Game Show Memories – Game Show Stars Part 4.

Shane Richie is someone who first appeared on TV in the late-80s, doing his comedy thing on various shows including 3-2-1 and The Saturday Roadshow, at which point he had a rather alarming mullet hairstyle. The first time I really came across him though was in the early-90s when he was among the cast of You Gotta Be Jokin’, part of the last gasp of old-school variety shows on Saturday Night BBC1.

I did find him rather amusing on this, and I have followed his career ever since. He then got into TV hosting, including plenty of game shows. This began with Caught In The Act, which did do well in the ratings, but it was considered to be such a blatant You’ve Been Framed! clone, that it was felt that this wasn’t the kind of thing that BBC1 shouldn’t be doing, and there was only one series.

This was then followed by CBBC’s Run The Risk, which was essentially Double Dare: The Sequel, where he asked the questions and baffled people with his rather bizarre jokes, but he didn’t get involved in the games, leaving that to the award-winning Peter Simon, who continued to constantly fall into the gunge, and it was still very amusing.

He then went over to ITV for a while in the mid-90s, including replacing Danny Baker as the host of Win, Lose Or Draw (curiously he also replaced Danny in those Daz adverts around the same time). He also hosted Lucky Numbers, another variation on the bingo format used in Bob’s Full House, which was one of the first wave of British game shows to offer a five-figure sum as the star prize.

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He then went on to Saturday Night show The Shane Richie Experience, where along with the games he liked to sing rather too often (a hasty restructuring of the format to Love Me Do didn’t exactly give things a boost though). By this point however, his fame was beginning to wane a little, and by the late-90s he had started to fall out of favour.

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In the early-2000s, he decided to take a chance on joining EastEnders, cast as the cheeky barrowboy Alfie. This gave his career a much-needed boost, and he won viewers over with his character. This led to a second wave of hosting game shows on BBC1, including Reflex (considered by many to be an inferior knock-off of ITV’s The Cube), Decimate, and Win Your Wish List. It’s always great to see him on TV.

More TV Memories – Caught In The Act.

Caught In The Act (BBC1, 1992)

In 1990, ITV launched You’ve Been Framed, a show which featured a lot of what were always called “home video howlers”BBC1 decided that they wanted to do a show like this, so a couple of years later they launched Caught In The Act which had practically the same idea. It was hosted by Shane Richie in one of his earliest TV presenting roles, fully a decade before he landed his dream part of playing a barrowboy in EastEndersvlcsnap-00247

The format would be that every week Shane would firstly introduce some “camcorder calamities” from around the world, and then he would have a stilted conversation with a reporter in a particular country who would introduce some more clips from where they were. All of these clips were accompanied by daft slide whistle and trumpet noises. Do this four times. vlcsnap-00250

Then there would be another segment where Shane introduced three contestants from various parts of the UK who had sent in a video. The studio audience then had to press their buttons to determine which one they thought was the funniest. The winner would get a cash prize, an editing suite, and a place in the final. Do this three times. vlcsnap-00249

In the final, the studio audience voted again on what they thought was the funniest clip overall. The winner got the star prize. It varied in each episode, but it was often a holiday or even a double-decker video recorder! vlcsnap-00252

Then at the end Shane told us if we’ve got a funny video that we should dial the number and we could appear in a future episode, but don’t be too hasty because the show wasn’t much of a success and never returned. vlcsnap-00228

I remember reading some strange things about this show. Firstly, the foreign presenters weren’t even coming live from the country they were supposed to be in, they were just in a different part of the studio in front of a blue screen showing an image of where they were supposed to be. Also, they were just some random actors not even from where they said they were from so the French correspondent for example might have just been some bloke putting on the accent. vlcsnap-00253

I also read that all the shows had been wiped which I find hard to believe for material from that era, but if they have then because I recorded a few episodes I might have the only remaining copy. Finally, I read that Shane is now rather embarrassed about hosting this show and thought it was rubbish. Now that one I can believe. I did enjoy it though. vlcsnap-00248

Although Caught In The Act only lasted for one series, You’ve Been Framed continues to this day nearly 25 years after it launched, showing that there is still a market for shows featuring people falling over.