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.