More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 12.

This will probably be the last one in this series. Over the years, Peter Simon became known for his rather bizarre turn of phrase on Bid, the pressure of live TV was clearly getting to him. So this will be a list of about 100 of his best quotes. They are compiled from memory, various bits I recorded or wrote down, Peter’s Wikipedia entry, and the entertaining Twitter @PeterSimonSays account, the gift that keeps on giving. Are you ready? Let’s do it then.

“A couple of moments ago, 30 seconds ago, we pulled the handle, the machine ran, and the numbers that it delivered? Well, it was this”.
“All… all today’s TV listings, of course, all today’s T… TV… er, products, are, are on our, listings… site, all the w’s dot bid dot tv”.
“And, cue the orchestra! Oh yes!”.
“And I’ve got a little pimple where I was having my little shorts on. Hmm, it was nice actually. Angelfish swam round me. I got something caught on the coral but it was alright. At least I’ve got something to catch. It’s a girl from New Zealand”.
“And there’s a lad who crushes hazelnuts with his eyelids”.
“At £9, for the whole lot, that is nine one pound notes”.
“Bid your bid in now”.
“Bless you, that sneeze was that good people have got up to dance”.
“Can I stop the music, because this has gone ridiculous”.
“Chew on a carrot, rub me leg, tell me it’s Friday, on we go”.
“Did you see that boy on the box and who we had, oh, it’s all gone pear shaped”.
“Don’t go away, I’ve got more to offer you than you can wave a flag out on a wet Wednesday in Skegness”.
“Get down, slap it back, lap it up big boy!”.
“Glue’s running and everything”.
“Good luck if you get it!”.vlcsnap-00024
“Good to have your company, hope you’re feeling well. I’ve had problems”.
“Great buying, terrific buying”.
“Her father used to be a farmer, who used to breed ferrets. He was a highly successful ferret breeder. His trick of course, oh, with the old trousers”.
“Hey-ho, honestly! Oh, slap me leg, call me Roger, get in!”.
“How are you? You are dialling this number, if you so desire”.
“How do you bid? Well, it couldn’t be easier. You dial the number, you listen to the message, and then you just push 1 on your telephone keypad, and your job’s done, alright”.
“I am going once already for the second and final time”.
“I don’t know why I wandered across there viewers, I don’t, I’m just in a world of my own”.
“I don’t think I can keep this up much longer”. vlcsnap-00027
“I forgot me glasses”.
“I genuinely, genuinely, heart on hand, would love one of these”.
“I haven’t seen a blue so vibrant since I looked at my varicose veins a week last Tuesday. No, please. Looks like a road map, my legs. It’s done some travelling”.
“I like getting into a cold bed, don’t know about you”.
“I look like an unmade bed”.
“I once left a pan of cabbage on, I was fret… the pan had gone and everything”.
“I really should be in a home. It’s either it or I should see a taxidermist, honestly”.
“I told yer what batteries it flippin’ takes!”.
“I won’t last the evening, I won’t last the evening”.
“I’ll be honest, you’ll get more for it on aBay”.
“I’ll clean the windows while we’re waiting. Look at the dirt in ‘ere”.
“I’ll tell you how bad my memory is. I got a phone call today, you’ll never guess what today is. It’s my birthday today, I didn’t even know. Somebody called me up today and said, Peter, it’s your birthday. I didn’t even know, I didn’t even know”.
“I’m exhausted already. I don’t know how I’ll get through the other 284 minutes. And a man of my age…”.
“I’m getting dizzy now, I want to go home”.
“I’m going to chase you home when we get into double figures, so get ready”.
“I’m going to do the Slosh now. Ever so good for you this”.
“I’m not going to make any bones about this”.
“I’m perspiring there, honest to goodness. I even showed you me bald potch then, things are getting bad. I usually fill it in”.
“In my day we had to respect your elders”.
“Isn’t that lovely?”.vlcsnap-00025
“It’s an Auction Avalanche, the numbers will rumble, and then they’ll tumble, how low will we go?”.
“It’s Gianni Vecci, for goodness sake!”.
“It’s the penguins, there’s four of ’em, I bet they haven’t got swelling!”.
“I’ve got to go to go to close this”.
“I’ve had three hours of it!”.
“I’ve just hit me plastic hip!”.
“I’ve ripped me trousers!”.
“I’ve won a Bafta!”.
“Just grab it!”.
“Let’s play Bid-Up!”.
“Lovely set, by the way. Nearly new that, nearly new. Er, that flock wallpaper, oh, it was in Madge Allsop’s living room for years”.
“Mark’s up neck… next”.
“Me nerves are in shreds over this boiler”.
“My gusto has gone”.
“Oh, James, don’t, you my be just a mere boy, but I once went out with a lady. Oh well, hrff, huh-huh-huh-huh!”.
“On we go, it’s Saturday night, it’s Pete’s sezzling Saturday night!”.
“Ooh, I’ve just gone all stiff down one side”.
“Negative ions pushing down on me. Or may… or maybe it was the rag ‘n’ bone man”.
“No! Absolutely unbelievable!”.
“Now I don’t need to tell you, we have lost our absolute shirt on this one”.vlcsnap-00028
“Now some of you may be saying “Keyony Reeve” because of my Matrix Melon Look”.
“Now you’ve got to do this very quick… that’s, I nearly tripped then, ‘ere”.
“Please don’t wait, it’s first come first served, you can’t go wrong”.
“Put your legs between your knees”.
“Sandeep in Isleworth. I used to stay in Isleworth. I’ve no idea why I told you that, Sandeep, I mean I…”.
“67 left right now, dial the number so. You can dial it just like that. And the number is just so!”.
“Stay with me, we don’t know what’ll happen next, right”.
“Talking of Poland, I once knew a woman who slept with a Pole, and ended up with a wooden baby”.
“Ten and against you, nine and against you, eight and against you…”.
“That is so low as to be practically giving it away”.
“That’s taken the wind out of my sails, has it been like this all day?”.
“That’s the best buy ever”.
“That’s the most excitement I’ve had for months!”.
“The last and final time of the godfeathers”.
“The management are currently sat on their highchairs, flogging themselves with wet rhubarb, knowing the end is nigh”.
“The most you’ll play is the closing arrow price”.
“The people we employ ‘ere these days”.
“The reason I’m doing this, I’m running incredibly short of time. I’ve still got lots to get through, and breath and energy”.
“There are people on the phone, and no wonder. It’s Monday! It’s Simon Time! Semon-Simon! Ooh-ooh! Don’t ask me what that was about, I’ve no idea”.vlcsnap-00026
“They’ll be with you in seven days, if they live that long”.
“They’re doing these speed auctions to me deliberately, they know I can’t take it”.
“They’re very common on camera 3. They used to be a potato peeler in Market Reason. Here”.
“This is a better buy to you than I could ever even tell you”.
“This is a woman who thinks that Backgammon is a pig’s bottom”.
“This is an absolute top of the notch timepiece, in my opinion”.
“This is why you should join me on this new Monday. It really is a terrific night on the television”.
“Two tenners, let’s close it up”.
“We have been absolutely pork stuffed there. With a little apple sauce. Well done”.
“Well I’m glad I’ve not had me supper. I’d be having tripe”.
“Well, wave a stick on coronation day, put a peg on a line, because we have been… well”.
“We’ve had tichnical technical problems”.
“We’ve served over two million watches”.vlcsnap-00029
“When they’re bored with their presents. Boxing Day. We never did. We only got a piece of coal and an orange, and we were very happy.”
“You know, I look older by the day in this camera. There’s no sympathy. Oh, the mocking in the studio now, don’t start at ‘ome, I’ve got enough of it ‘ere!”.
“You know what, bidders at ‘ome, they didn’t ask me to do any of those “Merry Christmas” things. I think the writing’s on the wall, bidders at ‘ome, it’s obviously time”.
“You’ve bagged a bargain on this one, I can tell you that for nothing!”.
“You’ve got a watch for her, and you’ve got a watch for you, this is the range From Me To You!”.

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 11.

Yet another great thing I remember Peter Simon used to do when I watched Bid TV (which would’ve had its 20th anniversary this month) was the handover. If a host’s shift was about to end, and Peter was scheduled to be next, they would often fear what he would do, and their responses would range from bemusement to horrified by his unpredictable antics. The way that Peter would interact with the other hosts was curious to say the least. Over the years he did a lot of handovers with a lot of hosts, here are some of my favourites.

Firstly, there was Andy Hodgson. Now Andy and Peter were the longest-serving hosts on Bid, and it’s a shame that neither of them went on to further successes, they’re both still stuck away late at night on various shopping channels. But it was clear that they had a right old laugh together, and Andy definitely held his own and gave as good as he got, asking “Uncle Peter” things like if he was good friends with old children’s TV hosts like Keith Chegwin. vlcsnap-00009

The best handover I recall between though was simply the exchange: “Peter, what was the name of that song you released?”. “Simple Simon Says”. “Was that the title of it, or just a general statement?”. “Ha-ha-ha-ha”. Lovely stuff. Yes, Peter really did release a single at the height of his fame. Can you believe it was it a flop? vlcsnap-00014

Peter also often liked to embarrass Mike Mason, but despite that, Mike thought he was great. Peter once said to Mike that he was feeling stiff, who replied “it’s rude to point”, before leaving the studio rather quickly. vlcsnap-00003

You could always expect something to happen when Peter was on after Sean Macintosh. Now young Sean wasn’t the tallest of people (I also remember when Greg Scott was on after Sean on Price-Drop and was trying to get rid of him, he did an amusing Freudian slip by saying “it’s time to grow” instead of “it’s time to go”), and Peter would start to give Sean a good slapping and say things like “now this boy can’t play golf because he always falls down the little hole” and “he used to be a traffic warden at Legoland”. vlcsnap-00010

He also once said to Sean about his singing “you’ve brought pleasure to the deaf”, and we mustn’t forget either Peter’s claim about Sean “there’s lead in the pencil but there’s nobody to write to”. How did he put up with it all. vlcsnap-00016

But best of all though were the handovers between Peter and Adam Freeman. He would often give him a fright. Whether it was doing terrible jokes together, hitting him with the gavel, pushing him off the podium, or practically flirting with him, something odd was always about to happen. Sometimes he went even further, by pushing a cake in Adam’s face on his birthday much to his surprise, or threatening to squirt him with a huge water pistol whilst cackling loudly. vlcsnap-00002

And we mustn’t forget the time that Peter pulled down Adam’s trousers and shouted at him “now I’m gonna COME at a bit of force”. Leave it at ‘ome. He probably still has nightmares about it. vlcsnap-00006

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 10.

It’s time for yet another one of these (don’t worry, there aren’t many more planned to come). It’s hard to believe that this channel closed almost five years ago now, and here’s a look back at one of the happier memories. I even enjoyed the promotions on Bid between the auctions, and I thought that these were the best ones, highlighting the best way to bid, and definitely the worst way.

Firstly, there is one that features two women, one walks in and says “that looks interesting” (with plenty of bad acting thrown in) but they are right because it’s the auction channel. Andy Hodgson is currently selling a watch so who wouldn’t be tempted? I know I have said that it would have been good for other Bid/Price-Drop presenters including Greg Scott and Peter Simon to have gone on to further success, but it’s a real shame that Andy never had a go hosting on a higher-profile TV channel because I thought he was great. vlcsnap-00002

So the number is dialled (you don’t need to register!), and after listening to Andy’s lovely warm pre-recorded voice (remember it is not a conversation), a bid of £55 is made, which is high enough to be top of the leaderboard. To prove that it is live and interactive, Andy gives her a namecheck and a thumbs up (“well done Hazel that looks like!”), before closing the auction to much celebration, hooray. It’s that easy. vlcsnap-00003

Even better was this total failure. Should he bid £10 more? Elisa Portelli is about to close the auction on a cutlery set, so it’s the last chance to bid. He’s now at the bottom of the auction and time is running out. He’s done it plenty of times before though. “Simon, bid again!”. Despite being constantly told by Elisa and everybody else to bid again, he seems to be very relaxed about this inevitable mishap. vlcsnap-00006

Should Simon bid again? “I’m fine! I made my bid nice and early in the auction”. His bid of £24 is out of the auction so he’s got to do it now, but he couldn’t care less. The auction is closed and the realisation of what a fool he is suddenly hits him. Elisa did warn him about ten times though, it has to be made clear. The best thing about this promotion though was what happened afterwards. vlcsnap-00008

This was because the presenters started to comment on it, including Adam Freeman who would say “silly Simon!”. But best of all was Mike Mason, who when someone called Simon did drop out of one of his auctions, he would start to say “Simon, bid again, Simon!” in a silly voice. And he still did it after the promotion ended, and even after Elisa had left, and it made me laugh every time.

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 9.

You should know by now that a long time ago I used to enjoy watching Peter Simon on Bid TV, not necessarily because I wanted to buy anything, but because he could be somewhat unpredictable and his suddenly going off-message could be rather amusing. And this is one of those moments where it really did seem like no-one knew what was going to happen next.

When Bid-Up started using a falling prices format like Price-Drop around 2005 (causing them to drop the “Up” from their name), I was rather disappointed that there would be no more live auctions. I was interested though in seeing how Peter would deal with falling prices. I remember on a few occasions he did get rather overexcited by the price going down, but this is one occasion where for some reason he couldn’t believe it, I think he might have been at the chocolate biscuits again.

One Friday night Peter was selling a watch which featured the branding of lifestyle magazine FHM and the price started at £100, he really does love his timepieces, but he began with a story. “Me sun, snowdrop just popped up Tuesday. And I was playing with a little Labrador Wednesday. And the garden gnome fell in the pond Thursday. I nearly went in after it. Then somebody said you had to do mouth-to-mouth, I went hrrf, no. Right”.

Then when there was an Auction Avalanche taking the price down, Peter didn’t seem to notice that it had happened, and he then suddenly yelled “what?! 17 quid? 17 quid!”, before yelling “just grab it!” and informing us that he’d bankrupt the company, let’s just hope that the Managing Director Arty Farquarson-Smythe wasn’t sat at ‘ome watching all this, it would’ve definitely put him off his supper. “It’s everything you could want from a design brand watch!”. vlcsnap-00587

Then, as the price fell further, Peter became even more surprised. When it went to £15, he said “three fivers!”. He then had a go at his director “who knows what she’s saying, what?”, and insisting “they’re in a world of their own in that box down there, you should see them”. When it went to £14, he said “Oh! You can’t buy these for £14!”. And when it went to £13, Peter did a double take where he calmly said the price and then realised what had happened. £13! vlcsnap-00592

Peter then seemed to be somewhat lost for words by this point (rather rare for him), and he was reduced to mumbling “I can’t beli… I… I don’t know what to…”, before yelling “stop that bloody… stop that music! Doesn’t it get on yer nerves, honestly, day and night, der-der der-der der-der” (this reminds me of another time when Peter amusingly spoke out of turn when he looked right into the camera and said “Stop the music! Doesn’t it get on your nerves? They’re all looking at me now going ‘you can’t say that’. well I just did!”). vlcsnap-00593

Trying to get his breath back, Peter then told us “Wherever you’re watching in the United Kingdom tonight, this is remarkable, you can not get this watch for £13”. Peter simply ended by saying “chew on a carrot, rub me leg, tell me that it’s Friday, on we go”, and concluding that if the prices stayed that low all night they might as well shut down. Well give it a few years… vlcsnap-00595

The YouTube Files – iBuy.

iBuy (2005-2007)

You should know by now that Bid-Up was one of my favourite TV channels to watch when it came to Freeview in January 2003. I never bought anything, I just found it really entertaining. There were a lot of format changes over the years though, as producing 17 hours of live TV every day had to be kept fresh, and in 2004, around the time the studio changed to a rather bright orange colour, a lot of presenters left to join a channel called Auctionworld.

This channel had a rather similar format to Bid-Up with plenty of auction action, and among the presenters who joined were Adam Freeman and Duncan Pow (who has also been an actor and appeared in drama series including Sky One’s Dream Team and BBC1’s Holby City). Bid-Up was never the same really, although the great Andy Hodgson and Peter Simon were still around.

The Auctionworld channel was never on Freeview, but it did attract some media attention when it was heavily fined by the regulator, and it closed down shortly afterwards. Then in 2005 another interactive shopping channel launched called iBuy. Again, Adam Freeman was among the lineup of presenters, it seems that they were trying to put the fun back into shopping TV that had supposedly gone from Bid-Up (although I still enjoyed it). vlcsnap-00408

I thought that I would take a look at some of the clips of iBuy on YouTube that have been uploaded by various shopping TV fansites, and I do have to say that it does seem that there were a lot of amusing moments. iBuy used a similar falling price format to the one on Price-Drop (which had also been introduced to Bid around this time), accompanied by the usual garish graphics and endless too-loud music. vlcsnap-00421

There were also some rather familiar features such as informing us when there was limited stock with lots of irritating noises, special clearances and sales, items going down to a pound, and so on. Along with Adam Freeman, many other presenters who had been on Bid took part including Elisa Portelli (who really did like to laugh a lot), and Mike Mason (“sweet meat!”). Also featuring was Anglia Through The Night Star Paul Lavers. vlcsnap-00414

One of Adam Freeman’s sales on iBuy also happens to be one of the funniest videos that I have ever seen on YouTube, when while trying to sell a shaver he had a laughing fit to the point that he could barely talk, and he tried to close the sale whilst doing some high-pitched giggling. I’m surprised that it’s only had about 2,500 views, it’s a classic. Because of this, I started to think that this channel actually did look rather fun. vlcsnap-00420

A couple of years on, in 2007 Adam announced his departure, and iBuy left the screen shortly afterwards, seemingly unable to compete with the more established channels in the marketplace. Adam then went off to the other side of the Atlantic to host on a shopping channel in America (picking up the accent along the way), and over a decade later, it seems that he is still working over there and has done rather well for himself. vlcsnap-00416

iBuy was never an individual channel on Freeview, but it did feature in a BBC3 documentary when Adam Freeman was interviewed as part of a behind-the-scenes look at shopping TV, and it was also shown for a short while on Five US during that channel’s downtime in the morning. And I’m sure that plenty of people bagged a bargain over the years.

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 8.

I know I am still going on about Bid TV almost five years after it closed down now, but this month is also the 18th anniversary of the launch, so I thought that I would take a look back at yet another memorable moment that made this channel worth watching for me. By its very nature Bid TV had to be a live channel, this meant that there was the potential for things to often go wrong, and this would be dealt with in various ways. vlcsnap-00730

Sometimes the phonelines would go down, or the graphics would fail, meaning nothing could be sold. In the early days, to fill the gap they used to show a sequence on a loop featuring Andy Hodgson telling us how to bid, along with a couple of trails (which were usually the “well done Hazel that looks like!” or “Simon, bid again, Simon!” ones that were so awesome that I think they deserve an individual review at some point). vlcsnap-00003

Later on they would usually fill the time by showing some of the infomercials from the likes of Screenshop that often turned up after Bid TV had closed for the night including No Wet Wonder Foam and the classic with the juicer starring “a thousand-year-old man in a leotard” as Andy Hodgson always called him (“a whole apple?”). And in later years, they would just keep the presenter live on air, and I remember some having to fill for about 30 or 40 minutes and simply keep talking while things were sorted out behind the scenes. vlcsnap-00002

There was another way that Bid TV would have technical problems, but this time it would be beyond their control. On about three or four occasions they had a major powercut, which not only took all their channels off the air, but also made the website go down too. You can imagine just how frustrating this must have been for them, and the presenters probably had to stand there in the dark studio wondering if they would ever get back on air before the end of the night. vlcsnap-00731

When they did eventually return though, which sometimes could take up to three or four hours, it would be worth watching simply because it would be total chaos, and they would have to wait for all of the technology to be ready and working again, so there would be the wrong graphics on the screen, sound faults, lights going out, random cuts to colour bars, and most of the time the presenters seemingly had no idea what item was coming next because the schedule was all over the place. It still wouldn’t stop some viewers from trying to phone in and buy though! vlcsnap-00001

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 7.

I have done a few pieces where I have written about an interesting idea in TV which is then taken to its extreme, and I suppose that this is another example of that. When Price-Drop TV launched in 2003, I remember that they ran a promotion saying that any item that they sell could go down to just £1! (plus the p&p of course!) But I don’t ever remember this happening in the early days.

A while later, they launched a special feature called the Megadrop, where they said that selected items would be guaranteed to go down to £1. I remember watching a lot around this time because I really wanted to see this happen as I thought that it would be an exciting moment. The presenters insisted that they hadn’t been told which of the items that they were going to sell would be a Megadrop, and when it finally happened, I noticed a few things.

Firstly, there was the response from the presenters. This was rather amusing, and I remember that their responses ranged from total disbelief to just squealing with shock. Also, when there was a Megadrop, there was a huge demand, with hundreds of people phoning in and the item selling out in seconds. And, in those days, it did seem that there were some really good bargains, with several items that had a decent value going for £1.

It seems that Price-Drop won an award for this innovation. I’m not sure what it was exactly but I remember that they described themselves as “award-winning” for many years after. So I thought that was all rather good. Not long after this, when Bid relaunched their format and had falling price auctions too, they decided to introduce their equivalent of Megadrops, and this made me realise something.

We would now see how some of the presenters on Bid including dear old Peter Simon and Andy Hodgson would respond to all of this happening. I wondered if they would get really overexcited too, and they didn’t let me down. First of all, there was Peter. He would usually respond to a Megadrop by clapping his hands, endlessly shouting “it’s a pound!” and then running around the studio. vlcsnap-01348

He would also compare the price to other things, saying things like “for the cost of three large oranges, you just got this!”. He would even occasionally lapse into his famous “no… is that right?” routine. Andy Hodgson was equally enjoyable. He would also get very overexcited by all of this. He couldn’t believe how the price could go so low, it was just so naughty. vlcsnap-01346

The novelty begin to wear off after a while though, a lot of items that weren’t of much value often went down to £1, it was very unlikely that they would’ve lost money on any of them. And not long before they went off air they even struggled to sell out Megadrops which really showed what position they were in by that point. But to once again create something really exciting and silly in the world of shopping TV channels was a great thing for Bid to do.

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 6.

I just thought I’d do another one of these. I didn’t set up this blog to do attention-grabbing listicles as they’re called now, but if I really did want to put one together, the only category I would choose would be…


1. When Bid first came to Freeview, there was a feature called Speed Auctions, where Peter had to run around and close the auction quicker than usual, and he was often complaining about how exhausted he was and how he wouldn’t be able to keep the pace up about ten minutes into his shift. One day, when starting an auction, he fell off the podium and fell flat on his face. I don’t know whether he did this deliberately or not, but I couldn’t believe that so long after his Double Dare and Run The Risk days Peter was still at it and I laughed a little too hard at his misfortune.

2. About a week or two later, Peter tripped and fell off the podium again, whilst trying to start a speed auction, and only getting as far as saying “here we go quickly…” before again he took a painful looking tumble. vlcsnap-00893

3. Again around this time during speed auctions, Peter managed to do the double, when as the hooter went and Peter had to go back to the gavel, he decided to grab assistant Jenny’s hand and they both ran back, so when Peter collided with the podium he took her with him which was rather unfortunate.

4. At the start of his shift one Christmas, Peter went into the podium once again, and the present that he was holding went flying. What a way to start. Thankfully the only thing that was bruised was his pride. vlcsnap-00874

5. Not long after, Peter went to the other side of the studio to preview an item, and promptly disappeared behind the bed. Having to walk about five paces was still clearly proving too difficult for him.

6. Around the World Cup, Peter was selling some towels, when again he fell over. I don’t know if he collided with the podium once again or he tripped over the towel. He then tried to tell us that some jumpers were next whilst complaining “I’ve just sliced my head open”, and then he tried to get into the football spirit by trying to sing the England anthem “Three Lions” and just ended up shouting “England’s coming home!”. He then pointed at Sophie who was laughing so much he insisted that she had wet herself, but he couldn’t laugh because when he took the towel off he noticed that he had ripped his trousers. And it wasn’t the first time that he’d done that live on Bid either. vlcsnap-00877

7. Another one, where as Peter was closing an auction, again he went into the podium, but then he slumped to the floor and started rolling around in a rather fake manner, before he then got up and oddly looked like he was about to sob. Why does he do it to himself? vlcsnap-00890

8. In more recent years, when Peter decided to begin his shift with the showbizzy “it’s live from London” routine, when he came on he fell once again, this time blaming a piece of carpet he went into. He really will do anything to get a laugh.

9. Finally, when Peter was on with Marina once late one night, again as he got rather overexcited by her fancy outfit he slid and went on his bottom. And yet it was sill so funny. vlcsnap-00892

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 5.

Another one of these. Over the years as I’m sure you’ve realised by now, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Peter Simon moments, so I thought that I would now share although it’s a difficult choice what almost certainly could be my favourite auction that Peter ever did on Bid.

When Price-Drop launched in 2003 they were the first channel to have falling prices. A couple of years later Bid adopted this format. Although it was a great shame to see the gavel go, one of the good things about this would be seeing how Peter dealt with a falling price auction, and I wondered if he would get as overexcited doing them as he did with the rising price auctions.

So I was very pleased when he did. Every time the price plunged Peter would use a special catchphrase “it’s an auction avalanche, the numbers will rumble, and then they’ll tumble, how low will we go?”, before the price finally went down and Peter would go into a “NO. Is that right? Grab it!” routine that would become very familiar, but one night he was so overcome by what happened it was really odd and funny.

One year during the Christmas rush, Bid decided to extend their time on air by half-an-hour, meaning that when Peter did the live late-shift he would now be on until 1:30am. For the final half-an-hour every item sold would supposedly be randomly picked and Peter wouldn’t know what it would be in advance, they just wheeled it on and sold it as quickly as they could. This meant that it would often become rather shambolic, with Peter constantly saying “is there a brief?”, and then being unable to read it and explain the item because he’d forgotten his glasses again.

But it was the very last item that Peter sold in this slot before he went away for Christmas (presumably to play the back-end of a horse in pantomime) that really stuck in my mind. I can’t remember what the item was exactly but it went down to £14.99 I think, and Peter seemed to be somewhat thrown by this. He just started doing his “no… no way” routine again, then he did a really high-pitched laugh which concluded with him going really loudly “HA-HA-HAA!!”.

You could tell that the crew in the studio were looking around as if they didn’t know what was going on. We then got a big close up of a rather tired-looking Peter who yelled “it should’ve gone to £29.99!”. He then did another big laugh and said in a rather hoarse voice “unbelievable!”. I have no idea why Peter was so insistent about what price it should have sold for, but when they finally sold out he concluded his shift by just going “ooh, I’m absolutely shattered”. Goodness knows what I was doing even watching this channel at 1:30am but it turned out to be very rewarding, it gave me a great laugh, and it once again proved how amusingly unpredictable Peter could be. You’ve bagged a bargain there.

Another one of these soon. But until then, remember, you might not know it, but somebody somewhere loves you.

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…