It’s Torture!/Gunge ‘Em In The Dungeon (CITV, 1989-1990)
As part of the second series of the CITV Saturday Morning show Motormouth (or Motormouth 2 as it was indeed called) there was a game show segment, and this was the nearest equivalent to Double Dare that would’ve been on CBBC’s Going Live! at the same time. The host was the rather excitable Steve Johnson. This was a game that was played in various parts.
In It’s Torture! there were three games, and four teams of two took part in all of these, do they know what have they let themselves in for. In the first game, there were contestants stood on the top and the bottom (the ones on top wore a big helmet with a light on top). The questions alternated between being asked to the ones on the top and the bottom.
Get it right, and their opponents are pushed one step closer to the edge, but get it wrong, and they get pushed closer instead. Whoever gets pushed over the edge is out of the game, and is never seen again either. The winning team make the final and get to play the bonus game, The Hot Seat. They are both asked the same multiple-choice question. If they both give the same answer, they win a nice prize.
This is then done again, but the second game featured contestants placed under a crusher that they would be pushed further into, and in the third a box’s lid would slowly close on them, with again the winners going through to play The Hot Seat. The three winning teams would all then go into the final, which was Gunge ‘Em In The Dungeon.
There were more questions asked, and some weights would be moved depending on a right or wrong answer. If a team had all of their weights removed, then well you can guess what happens… and this also results in their elimination. The overall winners win some more prizes and go into the grand final. The winners of this received the star prize which was a signed Brother Beyond album or something like that.
After deciding that pushing children to their oblivion probably wasn’t a great idea, in the second half of the series, this was restructured to only play Gunge ‘Em In The Dungeon, with different rules. The star of this show though was Steve, injecting a remarkable madcap energy into hosting that would’ve probably surprised even the award-winning Peter Simon.
I also remember that one week Steve hilariously (?) got his comeuppance, but this seemed to coincide with a technical fault, so you could hear all the commotion as he went in himself, but this was accompanied by a blank screen, I couldn’t believe it. In the next series of Motormouth, Steve returned to host the rather different but equally enjoyable game Mouse Trap.