More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 4.

Here’s another memorable moment from Bid which features Andy Hodgson and Peter Simon. When Bid launched on Freeview in January 2003, they were doing something rather special. For a few weeks everyone who placed a successful bid was put into a draw, and then a name would be picked out at random by the computer and they would win the star prize of £10,000. But later in that year they went a little further.

There was another draw, but this time the star prize was £20,000. Peter even appeared in the promotion for this competition which was a little unusual as Andy Hodgson usually did the majority of them, presumably because he would need fewer retakes, but either way it was good seeing Peter get some more exposure. And when the big night came to reveal who the winner would be, it was fair to say that emotions were running a little high.

Andy and Peter were both live in the studio ready to do the big reveal. There was a big suitcase on the table which featured notes inside it which had pictures of Andy on them, I presume they’re not legal tender. Then, after several weeks, the big moment came, and we’d finally find out the star winner. Who would it be? Mavis in Northampton? Joyce in Kirkcaldy? Gladys in Hull? The tension began to mount…

And then it was revealed that the winner was Kim in Bridgwater! Naturally everyone was very pleased and they got a delighted Kim on the phone to talk to, but it’s what happened next that turned this whole occasion really bizarre. Peter seemed to be overcome by what had happened, and he started to sob and say “I’ve never known anybody win £20,000 before!” whilst dabbing his eyes. vlcsnap-00018

This somewhat distracted Andy who was trying to congratulate the newly rich Kim, and there also seemed to be a lot of disbelieving laughter from the crew in the studio. I honestly don’t know whether Peter was putting it on or not but it was just so strange, and in all the years I watched Peter on Bid only his emotional response to receiving his tenth anniversary figurine what I wrote about recently can compare with what happened on this night. vlcsnap-00019

I suppose though that moments like this are what kept me watching, and I suppose it explains why Peter didn’t go on to host any game shows after Run The Risk where contestants played for big money, because he just wouldn’t be able to believe it. What a carry on. Another classic moment coming soon…

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 3.

One great thing about watching Peter Simon on Bid TV was that he was so unpredictable, and it always felt that at any moment something rather amusing and bizarre could happen with him on live TV because he liked to make it up as he went along, but there was one moment in November 2011 which really was remarkable even by his own standards.

I was watching one Sunday evening, when Peter came on and did his usual rather daft introduction where he treated all this as if he had just walked on stage at the Palladium. Once he’d finished his highly amusing anecdote, he then introduced his assistant for the night Helen, and Peter was somewhat surprised when Andy Hodgson walked on instead.

Andy announced that it was the 10th anniversary of Peter joining Bid, so they had decided to do something special. I was always pleased to see Peter enjoy a second wave of popularity after his Double Dare days, and Andy explained how Peter was hired. He said that he phoned Peter’s agent, asked “I’m looking for somebody cheap”, and got the reply, “I can help you there, it’s Peter Simon, he’s not busy.” I imagine that Andy was joking but he was probably closer to the truth than he realised.

Because Andy also said that he’d had a right old laugh with Peter over the years, he revealed that tonight there would be a very special item for sale… the limited edition Peter Simon commemorative anniversary figurine! Yes! Andy also said “it is numbered individually, because it’s your favourite word”, and Peter didn’t seem to notice Andy taking the mick right in front of him. vlcsnap-01580

It was then that Steve and Helen came on with a special cake and some soppy music played. Peter seemed to have no advance idea of all this and he looked like he couldn’t believe it, and then Andy asked Peter because it was Remembrance Sunday if he would sell the figurines if for every one sold they would donate some money to a favourite charity of Peter’s choice. vlcsnap-01567

Peter’s response to this was somewhat unexpected and made something that was already unusual seem rather more odd. Peter just paused and said “can I just say… thank you very, very much”, and then he practically started to sob, and Andy and Steve put their arm round him, realising that they probably should’ve done this at the end of his shift because he was overcome. vlcsnap-01589

When it came to Peter actually selling the figurine later in the evening, that was a very odd experience too. He didn’t put any humour into it at all, and just sat there practically sobbing for about ten minutes about all the things that had happened over the years, talking about how touched he was that viewers sent kind messages to him, and reminiscing about a programme that he had recently heard on Radio 2 about parents talking about the musical choices of their fallen solider children.

Eventually they did sell the 1,000 quantity, with Peter going for a very reasonable £14.99, raising thousands of pounds in the process. What a bargain. And I’m sure that Peter takes pride of place not only on a mantlepiece or a bay window in houses across the country to this very day. Now you wouldn’t see that happen any other channel, would you.