More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 12.

This will probably be the last one in this series. Over the years, Peter Simon became known for his rather bizarre turn of phrase on Bid, the pressure of live TV was clearly getting to him. So this will be a list of about 100 of his best quotes. They are compiled from memory, various bits I recorded or wrote down, Peter’s Wikipedia entry, and the entertaining Twitter @PeterSimonSays account, the gift that keeps on giving. Are you ready? Let’s do it then.

“A couple of moments ago, 30 seconds ago, we pulled the handle, the machine ran, and the numbers that it delivered? Well, it was this”.
“All… all today’s TV listings, of course, all today’s T… TV… er, products, are, are on our, listings… site, all the w’s dot bid dot tv”.
“And, cue the orchestra! Oh yes!”.
“And I’ve got a little pimple where I was having my little shorts on. Hmm, it was nice actually. Angelfish swam round me. I got something caught on the coral but it was alright. At least I’ve got something to catch. It’s a girl from New Zealand”.
“And there’s a lad who crushes hazelnuts with his eyelids”.
“At £9, for the whole lot, that is nine one pound notes”.
“Bid your bid in now”.
“Bless you, that sneeze was that good people have got up to dance”.
“Can I stop the music, because this has gone ridiculous”.
“Chew on a carrot, rub me leg, tell me it’s Friday, on we go”.
“Did you see that boy on the box and who we had, oh, it’s all gone pear shaped”.
“Don’t go away, I’ve got more to offer you than you can wave a flag out on a wet Wednesday in Skegness”.
“Get down, slap it back, lap it up big boy!”.
“Glue’s running and everything”.
“Good luck if you get it!”.vlcsnap-00024
“Good to have your company, hope you’re feeling well. I’ve had problems”.
“Great buying, terrific buying”.
“Her father used to be a farmer, who used to breed ferrets. He was a highly successful ferret breeder. His trick of course, oh, with the old trousers”.
“Hey-ho, honestly! Oh, slap me leg, call me Roger, get in!”.
“How are you? You are dialling this number, if you so desire”.
“How do you bid? Well, it couldn’t be easier. You dial the number, you listen to the message, and then you just push 1 on your telephone keypad, and your job’s done, alright”.
“I am going once already for the second and final time”.
“I don’t know why I wandered across there viewers, I don’t, I’m just in a world of my own”.
“I don’t think I can keep this up much longer”. vlcsnap-00027
“I forgot me glasses”.
“I genuinely, genuinely, heart on hand, would love one of these”.
“I haven’t seen a blue so vibrant since I looked at my varicose veins a week last Tuesday. No, please. Looks like a road map, my legs. It’s done some travelling”.
“I like getting into a cold bed, don’t know about you”.
“I look like an unmade bed”.
“I once left a pan of cabbage on, I was fret… the pan had gone and everything”.
“I really should be in a home. It’s either it or I should see a taxidermist, honestly”.
“I told yer what batteries it flippin’ takes!”.
“I won’t last the evening, I won’t last the evening”.
“I’ll be honest, you’ll get more for it on aBay”.
“I’ll clean the windows while we’re waiting. Look at the dirt in ‘ere”.
“I’ll tell you how bad my memory is. I got a phone call today, you’ll never guess what today is. It’s my birthday today, I didn’t even know. Somebody called me up today and said, Peter, it’s your birthday. I didn’t even know, I didn’t even know”.
“I’m exhausted already. I don’t know how I’ll get through the other 284 minutes. And a man of my age…”.
“I’m getting dizzy now, I want to go home”.
“I’m going to chase you home when we get into double figures, so get ready”.
“I’m going to do the Slosh now. Ever so good for you this”.
“I’m not going to make any bones about this”.
“I’m perspiring there, honest to goodness. I even showed you me bald potch then, things are getting bad. I usually fill it in”.
“In my day we had to respect your elders”.
“Isn’t that lovely?”.vlcsnap-00025
“It’s an Auction Avalanche, the numbers will rumble, and then they’ll tumble, how low will we go?”.
“It’s Gianni Vecci, for goodness sake!”.
“It’s the penguins, there’s four of ’em, I bet they haven’t got swelling!”.
“I’ve got to go to go to close this”.
“I’ve had three hours of it!”.
“I’ve just hit me plastic hip!”.
“I’ve ripped me trousers!”.
“I’ve won a Bafta!”.
“Just grab it!”.
“Let’s play Bid-Up!”.
“Lovely set, by the way. Nearly new that, nearly new. Er, that flock wallpaper, oh, it was in Madge Allsop’s living room for years”.
“Mark’s up neck… next”.
“Me nerves are in shreds over this boiler”.
“My gusto has gone”.
“Oh, James, don’t, you my be just a mere boy, but I once went out with a lady. Oh well, hrff, huh-huh-huh-huh!”.
“On we go, it’s Saturday night, it’s Pete’s sezzling Saturday night!”.
“Ooh, I’ve just gone all stiff down one side”.
“Negative ions pushing down on me. Or may… or maybe it was the rag ‘n’ bone man”.
“No! Absolutely unbelievable!”.
“Now I don’t need to tell you, we have lost our absolute shirt on this one”.vlcsnap-00028
“Now some of you may be saying “Keyony Reeve” because of my Matrix Melon Look”.
“Now you’ve got to do this very quick… that’s, I nearly tripped then, ‘ere”.
“Please don’t wait, it’s first come first served, you can’t go wrong”.
“Put your legs between your knees”.
“Sandeep in Isleworth. I used to stay in Isleworth. I’ve no idea why I told you that, Sandeep, I mean I…”.
“67 left right now, dial the number so. You can dial it just like that. And the number is just so!”.
“Stay with me, we don’t know what’ll happen next, right”.
“Talking of Poland, I once knew a woman who slept with a Pole, and ended up with a wooden baby”.
“Ten and against you, nine and against you, eight and against you…”.
“That is so low as to be practically giving it away”.
“That’s taken the wind out of my sails, has it been like this all day?”.
“That’s the best buy ever”.
“That’s the most excitement I’ve had for months!”.
“The last and final time of the godfeathers”.
“The management are currently sat on their highchairs, flogging themselves with wet rhubarb, knowing the end is nigh”.
“The most you’ll play is the closing arrow price”.
“The people we employ ‘ere these days”.
“The reason I’m doing this, I’m running incredibly short of time. I’ve still got lots to get through, and breath and energy”.
“There are people on the phone, and no wonder. It’s Monday! It’s Simon Time! Semon-Simon! Ooh-ooh! Don’t ask me what that was about, I’ve no idea”.vlcsnap-00026
“They’ll be with you in seven days, if they live that long”.
“They’re doing these speed auctions to me deliberately, they know I can’t take it”.
“They’re very common on camera 3. They used to be a potato peeler in Market Reason. Here”.
“This is a better buy to you than I could ever even tell you”.
“This is a woman who thinks that Backgammon is a pig’s bottom”.
“This is an absolute top of the notch timepiece, in my opinion”.
“This is why you should join me on this new Monday. It really is a terrific night on the television”.
“Two tenners, let’s close it up”.
“We have been absolutely pork stuffed there. With a little apple sauce. Well done”.
“Well I’m glad I’ve not had me supper. I’d be having tripe”.
“Well, wave a stick on coronation day, put a peg on a line, because we have been… well”.
“We’ve had tichnical technical problems”.
“We’ve served over two million watches”.vlcsnap-00029
“When they’re bored with their presents. Boxing Day. We never did. We only got a piece of coal and an orange, and we were very happy.”
“You know, I look older by the day in this camera. There’s no sympathy. Oh, the mocking in the studio now, don’t start at ‘ome, I’ve got enough of it ‘ere!”.
“You know what, bidders at ‘ome, they didn’t ask me to do any of those “Merry Christmas” things. I think the writing’s on the wall, bidders at ‘ome, it’s obviously time”.
“You’ve bagged a bargain on this one, I can tell you that for nothing!”.
“You’ve got a watch for her, and you’ve got a watch for you, this is the range From Me To You!”.

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 11.

Yet another great thing I remember Peter Simon used to do when I watched Bid TV (which would’ve had its 20th anniversary this month) was the handover. If a host’s shift was about to end, and Peter was scheduled to be next, they would often fear what he would do, and their responses would range from bemusement to horrified by his unpredictable antics. The way that Peter would interact with the other hosts was curious to say the least. Over the years he did a lot of handovers with a lot of hosts, here are some of my favourites.

Firstly, there was Andy Hodgson. Now Andy and Peter were the longest-serving hosts on Bid, and it’s a shame that neither of them went on to further successes, they’re both still stuck away late at night on various shopping channels. But it was clear that they had a right old laugh together, and Andy definitely held his own and gave as good as he got, asking “Uncle Peter” things like if he was good friends with old children’s TV hosts like Keith Chegwin. vlcsnap-00009

The best handover I recall between though was simply the exchange: “Peter, what was the name of that song you released?”. “Simple Simon Says”. “Was that the title of it, or just a general statement?”. “Ha-ha-ha-ha”. Lovely stuff. Yes, Peter really did release a single at the height of his fame. Can you believe it was it a flop? vlcsnap-00014

Peter also often liked to embarrass Mike Mason, but despite that, Mike thought he was great. Peter once said to Mike that he was feeling stiff, who replied “it’s rude to point”, before leaving the studio rather quickly. vlcsnap-00003

You could always expect something to happen when Peter was on after Sean Macintosh. Now young Sean wasn’t the tallest of people (I also remember when Greg Scott was on after Sean on Price-Drop and was trying to get rid of him, he did an amusing Freudian slip by saying “it’s time to grow” instead of “it’s time to go”), and Peter would start to give Sean a good slapping and say things like “now this boy can’t play golf because he always falls down the little hole” and “he used to be a traffic warden at Legoland”. vlcsnap-00010

He also once said to Sean about his singing “you’ve brought pleasure to the deaf”, and we mustn’t forget either Peter’s claim about Sean “there’s lead in the pencil but there’s nobody to write to”. How did he put up with it all. vlcsnap-00016

But best of all though were the handovers between Peter and Adam Freeman. He would often give him a fright. Whether it was doing terrible jokes together, hitting him with the gavel, pushing him off the podium, or practically flirting with him, something odd was always about to happen. Sometimes he went even further, by pushing a cake in Adam’s face on his birthday much to his surprise, or threatening to squirt him with a huge water pistol whilst cackling loudly. vlcsnap-00002

And we mustn’t forget the time that Peter pulled down Adam’s trousers and shouted at him “now I’m gonna COME at a bit of force”. Leave it at ‘ome. He probably still has nightmares about it. vlcsnap-00006

The year so far.

It’s time for a look at what I’ve achieved on this blog so far in 2019. I thought for a change that I would do this at the halfway point of the year, because I have found out more information about some of the pieces that I have done, and I felt that I couldn’t sit on it for the next six months. And well, there’s no doubt for me about what has been the highlight of the year so far. 2019

This was the news of the reunion of the chart-topping duo Shakespear’s Sister. I thought that they would never get back together, but last year it was announced that they had reconciled after 25 years apart which was unlikely enough, and then this year they caused a surprise by revealing that they had made some new songs and were going to tour the UK. Well, to put it mildly, I couldn’t believe it. ss1

In May Siobhan and Marcella performed together on TV for the first time since December 1992. It’s fair to say that the response from viewers was mixed, but I’m sure that they will rehearse, gain in confidence, and the tour will be a great experience for everyone, I’ll always stand by them. But it’s not just seeing a new music video which is remarkable, it’s also seeing them interviewed in magazines, seeming to be comfortable in each other’s company again, and hugging on TV, I never thought that I would see the day. It really is the feelgood story of the year. ss2

I recently reviewed the The Kid, shown on CBBC from 1987-1988. I decided to review this because I thought that there should be more about it online and it had a very short run on TV. Although I enjoyed it I didn’t know anything about the cast, but I presumed that they were proper actors who must have come from somewhere, so I did some research on them, and the results were rather interesting. vlcsnap-01292

Firstly, I looked for some information about Steve Fairnie who played the lead role in The Kid, and it seems that he had a rather fascinating career, he doesn’t come across as the first person who would star in a zany children’s TV show. This is because he was primarily a musician, he released his first album in 1975, he was in various New Wave/Synthpop bands, including Writz (who made some TV appearances around 1979/1980), and he was also an artist. vlcsnap-01293

Steve was also in Techno Twins, along with his wife Bev Sage, and in 1982 they had a minor hit single with their version of “Falling In Love Again”. He also had a rather striking look that could best be described as a New Romantic Charlie Chaplin. And there is a video online of Steve talking about The Kid and his career to Mick Robertson (best known for co-hosting CITV’s Magpie) on The Children’s Channel. vlcsnap-01296

From what I’ve read about Steve he comes across as a entertainingly extrovert and multi-talented man, and no less a figure than Simon Mayo called him “one cool dude”. Steve Fairnie died suddenly in February 1993, he was 42 years old. It was really odd to discover that he died so long ago, I was only nine at the time. I would hope that over 25 years on from his death Steve would be pleased that I discovered his TV show (along with some of his music) and very much enjoyed it, he really was a one-off. 


Steve Fairnie: 1951-1993.

Also appearing the The Kid was Debbie Linden. Again, I didn’t know anything about her career, and I discovered that she was also a rather unlikely children’s TV personality. She was a glamour model, she also appeared in various TV shows in the early-80s including Are You Being Served? and 3-2-1, and it seems that she usually played the stereotypical “dumb blonde” role. Her story doesn’t have a happy ending, I read that she was rather troubled in her later years, and had a rather grim demise. Debbie died in October 1997, age 36. Realising that half the cast of The Kid are long gone definitely put a different perspective on watching the show again, but its “comic come to life” style reminded me of the more successful CITV show Zzzap!, and it definitely deserves to be better known. 


Debbie Linden: 1961-1997.

A while ago I was having a look at some editions of TV Times that I have from the 80s, wondering if there were any shows that were before my time but I knew enough about them to be worthy of a review. One of these was Hold Tight, a CITV show that was originally hosted by Bob Carolgees, and one of the later series was co-hosted by Peter Simon (now I know that nowadays he seems to be making a fool of himself on increasingly small-time shopping channels, but I am still fond of a lot of his TV work). vlcsnap-01297

The final series of Hold Tight was hosted by Barbie Wilde. Now again, this was someone that I didn’t really know anything about, but I discovered she has had an interesting career too. I found her website which features lots of pictures of her with some of the pop stars she interviewed on the show including The B-52s and Cliff Richard, and as well as being a children’s TV presenter in the 80s, she was appearing in horror films, and was also a host on ITV’s Night Networkvlcsnap-00002

Now I enjoyed discovering all of this, and she seemed to be an interesting personality. So I decided to raise the stakes a little. If this really is someone who I would be a fan of, I thought wouldn’t it be great if she made a synthpop single in the 80s where she had blue hair in the video, because it seems that I am really fond of that type of thing, I don’t demand much, do I. And well… I wasn’t disappointed. vlcsnap-01298

Although it wasn’t a hit, I did enjoy “Phantom Lady”, and that’s when I realised this was definitely someone I should find out more about, and I tracked her down on Twitter and followed her. I discovered that Barbie was also in a music/dance group called Shock that included Tik And Tok, they made a few songs and appeared on CITV’s Razzmatazz in 1982. I also looked for more on YouTube, and I found a video that Barbie appears in alongside… Bev Sage, wife of the aforementioned Steve Fairnie. How about that! vlcsnap-01300

My most viewed blog piece of the year so far is something of a surprise. It’s my second look back at the career of Danielle Dax, someone who really pushed the musical boundaries in the 80s. It has already surpassed the record for the most number of a views a piece has had in a year with six months remaining. I always thought that this would be one of my more niche pieces, so I am very pleased that it has done so well. I don’t intend the piece to be the definitive word on her, but I did enjoy putting it together as it’s a story worth telling, it seems that there are more fans of hers out there than I ever realised which is terrific. I also found a podcast from about a year ago where Danielle is interviewed for over an hour about her career. She’s still out there somewhere… dd111

Other things I have enjoyed reviewing this year include the children’s TV shows Captain Zep Space Detective, Chockablock, How Dare You! (Carrie Grant is another one who I didn’t realise appeared on CITV in the 80s), The Telebugs, Teletubbies, and Tricks And Tracks (it was a pleasure to be reacquainted with Albie The Robot). Comedies I have reviewed include Faith In The Future, Girls On Top, the recently rediscovered Hardwicke House, Home To Roost, Out Of This World, and Six Pairs Of Pants. I have also enjoyed reviewing more game shows, soaps, and adverts. vlcsnap-01304

The plan is simply to continue with more pieces. Lots more reviews of game shows, sitcoms, and so on are planned to come. And as I come toward my fifth anniversary of doing this, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank people for your interest, wherever you are, especially those who have liked, commented, and spread the word. It’s good to know you enjoy my nostalgic memories.

The YouTube Files – The Secret Video Show.

The Secret Video Show (Sky One, 1989-1990)

When Sky launched (as we now know it) in 1989, they did have an attempt at some original programming between the imports, mostly revivals of game shows including The Price Is Right and Sale Of The Century. There was also a show that was hosted by Chris Tarrant, someone whose TV work I have enjoyed a lot, so I was pleased to recently find a full edition on YouTube.

As much as I have enjoyed Tarrant’s presenting style and personality over the years, he has hosted a lot of stinkers, and for every Who Wants To Be A Millionaire there is a long-forgotten The Great Pretender or The Colour Of Money (although I did like Lose A Million, and even that was a ratings flop). I hadn’t realised that Tarrant had hosted a show on Sky One so I thought that this could be interesting.

The Secret Video Show featured what are always described in TV magazines as “home video howlers”, where people suffer a variety of painful-looking mishaps that just happen to be captured by a camcorder, but their bruises are soon healed by the fact that it’ll now be shown on TV, they’ll be famous for five seconds, and they could potentially win a cash prize. Also featuring are some hidden camera stunts. vlcsnap-00453

The Secret Video Show had a similar idea to ITV’s You’ve Been Framed! (which has now been running for almost three decades), and BBC1’s one-series wonder Caught In The Act (that was hosted by Shane Richie). But it gets even better. Tarrant’s co-host was none other than Peter Simon, who was seemingly doing some moonlighting from Double Dare, and his job was to go around the country and get really corny jokes from the public that made him honk with laughter. vlcsnap-00461

The edition that is online though is a special where some prizes are on offer for the funniest videos that have featured in the series, so Peter is in the studio along with Chris, (however he didn’t join in with the falling over on this occasion, he left that to the people in the videos) and seeing two of my favourite TV personalities combine together to host this show that I previously knew very little about was a real treat and can’t be all bad. vlcsnap-00455

Most of the clips also had “boing” sound effects added to them, just like Caught In The Act did, along with as much canned laughter as viewers could handle. As it was the last in the series, the funniest video in every category wins £1,000, with the overall series winner receiving a trophy and £2,500 (and to determine that winner, they asked the audience, what a novel idea). Well, as you can imagine, bow-tie wearing Peter was very excited by all this, let’s hope that they give him a job on the revival of Crackerjackvlcsnap-00457

I did enjoy seeing The Secret Video Show, it made me giggle almost as much as Peter did, and it ran for a couple of series (although it doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry), unlike You’ve Been Framed! which is still going and has kept up with the latest of the technologies, so people can now capture their friends breaking their leg with their telephones, whatever will they think of next.

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 9.

You should know by now that a long time ago I used to enjoy watching Peter Simon on Bid TV, not necessarily because I wanted to buy anything, but because he could be somewhat unpredictable and his suddenly going off-message could be rather amusing. And this is one of those moments where it really did seem like no-one knew what was going to happen next.

When Bid-Up started using a falling prices format like Price-Drop around 2005 (causing them to drop the “Up” from their name), I was rather disappointed that there would be no more live auctions. I was interested though in seeing how Peter would deal with falling prices. I remember on a few occasions he did get rather overexcited by the price going down, but this is one occasion where for some reason he couldn’t believe it, I think he might have been at the chocolate biscuits again.

One Friday night Peter was selling a watch which featured the branding of lifestyle magazine FHM and the price started at £100, he really does love his timepieces, but he began with a story. “Me sun, snowdrop just popped up Tuesday. And I was playing with a little Labrador Wednesday. And the garden gnome fell in the pond Thursday. I nearly went in after it. Then somebody said you had to do mouth-to-mouth, I went hrrf, no. Right”.

Then when there was an Auction Avalanche taking the price down, Peter didn’t seem to notice that it had happened, and he then suddenly yelled “what?! 17 quid? 17 quid!”, before yelling “just grab it!” and informing us that he’d bankrupt the company, let’s just hope that the Managing Director Arty Farquarson-Smythe wasn’t sat at ‘ome watching all this, it would’ve definitely put him off his supper. “It’s everything you could want from a design brand watch!”. vlcsnap-00587

Then, as the price fell further, Peter became even more surprised. When it went to £15, he said “three fivers!”. He then had a go at his director “who knows what she’s saying, what?”, and insisting “they’re in a world of their own in that box down there, you should see them”. When it went to £14, he said “Oh! You can’t buy these for £14!”. And when it went to £13, Peter did a double take where he calmly said the price and then realised what had happened. £13! vlcsnap-00592

Peter then seemed to be somewhat lost for words by this point (rather rare for him), and he was reduced to mumbling “I can’t beli… I… I don’t know what to…”, before yelling “stop that bloody… stop that music! Doesn’t it get on yer nerves, honestly, day and night, der-der der-der der-der” (this reminds me of another time when Peter amusingly spoke out of turn when he looked right into the camera and said “Stop the music! Doesn’t it get on your nerves? They’re all looking at me now going ‘you can’t say that’. well I just did!”). vlcsnap-00593

Trying to get his breath back, Peter then told us “Wherever you’re watching in the United Kingdom tonight, this is remarkable, you can not get this watch for £13”. Peter simply ended by saying “chew on a carrot, rub me leg, tell me that it’s Friday, on we go”, and concluding that if the prices stayed that low all night they might as well shut down. Well give it a few years… vlcsnap-00595

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 6.

I just thought I’d do another one of these. I didn’t set up this blog to do attention-grabbing listicles as they’re called now, but if I really did want to put one together, the only category I would choose would be…


1. When Bid first came to Freeview, there was a feature called Speed Auctions, where Peter had to run around and close the auction quicker than usual, and he was often complaining about how exhausted he was and how he wouldn’t be able to keep the pace up about ten minutes into his shift. One day, when starting an auction, he fell off the podium and fell flat on his face. I don’t know whether he did this deliberately or not, but I couldn’t believe that so long after his Double Dare and Run The Risk days Peter was still at it and I laughed a little too hard at his misfortune.

2. About a week or two later, Peter tripped and fell off the podium again, whilst trying to start a speed auction, and only getting as far as saying “here we go quickly…” before again he took a painful looking tumble. vlcsnap-00893

3. Again around this time during speed auctions, Peter managed to do the double, when as the hooter went and Peter had to go back to the gavel, he decided to grab assistant Jenny’s hand and they both ran back, so when Peter collided with the podium he took her with him which was rather unfortunate.

4. At the start of his shift one Christmas, Peter went into the podium once again, and the present that he was holding went flying. What a way to start. Thankfully the only thing that was bruised was his pride. vlcsnap-00874

5. Not long after, Peter went to the other side of the studio to preview an item, and promptly disappeared behind the bed. Having to walk about five paces was still clearly proving too difficult for him.

6. Around the World Cup, Peter was selling some towels, when again he fell over. I don’t know if he collided with the podium once again or he tripped over the towel. He then tried to tell us that some jumpers were next whilst complaining “I’ve just sliced my head open”, and then he tried to get into the football spirit by trying to sing the England anthem “Three Lions” and just ended up shouting “England’s coming home!”. He then pointed at Sophie who was laughing so much he insisted that she had wet herself, but he couldn’t laugh because when he took the towel off he noticed that he had ripped his trousers. And it wasn’t the first time that he’d done that live on Bid either. vlcsnap-00877

7. Another one, where as Peter was closing an auction, again he went into the podium, but then he slumped to the floor and started rolling around in a rather fake manner, before he then got up and oddly looked like he was about to sob. Why does he do it to himself? vlcsnap-00890

8. In more recent years, when Peter decided to begin his shift with the showbizzy “it’s live from London” routine, when he came on he fell once again, this time blaming a piece of carpet he went into. He really will do anything to get a laugh.

9. Finally, when Peter was on with Marina once late one night, again as he got rather overexcited by her fancy outfit he slid and went on his bottom. And yet it was sill so funny. vlcsnap-00892

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 5.

Another one of these. Over the years as I’m sure you’ve realised by now, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Peter Simon moments, so I thought that I would now share although it’s a difficult choice what almost certainly could be my favourite auction that Peter ever did on Bid.

When Price-Drop launched in 2003 they were the first channel to have falling prices. A couple of years later Bid adopted this format. Although it was a great shame to see the gavel go, one of the good things about this would be seeing how Peter dealt with a falling price auction, and I wondered if he would get as overexcited doing them as he did with the rising price auctions.

So I was very pleased when he did. Every time the price plunged Peter would use a special catchphrase “it’s an auction avalanche, the numbers will rumble, and then they’ll tumble, how low will we go?”, before the price finally went down and Peter would go into a “NO. Is that right? Grab it!” routine that would become very familiar, but one night he was so overcome by what happened it was really odd and funny.

One year during the Christmas rush, Bid decided to extend their time on air by half-an-hour, meaning that when Peter did the live late-shift he would now be on until 1:30am. For the final half-an-hour every item sold would supposedly be randomly picked and Peter wouldn’t know what it would be in advance, they just wheeled it on and sold it as quickly as they could. This meant that it would often become rather shambolic, with Peter constantly saying “is there a brief?”, and then being unable to read it and explain the item because he’d forgotten his glasses again.

But it was the very last item that Peter sold in this slot before he went away for Christmas (presumably to play the back-end of a horse in pantomime) that really stuck in my mind. I can’t remember what the item was exactly but it went down to £14.99 I think, and Peter seemed to be somewhat thrown by this. He just started doing his “no… no way” routine again, then he did a really high-pitched laugh which concluded with him going really loudly “HA-HA-HAA!!”.

You could tell that the crew in the studio were looking around as if they didn’t know what was going on. We then got a big close up of a rather tired-looking Peter who yelled “it should’ve gone to £29.99!”. He then did another big laugh and said in a rather hoarse voice “unbelievable!”. I have no idea why Peter was so insistent about what price it should have sold for, but when they finally sold out he concluded his shift by just going “ooh, I’m absolutely shattered”. Goodness knows what I was doing even watching this channel at 1:30am but it turned out to be very rewarding, it gave me a great laugh, and it once again proved how amusingly unpredictable Peter could be. You’ve bagged a bargain there.

Another one of these soon. But until then, remember, you might not know it, but somebody somewhere loves you.

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 4.

Here’s another memorable moment from Bid which features Andy Hodgson and Peter Simon. When Bid launched on Freeview in January 2003, they were doing something rather special. For a few weeks everyone who placed a successful bid was put into a draw, and then a name would be picked out at random by the computer and they would win the star prize of £10,000. But later in that year they went a little further.

There was another draw, but this time the star prize was £20,000. Peter even appeared in the promotion for this competition which was a little unusual as Andy Hodgson usually did the majority of them, presumably because he would need fewer retakes, but either way it was good seeing Peter get some more exposure. And when the big night came to reveal who the winner would be, it was fair to say that emotions were running a little high.

Andy and Peter were both live in the studio ready to do the big reveal. There was a big suitcase on the table which featured notes inside it which had pictures of Andy on them, I presume they’re not legal tender. Then, after several weeks, the big moment came, and we’d finally find out the star winner. Who would it be? Mavis in Northampton? Joyce in Kirkcaldy? Gladys in Hull? The tension began to mount…

And then it was revealed that the winner was Kim in Bridgwater! Naturally everyone was very pleased and they got a delighted Kim on the phone to talk to, but it’s what happened next that turned this whole occasion really bizarre. Peter seemed to be overcome by what had happened, and he started to sob and say “I’ve never known anybody win £20,000 before!” whilst dabbing his eyes. vlcsnap-00018

This somewhat distracted Andy who was trying to congratulate the newly rich Kim, and there also seemed to be a lot of disbelieving laughter from the crew in the studio. I honestly don’t know whether Peter was putting it on or not but it was just so strange, and in all the years I watched Peter on Bid only his emotional response to receiving his tenth anniversary figurine what I wrote about recently can compare with what happened on this night. vlcsnap-00019

I suppose though that moments like this are what kept me watching, and I suppose it explains why Peter didn’t go on to host any game shows after Run The Risk where contestants played for big money, because he just wouldn’t be able to believe it. What a carry on. Another classic moment coming soon…

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 3.

One great thing about watching Peter Simon on Bid TV was that he was so unpredictable, and it always felt that at any moment something rather amusing and bizarre could happen with him on live TV because he liked to make it up as he went along, but there was one moment in November 2011 which really was remarkable even by his own standards.

I was watching one Sunday evening, when Peter came on and did his usual rather daft introduction where he treated all this as if he had just walked on stage at the Palladium. Once he’d finished his highly amusing anecdote, he then introduced his assistant for the night Helen, and Peter was somewhat surprised when Andy Hodgson walked on instead.

Andy announced that it was the 10th anniversary of Peter joining Bid, so they had decided to do something special. I was always pleased to see Peter enjoy a second wave of popularity after his Double Dare days, and Andy explained how Peter was hired. He said that he phoned Peter’s agent, asked “I’m looking for somebody cheap”, and got the reply, “I can help you there, it’s Peter Simon, he’s not busy.” I imagine that Andy was joking but he was probably closer to the truth than he realised.

Because Andy also said that he’d had a right old laugh with Peter over the years, he revealed that tonight there would be a very special item for sale… the limited edition Peter Simon commemorative anniversary figurine! Yes! Andy also said “it is numbered individually, because it’s your favourite word”, and Peter didn’t seem to notice Andy taking the mick right in front of him. vlcsnap-01580

It was then that Steve and Helen came on with a special cake and some soppy music played. Peter seemed to have no advance idea of all this and he looked like he couldn’t believe it, and then Andy asked Peter because it was Remembrance Sunday if he would sell the figurines if for every one sold they would donate some money to a favourite charity of Peter’s choice. vlcsnap-01567

Peter’s response to this was somewhat unexpected and made something that was already unusual seem rather more odd. Peter just paused and said “can I just say… thank you very, very much”, and then he practically started to sob, and Andy and Steve put their arm round him, realising that they probably should’ve done this at the end of his shift because he was overcome. vlcsnap-01589

When it came to Peter actually selling the figurine later in the evening, that was a very odd experience too. He didn’t put any humour into it at all, and just sat there practically sobbing for about ten minutes about all the things that had happened over the years, talking about how touched he was that viewers sent kind messages to him, and reminiscing about a programme that he had recently heard on Radio 2 about parents talking about the musical choices of their fallen solider children.

Eventually they did sell the 1,000 quantity, with Peter going for a very reasonable £14.99, raising thousands of pounds in the process. What a bargain. And I’m sure that Peter takes pride of place not only on a mantlepiece or a bay window in houses across the country to this very day. Now you wouldn’t see that happen any other channel, would you.

More TV Memories – Bid Best Bits – Part 2.

In the Bid-Up days there used to be a feature called Speed Auctions, where items were sold much more quickly, with auctions lasting roughly about five minutes in instead of ten. The idea was that after about a couple of minutes a hooter would go off, and however far they were through their description of the item, the presenter had to run back to the gavel and take bids for a couple more minutes before closing the auction.

Of course, when it was Peter Simon’s turn to do some Speed Auctions, it was clear that it was going to be something worth watching and it definitely was. By the end of his first hour he was saying about the hooter “that’s starting to get on me nerves now”, by the end of his second hour, he was saying that he would run back to the gavel, but only if he had the energy left, complaining “I don’t think I can keep this up much longer”, and by the end of his shift he really did look completely exhausted, and because he was unable to keep up with the faster pace he fell over one at least one occasion.

So on one memorable occasion Peter decided to deal with this as only he could. Because he was so tired and had been sweating so much, he decided to start an auction by taking his trousers off, complaining that “me trousers are soaked through!”. He then walked over to the next item and carried on as normal, and I can only imagine the chaos that this was causing with the production team, with Peter saying “one of the cameramen has just proposed to me”.

Before the end though he was persuaded to put his trousers back on, and as he was doing so, someone with terrific comic timing decided that this should be the moment for the hooter to go off, so Peter had to treat us to his famous camp run back to the gavel while still trying to do up his zip, but he eventually managed to pull everything back together, while informing us “the hairs on my legs are stood up now” and cackling. It goes without saying that no-one else can do live TV like Peter and it was one of the funniest moments that I’ve seen on Bid. vlcsnap-01189

I’ve got lots more great Peter moments to share with you soon, including the time he emotionally sold a figurine of himself. You have been warned.