This is someone who had a rather varied career in TV. Jeremy Beadle might be remembered now by most people as a prankster, but I was always more interested in his game show work. He started out in radio as a host on LBC, and he was also working behind the scenes on various shows, including devising formats and compiling questions.
He first really became known in the early-80s for being one of the hosts of ITV’s Game For A Laugh, and this led to other successful shows including Beadle’s About and People Do The Funniest Things. But the first game show that I really remember him on was Chain Letters, this was the long-running word game, although he only hosted the first series.
This one had the honour (?) of being the first to feature in ITV’s 9:25am game show slot, which ran for about a decade. Going into the late-80s, he hosted a few more game shows, including Born Lucky, and It’s Beadle, although I don’t remember watching either of them, and it could be argued that some people weren’t hugely fond of his shows. But in the early-90s, one of the most popular shows of his career launched.
You’ve Been Framed! really began the craze for shows featuring “home video howlers”, as they were always described in TV magazines. Although this wasn’t a game show as such, in the early series the studio audience would vote for what they thought was the funniest clip of the show, which would win a cash prize, leading to a grand final, where the overall winner won a bigger cash prize.
I remember that in the mid-90s he returned to the radio for a late-night show, and I stayed up past my bedtime to listen to his thoughts on quirky subjects. By the late-90s though, he had left You’ve Been Framed!, his other shows including Beadle’s About and Beadle’s Hot Shots had ended on ITV, and he wasn’t seen on TV so regularly after this.
His next show was Channel 5’s Win Beadle’s Money, where contestants had to beat him to win a cash prize supposedly from himself. As he was something of a trivia buff, this wouldn’t as easy as people might’ve first thought, and there was usually a close final. In the early-2000s, he took part in Banged Up With Beadle, which featured in the first series of Saturday Night Takeaway.
He had been locked away, every week someone would join him, and they would live together and have to learn a task which they had to perform on the live show to win a prize. It was a shame that he never really got the opportunity to launch the next stage in his career, some think that he could’ve gone on to host various documentaries where he could show off his knowledge and enthusiasm.