Happy Families
Harry And Cosh
Harry Hill
Harry Hill’s Shark-Infested Custard
Harry Hill’s TV Burp
Harry’s Mad
Having A Pop
Hey Arnold!
The High Life
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
How 2
I’m Alan Partridge
In The Grid
Incredible Games
Is It Legal?
The IT Crowd
It’ll Be Alright On The Night
It’s Not!
ITV Results Service
The Jack Docherty Show
Just A Minute
Knowing Me Knowing You
The Krypton Factor
Let’s Get Quizzical
Live & Kicking
Look And Read
Look Around You
Lose A Million
Lucky Feller
Lucky Ladders
Lucky Numbers
The Machine
Man Stroke Woman
Married… With Children
Men Behaving Badly
The Mighty Boosh
Mike And Angelo
Mind The Gap
The Mitchell And Webb Situation
Monkey Trousers
Mouse Trap
Move On Up
The Movie Game
Mr Bean
The Music Game
My Wonderful Life
Name That Tune
Ned’s Newt
The Nelly Nut Show
Never Mind The Buzzcocks
NHS Loto
Night And Day
Night Fever
Noel’s House Party
The Noise
Not Going Out
Odd One Out
One Foot In The Grave
One To Win
Only Connect
Only Fools And Horses
Our Hero
Ox Tales
Parallel 9
Parallel Playback
Pass The Buck
Peep Show
The Pepsi Chart
Perfect Recall
The Peter Serafinowicz Show
Pets Win Prizes
Phoenix Nights
Pinky And The Brain
Play Your Cards Right
Playing For Time
Police Squad!
Potsworth And Co.
Press Your Luck
The Preventers
Price-Drop TV
The Price Is Right
Punt And Dennis
The Pyramid Game
A Question Of Pop
A Question Of Sport
Raise The Roof
The Real Ghostbusters
The Ren And Stimpy Show
Rock Profile
Rocko’s Modern Life
Round The Bend
The Roxy
Run The Risk
Sale Of The Century
The Saturday Roadshow
Scratchy And Co.
Sharp’s Funday
Shooting Stars
The Simpsons
The $64,000 Question
The Sketch Show
Smack The Pony
Small Talk
The Smell Of Reeves And Mortimer
The Smoking Room
So What Now?
Sooty And Co.
Space Ghost Coast To Coast
SpongeBob SquarePants
Star Test
Stars In Their Eyes
The Steam Video Company
The Strange World Of Gurney Slade
The Strangerers
Strike It Lucky
Sunnyside Farm
Supermarket Sweep
Swiss Toni
Take Your Pick
Takeover Bid
Talk About
Talking Telephone Numbers
Tarby’s Frame Game
Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles
Telly Addicts
Terror Towers
The Terry And Gaby Show
TFI Friday
That Mitchell And Webb Look
That’s Showbusiness
They Think It’s All Over
The Thin Blue Line
Think Tank
30 Years Of LWT

This Is 5!
Through The Keyhole
Tickle On The Tum
Time Gentlemen Please
Tiny Toon Adventures
Tipping Point
To Me… To You…
Today’s The Day
Top Banana
Top Of The Pops
Touch Me, I’m Karen Taylor
The Tribe
Trivial Pursuit

TV Heroes
TV Mayhem
TV’s Finest Failures
Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps
Two Stupid Dogs
The UK Top 40
University Challenge
Vic Reeves Big Night Out
We Know Where You Live
The Weakest Link
What’s Up Doc
Wheel Of Fortune
Where’s Wally?
Who Dares Wins
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Win Beadle’s Money
Win, Lose Or Draw
The Winjin’ Pom
Winner Takes All
Winning Lines
Wogan’s Web
World Of Pub
You Bet!
You’ve Been Framed!
Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It

As well as these shows, I have also reviewed lots of other things including computer games, ITV regions and pop music, and I will be looking back at lots more of these things too. I might also put a list together of the shows that I haven’t reviewed yet on here but plan to which will give you an idea what is still to come. I hope you’ll enjoy it!


The YouTube Files – Bob Monkhouse On Game Shows.

Bob Monkhouse On Game Shows (Channel 4, 1998)

Following on from my review of Peter Kay’s Let’s Get Quizzical, here’s a look at the other documentary that formed part of a special night dedicated to game shows on Channel 4 in May 1998 which has turned up on YouTube. This one was hosted by Bob Monkhouse who was definitely someone who knew what it takes to put a good game show together, as well as being a big fan of them, he hosted lots throughout his long career including Celebrity Squares, The $64,000 Question, and Bob’s Full House which is one of my all-time favourites.

This hour-long documentary took a look back at six decades of game shows on TV. Although game shows have been on British television since the 1930s, it wasn’t until the launch of ITV in 1955 that cash prizes were given away, so when Double Your Money and Take Your Pick came to the screen they caused a sensation with viewers who could watch ordinary people finally be rewarded with money for their knowledge. Not a huge amount compared to what’s on offer today though of course. vlcsnap-00425

There were also a lot of contributors to the documentary including William G Stewart, who had worked behind the scenes on various successful game shows including Family Fortunes and The Price Is Right before becoming the host of Channel 4’s Fifteen-To-One, and he spoke about how hard it can be to get a format just right, but once you get all the correct elements up and running, it can run for practically years unchanged and still remain popular with viewers. Another thing touched on was how to write questions that are challenging enough to thoroughly test a contestant. vlcsnap-00430

Also contributing were various contestants who have been very successful on game shows over the years including Kevin Ashman (who once scored a remarkable 41 points on Mastermind), Daphne Fowler (who won the first series of Going For Gold) and Trevor Montague who spoke about their experiences of how it felt to become a winner. One thing that those three all have in common is that they have all been series champions of Fifteen-To-One, although Montague was famously later stripped of his trophy. vlcsnap-00435

Bob also took a look at some of the scandals that have happened in game shows, mostly concentrating on the famous one on American TV in the 1950s (indeed, another part of this game show night on Channel 4 was the premiere of the film Quiz Show that was based on the scandal), and how viewers had felt betrayed that a seemingly knowledgeable contestant who caused great excitement on his way to a huge cash prize had been given the questions in advance. quizzes0001

One thing that is interesting looking back at this documentary is that it was shown a short time before Who Wants To Be A Millionaire launched on ITV which really did bring game shows into a new era. 1998 was just about still a time on British TV when if you took part in a show and went home with a four-figure sum you would be fairly happy, restrictions on cash prizes that could be given away had been recently removed, and being able to become a millionaire just by giving a few correct answers was about to become a reality. There is no question that the game show is a genre that is still thriving.

More TV Memories – CD:UK.

CD:UK (ITV, 1998-2006)

Following on from The Roxy and The Pepsi Chart, here’s a look at a third chart music show on a commercial TV channel that attempted to become a rival to BBC1’s Top Of The Pops. CD:UK (I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t officially a part of CITV) launched in 1998 to replace The Chart Show which had been in its Saturday afternoon timeslot for almost a decade and was one of my favourite music shows, and I’ve decided to stop being bitter about it for a moment to look back at this show.

One thing that CD:UK promised to have that The Chart Show never did was live studio performances from the biggest pop acts around, along with regular features including various videos, interviews, competitions and the latest chart. Ant and Dec (who know a thing or two about having hit pop records themselves) hung around from their CITV Saturday Morning show SM:TV Live (which launched on the same day) to host CD:UK along with Cat Deeley who was also a presenter on MTV at the time. vlcsnap-00421

As the years progressed, a lot of pop stars did take part making the show a good archive of who was big on the music scene in the late-90s/early-2000s, and after Ant and Dec left at the end of 2001, Deeley continued as host and was joined by various others. There were even a couple of compilation CDs released under the CD:UK name. Every edition ended with the Top Ten being announced (but again not using the official chart), with the Number One act receiving a special award. As there was a rather high turnover of chart-toppers during this era, a lot of them must have been given out! vlcsnap-00420

However, I much preferred the spin-off show that launched in January 2003 on ITV1 which was called CD:UK Hotshots. This was shown in a much later timeslot (usually around midnight) and it featured a rather unpredictable variety of music videos that you would be much less likely to see on the main show, such as more alternative acts, or videos that were just plain unsuitable for the daytime show. vlcsnap-00422

CD:UK ended up running for almost eight years before finally ending in 2006, and by this point I didn’t watch it much any more, and it seemed to have lost its way a little with the presenting lineup changing rather frequently (including a big relaunch in 2005 when Lauren Laverne and Myleene Klass became presenters), and by this point YouTube was on the rise so being to access a wide variety of music videos and performances was becoming easier than ever. It certainly made an impact with a lot of viewers though. vlcsnap-00419

The YouTube Files – Let’s Get Quizzical.

Let’s Get Quizzical (Channel 4, 1998)

I have written a lot about game shows on this blog, so here’s a variation with a look at a documentary about game shows instead. In May 1998 Channel 4 had a special evening dedicated to game shows, featuring a straightforward documentary looking back at their TV history with Bob Monkhouse, along with a more amusing look at memorable moments with Peter Kay called Let’s Get Quizzical. I recently tracked both shows down on YouTube, and I thought they were interesting enough to be reviewed here.

Firstly, I was amused by the show’s title Let’s Get Quizzical because it reminded me of the time that the UK Game Shows website listed the similarly named Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Quizzy as an interactive TV game show during the time when that particular genre was very popular, and nobody seemed to notice for a long time that it was actually a non-existent parody. They really should make a game show called that though, shouldn’t they?

Now Peter is a big fan of game shows. Honestly, he’s loved them ever since he was a boy. He still has warm memories of watching lots of them a long time ago with his parents, and he’d always join in with the catchphrases. In fact, Peter is so committed to game shows that he even once watched Cross Wits on Challenge TV, and he then admitted it on this show, right in front of everyone. vlcsnap-00395

But he really still doesn’t understand why they are so popular. Why are the hosts so smarmy? Where do they find the contestants from? And why do they risk putting themselves at the risk of being humiliated for such small prizes in return? Is it because simply people want to appear on TV at whatever cost? Or is it just because they’ve got a funny story that they want to tell the host? vlcsnap-00400

We were then treated to some of the more unusual game show moments from over the years, including some that had been shown rather frequently even by that point, such as Family Fortunes contestants being unable to name a famous Irishman, Ted Rogers on 3-2-1 struggling to explain the complicated rules, Richard Whiteley and Carol Vorderman laughing at rude words on Countdown, contestants turning down mink coats on Sale Of The Century, Fred Dinenage losing his patience on Gambit, contestants forgetting their glasses on Strike It Lucky, the disorganised chaos of The Golden Shot, and so on. vlcsnap-00397

And of course, one of Peter’s favourite game shows is Bullseye. Even then, Peter had perfected his famous “do you remember watching Bullseye, what were that about?” routine. He would watch every Sunday without fail and loved it. He thought Jim Bowen was marvellous, even when he was rather unconvincing at trying to tell contestants that they should be really pleased to have won the star prize of a speedboat. vlcsnap-00394

This was a fun look back at game shows, and I’ll review the Bob Monkhouse documentary soon as well.

The YouTube Files – The Silly World Of Michael Rosen.

I have always been overawed by celebrities. Although there have been a lot people in showbusiness whose work I have greatly admired over the years, I have never really had any desire to meet any of them in person. I would just find it really odd and it would end up being rather embarrassing.

I do remember one occasion though when I was in the company of a celebrity whose work I was familiar with. It was the time when children’s poet and writer Michael Rosen came to my infant school to tell some of his funny stories. I don’t remember when it was exactly but it must have been around the 1989/1990 mark when I was about six or seven years old, it was great, and he must have performed at just about every infant school in Britain by now.

I didn’t really think much about his work for a long time after that until something odd happened. I was watching some videos on YouTube one day when I noticed one recommended for me featured Michael Rosen, and I thought to myself that I remember that name from somewhere, so maybe I should have a look at some of his videos to find out what he’s up to now.

According to the description in his series of videos, he once wrote a book of poems and stories, but after they went out of print he couldn’t get anyone to publish a new version, so he decided to perform them to a camera and then put the videos on YouTube for people to watch so we were treated to some fun stories, including the sad tale of Harrybo’s granddad, his encounter with The Skyfoogle, his teacher at school who was so strict you weren’t allowed to breathe in her lessons, his dad’s struggle with a hot potato, and of course the time that when he was six he ate a bag of plums. vlcsnap-00384

Now I have a rather odd sense of humour, and one day on YouTube I discovered what are called “poops”, where videos are taken and then edited in various ways to feature rather rude and peculiar jokes. I had always found this kind of thing funny, so I thought that I’d watch some of these, and for some reason the poops of TV shows ChuckleVision and King Of The Hill made me laugh more than any other source that was used. vlcsnap-00388

It was then that I discovered that people had been using Michael’s videos as a source, so I thought I’d take a look. Now when I first watched them, I hadn’t seen many of the videos in their original context, so I wasn’t really sure why he was saying particular things and it was so strange. This along with the odd edits, and the strange video and audio effects making his face look all odd and giving him a silly high-pitched voice made me laugh so much I thought that it was terrific. vlcsnap-00389

There is one rather large problem with all of this though, Michael is fully aware of what has happened to his videos, and in an interview he spoke about the problems of when children wanted to watch his videos, they may instead encounter an edited one with the very rude jokes. He soon realised that there wasn’t much that he could do to stop this, and when he made his second wave of videos, including the one where he told the story of when he got rather overexcited by some chocolate cake, he said he realised what was going to happen. However, these poops have made him more famous in America, and he seems to have earned himself a rather large fanbase in Pennsylvania. vlcsnap-00391

Another element of this is just how popular these videos have become. Every year people are invited to take part in a collaboration to edit Michael’s videos which is then uploaded to YouTube on his birthday on 7 May, and some of those have lasted up to three hours. And just about every TV appearance by Michael has now been used as a source, including his storytelling on CBeebies, and a show that he presented about books on Teachers’ TV, a little-watched channel which only seemed to be on Freeview rather late at night a decade ago.

Some of these videos have had a huge response, including a rather odd one called “Michael Rosen Saying ‘Nice’ 1,364,546,901 Times” which has had millions of views, along with the also very popular performance of “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt”, and “Michael Rosen Embarrasses Himself On Pointless” has also been a big success. As Michael would say himself I’m sure, “fantastic”.

More TV Memories – The Pepsi Chart.

The Pepsi Chart (Channel 5, 1998-2002)

Following on from my review of The Roxy, here’s a look at another attempt by a commercial channel a decade later to try and create a weekly music show that was a rival to BBC1’s Top Of The Pops featuring live studio performances but based around a different chart (I might also review ITV’s CD:UK soon but I’m still rather bitter that it replaced The Chart Show, maybe it’s about time I got over it after two decades).

In the mid-90s a commercial radio rival to BBC Radio 1’s Official Top 40 was established which was sponsored by Pepsi and was broadcast on Capital and various other stations across the country. It was mostly based around airplay along with sales and it was successful enough for Channel 5 to decide in February 1998 that they wanted to launch a TV version. The Pepsi Chart was hosted by various presenters over the years including Rhona Mitra, Neil Fox (who also hosted the radio version) and Abbie Eastwood, and it usually came from a club in London. vlcsnap-00043

As well as live performances from pop acts, there would also be features including interviews. As an extra, after the new chart was announced on the radio on Sunday evening, Channel 5 would show Dr Fox’s Chart Update on Mondays, where the new Top Ten would be announced, which would also give us a hint of who might be appearing on the next edition. Unfortunately, this show was only five minutes long and was usually shown in a late-night slot, so barely anyone saw it. vlcsnap-00042

One of the things that attracted me to watching The Pepsi Chart was that because I was in my teens when it was shown I was rather interested in pop music at that time, and it was always good having a chance to see some of my favourite songs that were around being performed on TV, along with also watching TOTP, and music channels MTV and UK Play. There were also some compilation CDs of hits released under The Pepsi Chart name. vlcsnap-00046

The Pepsi Chart proved to be a fairly durable format which attracted a decent amount of big names to appear and it ran for nearly five years, but unsurprisingly it never came close to rivalling TOTP as a significant music show, and when Pepsi ended their sponsorship of the radio show in 2002, the TV version came to an end. Channel 5 were determined to still have a pop music show though, so they decided to try something different. vlcsnap-00054

Throughout 2003 various new formats were tried out, most of which were shown on Saturday afternoons. These included Pop, which was hosted by Lauren Laverne and featured live performances, seemingly to try and be a competitor with Channel 4’s Popworld. There was also The Smash Hits Chart, a tie-in with the long-running magazine which usually only featured music videos. This was then replaced by The Flaunt Chart, a tie-in with a digital music channel. Even this was then replaced by simply The Chart, and after that came to an end Channel 5 no longer had a regular pop music show in their schedule.

More TV Memories – The Saturday Roadshow.

The Saturday Roadshow (BBC1, 1988-1990)

The Saturday Roadshow is the second part of the Noel Edmonds Saturday Night trilogy (the first part is The Late Late Breakfast Show which ran on BBC1 from 1982-1986 but I never watched that one so I don’t have any plans to review it). It is a little odd to realise that this show isn’t as remembered as its successor Noel’s House Party, especially as most of the features that would make that show a success were established in this one. Even the theme music is similar.

There were some differences though. Firstly, this show was pre-recorded, and it was claimed that every week it was coming from a different location, such as the Channel Tunnel, or maybe even a space station, with Noel insisting that they were travelling up and down the country and beyond to host the show from unusual places, when it was actually always the same redesigned studio set. vlcsnap-00174

Features included Wait Till I Get You Home!, where parents of children had to guess the answers that they would give to Noel’s questions to win prizes. The gunge tank was also featured in the game In Other Words. A contestant would be teamed with a celebrity and they would have to work together to solve word puzzles against the clock. If they don’t get enough right in time, I’m sure you can guess what happens next. vlcsnap-00176

Another feature was Clown Court, where a celebrity guest would be shown some of the amusing mistakes that they had made on TV over the years, and they would be made to defend them by Noel playing a judge in a court setting, and Noel would also take part in various silly comedy sketches along with celebrities including the likes of Les Dennis and Shane Richie. vlcsnap-00173

One of the most popular features was where a practical joke would be played on a celebrity and they would receive a Gotcha Oscar from Noel (later renamed simply a Gotcha). This turned out to be another long-running feature and inevitably the celebrities would line up to get their own back on Noel at the end of the series. Let’s see how he likes it! vlcsnap-00171

The Saturday Roadshow ran for three series and I do remember watching some editions and enjoying them, I do think it is a show that deserves more acknowledgement in Noel’s long TV career. It was successful enough to be relaunched in 1991 as Noel’s House Party, where Noel would now greet us from the same location every week, coming live from his big house in Crinkley Bottom. How terrific.