CITV Memories – Mousetrap.

Mousetrap (CITV, 1990-1991)

CITV’s Saturday morning show Motormouth used to feature a game show segment. Originally these were the rather crazy games It’s Torture! and Gunge ‘Em In The Dungeon, which were essentially their equivalent of CBBC’s classic Double Dare on Going Live! Around the launch of the third series, they decided to do something different, and created a game based around a classic board game. All three of these games were hosted by the rather excitable Steve Johnsonvlcsnap-00026

The new game was based around Mousetrap, with a lifesize version of the board and the trap recreated in the studio. Two contestants took part and they had about seven minutes to complete obstacles and play various games depending on what square they were on. If they succeeded in these challenges and managed to get round the board in time, they would win various prizes and could play for a good quality prize in the final, maybe even a fancy TV if they were lucky. vlcsnap-00029

There was a twist though. At a random point a couple of times in the game, a hooter would go off which would start the trap, featuring everything including the ball going down a slide, and that green man that flipped over. They then had to run round to a tap to stop the trap, but this could be more difficult based on where they were on the board. Failure to stop the trap in time making the cage hit the ground would lose them the prize on offer, and they would then have to play for a smaller value one instead. Their prize value would also decrease if they ran out of time before completing all the challenges. vlcsnap-00031

When the game was over, the star prize that they were playing for was placed under the trap. The trap was then started, and if they could answer three general knowledge questions correctly before the cage hit the floor, they would win the prize on offer, and there were some rather close finishes. While not as wacky as Double Dare, Mousetrap was still good fun, and also there were a few celebrity specials, and it’s rather odd to think that Celebrity Mousetrap was a real thing on the TV. Unfortunately, we still await Celebrity Hungry Hippos on ITV. trap0001

I am a fan of board games, and around the time Mousetrap was shown I remember that I had a lot of them, including the classics such as Monopoly and Scrabble, along with many others. I do remember also at some point buying Mousetrap, I’m not sure if I was influenced by the TV version and wanted to have a go myself, but I remember how fiddly the whole thing was to set up, and how fun it was to play once everything was ready. After Motormouth came to an end in 1992, Johnson would return to host another quirky CITV game show called Terror Towers and I’ll review that soon.

Saturday Morning Memories – Motormouth.

Motormouth (CITV, 1988-1992)

It’s about time for another look back at a Saturday Morning show. Motormouth, which replaced the long-running No. 73 as CITV’s main Saturday Morning show, was a memorable show which featured various changes to the format over the years. There were several presenters, with good old Neil Buchanan being the only one to host for the whole run of the show. It was another show that had the usual features such as showing cartoons including The Real Ghostbusters and all the hottest pop groups of the time being interviewed in the studio, along with a few other enjoyable things. mouth0001

In the first series, as well as Saturdays, Motormouth was also shown on Sundays. There was a big inflatable mouth in the studio too. There was also a comedy spin-off called, er, Spin-Off. This was a parody of soap operas that was supposedly set behind the scenes of the show and featured some familiar faces including Richard “Cuthbert Lilly” Waites, Wendy “Wizadora I“, Van Der Plank, Joe “Spatz” Greco, and Roger Sloman, who has been in lots of things, including recently appearing in EastEnders, playing the crazy characters. vlcsnap-00918

By the second series new presenters Gaby Roslin (long before The Big Breakfast) and Steve Johnson joined the show. He was memorable because he hosted the games on the show in a rather crazy style. These included It’s Torture! and Gunge ‘Em In The Dungeon. In later series these were replaced by Mouse Trap, a version of the famous board game, which featured an enormous green flipping over man thing and everything, and there were lots of great prizes on offer for contestants. vlcsnap-00919

In the third series Andy Crane, having recently left the CBBC broom cupboard, joined the presenters line-up, and the format changed again to now look like it was coming from a diner. I do remember there being a regular competition around this time where viewers could write in and win a can which said “Steve’s Brain” on it which was all rather odd. vlcsnap-00916

In the final series there was another spin-off feature which this time was a look behind the scenes, which seemed to take up a lot of the show. Every week the production staff interacted with the various guests who would be appearing on the show, and there were also various plotlines. The cast members included Carla “Sophie II” Mendonca and Siobhan “Benidorm” Finneran. Wow, it was so crazy. Also in this series Neil hosted a celebrity edition of Finders Keepers, with various stars raiding the rooms. vlcsnap-00917

Motormouth ran for four series and was produced by TVS. Although it was a show that I did enjoy watching it doesn’t seem to have lingered in the memory with many viewers as long as its rival Going Live! which was shown on CBBC at the same time, although it had good ratings. This is unfortunate as it definitely had some great moments and there are lots of clips available to watch online, including just about the whole of the final series.