Radio Memories – Dealing With Daniels.

Dealing With Daniels (BBC Radio 4, 1982-1983, BBC Radio 2, 1984-1989)

This is a radio game show that I don’t actually remember from the time, but here’s why I was interested to find out more. As I have said before, Paul Daniels had a rather unusual double career, being both a magician and a game show host, including Every Second Counts. But did you know that in the 80s he also hosted a game show on the radio?

Dealing With Daniels was based on an earlier radio game show called Fair Deal, which was created by Ian Messiter, who was behind several quirky formats, the most successful being Just A Minute. The show’s title had a clever double meaning, because it meant “dealing” as in “giving out playing cards to people”, and also “dealing”, as in “having to put up with him”, how clever, er, yes…

Every week, three celebrity panellists took part, including comedians and TV hosts, and Barry Cryer, Patrick Moore, and June Whitfield were among those who often featured. Dealing With Daniels was a test of both memory and general knowledge, and it could be a big night for one of them if they play their cards right. No wait, that’s a different show…

There is a pack of playing cards, and every suit is represented by a different category. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 cards are not used. 7, 8, 9 and 10 cards are worth one point, Jack, Queen, and King cards are worth two, and Ace cards are worth three. They pick a card, and they are given the question. Some of these are rather silly, and can lead to what some people might describe as “faffing”.

The categories are played in rotation, and if a panellist asks for a card that has already gone, a rather loud hooter would go off, they would be penalised the points value of that card, and they would have to pick again. Get three wrong in a row and they lose their turn. Hopefully their choice would still be there. But they could also play their Joker, this could only be used once, and would restore any lost points.

This meant that it was a good idea to play this as close to time being up as possible, so all of the clocks in the studio were removed to make this more difficult. They could also play for a bonus if they thought that all of the cards had gone in a category. If they had, they would score ten points, but if not, they were penalised by how many cards were remaining.

There were a lot of points won (and lost), and there was a winner declared at the end, but there were no prizes on offer, how mean. Dealing With Daniels ran for about seven years, and it was good to come across this one and discover that this was a game that was enjoyable, and had a few twists, like the ones that Paul hosted on TV, how magic.

Radio Memories – PopMaster.

PopMaster (BBC Radio 2, 1998-present)

Having just about exhausted all of the TV game shows that I have wanted to review, I thought that I might as well now look back as some on the radio. Over the years, radio stations often go through several policy and host changes, and BBC Radio 2 has had as much of an at times-difficult upheaval as BBC Radio 1 did, in an attempt to attract new listeners (and try and retain the regulars), but one thing has remained a constant in the schedule for almost 25 years.

PopMaster (with a capital “M” it seems) is played in the morning, during the show hosted by Ken Bruce (who is almost always described as “the jovial Scotsman”). Two contestants take part, who are individually questioned on the history of pop music in various decades and genres, usually being asked “who had a hit with this?”. Ken will begin by asking the contestants about things like their taste in music before they play.

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They are both asked ten questions, with most of them being worth three points. And there are also three bonus questions, with a choice of two categories, which are worth double points, meaning that the maximum score possible is 39. The highest-scorer on the day goes through to the final, which is Three In Ten, where they have to more three hit singles by an act in ten seconds. Prizes on offer include a digital radio.

I know that this might turn pop music merely into statistics to some extent, but I do find all of this trivia rather interesting. As this is a long-running game, several quirks have developed. There are contestants who seem to end every answer (and in every sentence) with “Ken”. There is also a countdown timer when an answer is needed quickly, although most of the time their silence is because the line has gone down, rather than because they were thinking about their answer.

And in the “guess the year” questions, being told that they are “one year out!” with their answer seems to make some contestants think that they have won a bonus prize, when they had actually given a wrong answer (although a consolation prize of a T-shirt that does feature this phrase is much cherished). There have also been celebrity specials, and the Champions League, where the highest-scorers return at the end of the year to determine an overall winner.

And two books have been released, that are packed with questions in various categories, I have both of these, and they are always an enjoyable read, along with featuring on the puzzles page of Radio Times. There have also been specials where the game was played throughout the day in a knockout format, and there has even been a stage version. Few other shows make so many people shout at the radio when contestants do badly (or indeed well). That’s great, Ken.

Radio Memories – Parsons And Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections.

Parsons And Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections (BBC Radio 2, 2001-2007)

Although I have enjoyed lots of radio comedy shows over the years, most of them have been sitcoms, rather than anything more satirical. Among the most famous radio satire shows are The News Quiz (which is rather similar to Have I Got News For You), and the work of double-act Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, which includes It’s Been A Bad Week, and the long-running The Now Show, which reflects on the latest news.

I have decided to review a show with a similar idea, but featuring a different double-act. Andy Parsons at this point was known for contributing to a few comedy shows, and Henry Naylor was familiar for appearing in the series of Barclaycard adverts as the sidekick to Rowan Atkinson’s character. Together they had also written for several comedy shows, practically keeping Spitting Image running by themselves for a few years. In this show, various events were analysed, but all in different sections, just like the ones that fall out of newspapers at the weekend.

The other main contributor to the show was Richie Webb, who was the “musical maestro”. He would introduce each section with a rather rousing piece of music, before simply saying what it was, such as “sport”, “culture”, “fashion”, and so on. Parsons and Naylor would then make some witty observations, they would condense the story into its main parts and explain everything “in a nutshell”, and then act out the various roles. Honestly, these politicians. pan

Every week there would be a special guest, who was always a female comedian, who would take part in the sketches, and also deliver a monologue on the news. There would also be a song from Richie, usually parodying the style of a band who were around at the time (he did seem to enjoy doing Radiohead, suggesting that they were rather grumpy, incredibly. Webb also contributed to At Home With The Snails that I reviewed recently). One edition came from the Edinburgh Festival.

I did enjoy listening to repeats of this series, even though they had long-since lost their topicality of course, and although the show maybe had slightly less of an edge to its satire than what could be offered on The Now Show, there were still plenty of enjoyable moments. There were nine series of Parsons And Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections, and after this Parsons has gone on to have further success, going on tour with his stand-up and releasing DVDs, and also being a regular contributor to BBC2’s Mock The Week. I’m not sure if they’re still working together, but they were very good.