Game Show Memories – Game Show Stars Part 18.

This is someone else who could be another one considered by some to be on the B-list of the history of great game show hosts, but for the sheer number of shows that he’s hosted, I wanted to include him, because well someone’s got to host of all those games on regional ITV in the afternoon or on little-watched satellite channels.

And I do think that he is rather quick-witted and is knowledgeable about pop culture (a friendship with Danny Baker might not be a coincidence here). He is also into his music, being a big fan of Elvis Presley, and he also owns all of Frank Sinatra’s records. He wants them back. I think he was also following me on Twitter, although he doesn’t seem to have said anything for a while, but that hasn’t influenced my decision to include him here at all, honest.

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Paul Ross had worked behind the scenes in TV for many years, but by the mid-90s, he seemed to be here, there and everywhere on game shows, as both a host and panellist. Well he has got five children who need feeding, and he didn’t deny that his answerphone message was “yes, I’ll do it”. Oh, and he’s the older brother of Jonathan as well, but you probably knew that.

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Highlights included Jeopardy! on Sky One, the third channel to attempt a version of this format that has been much more successful in America. And there was also Tellystack, UK Gold’s game about classic TV. All Over The Shop was BBC1’s daytime game featuring celebrity panellists. A Slice Of The Action was Carlton Food Network’s game all about cookery.

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And don’t forget Mind The Gap, a game based around the London Underground tube map. Throw in The Big Breakfast too, and much more besides, and would you believe that he packed all of that into barely three or four years. Going into the 2000s, he hosted It’s Anybody’s Guess, an enjoyable ITV game where the answers had to be estimated.

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Also interesting was No Win No Fee, the daytime BBC1 game where the prize money on offer was his fee for hosting the show, meaning that he could be the one leaving empty-handed. After overdoing it for a while, he finally seemed to ease up a little in the mid-2000s, and he then had some success in other areas away from TV game shows.

This has included going on to the shopping TV circuit, he did some time on Bid TV and Ideal World, and he just about lived to tell the tale. In more recent years, he has done some radio work, including BBC London and LBC, and at the moment he seemingly thinks nothing of doing the 1am shift five days a week on TalkSport, it’s good to know that he’s still out there.

Game Show Memories – It’s Anybody’s Guess.

It’s Anybody’s Guess (ITV, 2000)

Following on from King Of The Castle, here’s another half-an-hour game show that was on Carlton in a daytime slot in the early-2000s that I remember watching, there isn’t a huge amount about it online though. It’s Anybody’s Guess was hosted by Paul Ross, fresh from the success of Mind The Gap (yes, really, although you’ll be more likely to find Paul on the radio at 1am nowadays).

It’s Anybody’s Guess was a show that featured questions with rather difficult answers, so they could only really be estimated. Now I don’t like to use pieces to knock other recent shows that I don’t have as much interest in, but I do feel that it did the idea much better than Benchmark, a game show that flopped so badly some editions were shown on Channel 4 at 4am. iag3

Three teams of two take part, consisting of one contestant and one celebrity. Now the level of celebrity the show featured included the likes of Toyah Willcox, Karl “you shouldn’t be scrubbing at your age, auntie!” Howman, and Will Mellor. Would they be able to help out their teammate? A question was asked such has having to guess a year, and the range which featured the answer somewhere appeared on the screen. iag4

The teams had a little circle, and had to place it where they thought the answer would be. Most of the fun came from this part as the teams sometimes had trouble agreeing on their answer. If no team gets their circle into where the answer was, whoever was closest scores five points. If a team does get their circle into the answer, they score ten points. But in the unlikely (but possible) event they get the answer spot-on they score 15 points! iag1

Another round would be where people were surveyed on a question, and some of the responses would be shown (although this would be a mix of responses, so it wouldn’t give away the answer). They would have to guess what percentage of people gave a particular response to the question. After about seven questions, the highest-scoring team progresses to the final. iag2

In the final, they have to make one more guess, and this time they have three circles that they can use. A big blue one, a medium orange one, and a small pink one. Wherever the correct answer is determines what they will win. So if they can get it in the pink zone, it’s plenty of fancy prizes for them. There was only one series of It’s Anybody’s Guess, but it was rather enjoyable, and I definitely think it had enough ideas to have run for at least one or two series more and build up a decent following from viewers.