Game Show Memories – Game Show Stars Part 13.

Here is someone who has had a double career in TV, combining comedy with game shows. Tim Vine started out in the early-90s as a stand-up comedian, and most of his quickfire material consisted of wordplay. Now I’ve always liked jokes like this, so I became a fan of his right away really. The first time that I can remember seeing him on the TV was in the mid-90s when he hosted BBC1 daytime game show Housemates.

I did enjoy this, and I decided that it would be worth following his career, however, there are no clips of this show online, it would be really good to see this again. He wasn’t afraid of appearing on Channel 5 either, in the late-90s he co-hosted their opening show, and he also hosted Whittle, which was essentially a low-budget version of ITV’s Everybody’s Equal.

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Tim did his best to get the studio audience going, but as this was a game where they were the contestants too, he had to use plenty of jokes, as there was a chance that they could win enough money to buy two bottles of milk if they were lucky, so this was rather tense. Tim’s other work for Channel 5 included being a stand-in host on The Jack Docherty Show, and a Christmas comedy special.

Around the same time, he hosted Channel 4’s Fluke, which he devised himself, and was totally based on luck, with no skill or knowledge required to succeed. One week, the star prize all rested on whether the contestant knew what the colour of his pants were. Curiously, this was shown after Whittle, so for a short while you could which him host game shows on two different channels consecutively.

Back to his comedy work, he often collaborated with Lee Mack, in shows including The Sketch Show and Not Going Out, which were both very enjoyable. He also went on tour where he tried to pack in as many jokes as he could (he briefly held the world record for most jokes told in an hour), these shows were great fun too, and some have been released on DVD.

In more recent years, he has appeared in Dictionary Corner on Countdown, and he hosted daytime game show Don’t Blow The Inheritance, along with Football Genius. He then became a regular panellist on a revival of Celebrity Squares, well done to whoever made that decision. He’s also been a contestant on various shows including Celebrity Mastermind. His brother likes to host game shows too! All these years on it’s still great to see him on TV.

Game Show Memories – Don’t Blow The Inheritance.

Don’t Blow The Inheritance (ITV1, 2012)

If you’re a regular viewer to this blog you will know that I am a big fan of the comedian Tim Vine, so when he hosted the daytime game show Don’t Blow The Inheritance there was no doubt that I’d be watching. The idea was that two contestants from different generations had to work together, with the older family member earning the money, and then the younger one is challenged to hold on to it. vlcsnap-00175

Four teams of two took part, representing different generations, so the younger contestant was supported by their father, or their uncle, and so on. Unfortunately Tim didn’t reprimand of any of the contestants for a wearing an acrylic shirt by saying “that’s cruel, think of all the acrylics you’re killing.” In the first round Tim asks 15 general knowledge questions, the younger contestant has to buzz in, but the older contestant is the one who answers, so they have to gamble on whether their elders know their stuff. If they do, they score £1,000. If they don’t, the three other teams score £1,000 each. The lowest-scoring team at the end of the round are eliminated. vlcsnap-00181

In the second round a category is chosen and then the question is revealed which is about a top ten list. The older contestant has 30 seconds to give as many answers as they can, scoring £1,000 for each one that is in the top ten list. I couldn’t help but think that this round came across as a combination of the game shows Talkabout and Topranko! Once again, the lowest-scoring team go out. 

In the third round, the two remaining teams are given clues to a famous person or thing, with up to a maximum of three clues being revealed. Again the younger contestant has to buzz in hoping the senior one will get it right for £1,000. If they don’t the other team earns £1,000. This is done ten times, and the highest-scoring team go into the final. vlcsnap-00201

In the final, the younger contestant must hold on to as much of the money that the senior player has earned as they can. You can blow a candle, you can blow a trumpet, but whatever you do… don’t blow the inheritance! All the younger contestant has to do is answer five general knowledge questions correctly, but if they get one wrong, the money begins to tick down by £250 a second, and it doesn’t stop until they do get five right, and then whatever money is remaining is the inheritance that they have won. vlcsnap-00206

Don’t Blow The Inheritance was a short summer tryout series from when ITV had finally run out of editions of The Chase to show. Unfortunately it wasn’t a big success, with only ten editions being made, and Tipping Point, another game show that was tried out in that slot, was much more of a success, whereas unfortunately for Tim his show was never seen or heard of again, but it’s always a pleasure seeing him on TV.