Champion Blockbusters (ITV, 1987-1990)
Blockbusters is one of my favourite game shows, so I thought that I would do a piece on yet another variation (this means that I will have reviewed every variation apart from the revival on Comedy Central, because I haven’t seen that one). Now I don’t really want to go down the road of nostalgic cliché, but there is one thing I associate with watching this when I was a boy.
This is one of those shows that I only really remember watching at my nan’s house rather than at home, and not only that, it was really was on a black-and-white TV (I think I’ll leave the area of “eccentricities of relatives at least two generations above you in the family” for now). The memory is a little hazy on this one, but I think that this was the basic idea.
Champion Blockbusters was a spin-off from the daytime show, hosted by Bob Holness as always. Blockbusters, but shown in a 45 minute primetime slot on Saturday Night ITV? That’ll do me. This featured contestants who has appeared in previous series, who had reached the fifth and final Gold Run. The famous opening sequence was also revived to feature pictures of contestants on the hexagons.
This meant that some of the then-students were now in their early-20s by this point. And there would be a clip from the archive shown of their original appearances, which wasn’t embarrassing at all I’m sure. They would also tell us what they were up to nowadays, and it turns out that they’ve all come good, just like we knew they would.
The basic idea of the game was the same really, with £5 for every correct answer, there’s still no change. The money that they won went to charity though. And there was also “the mystery letter”, and if this was found, there was a bonus amount of money on offer. Whoever won would make the Gold Run again, and they would win some prizes related to the line of work that they were now in.
I must admit that I can’t remember how many Gold Runs the teams could stay on for in this version, but it was definitely a good idea, and the contestants seemed to be pleased to have returned. There were four series of Champion Blockbusters featuring six editions each, and I did enjoy what I saw of this as much as any other variation, even if it wasn’t in colour.