Game Show Memories – Game Show Stars Part 4.

Shane Richie is someone who first appeared on TV in the late-80s, doing his comedy thing on various shows including 3-2-1 and The Saturday Roadshow, at which point he had a rather alarming mullet hairstyle. The first time I really came across him though was in the early-90s when he was among the cast of You Gotta Be Jokin’, part of the last gasp of old-school variety shows on Saturday Night BBC1.

I did find him rather amusing on this, and I have followed his career ever since. He then got into TV hosting, including plenty of game shows. This began with Caught In The Act, which did do well in the ratings, but it was considered to be such a blatant You’ve Been Framed! clone, that it was felt that this wasn’t the kind of thing that BBC1 shouldn’t be doing, and there was only one series.

This was then followed by CBBC’s Run The Risk, which was essentially Double Dare: The Sequel, where he asked the questions and baffled people with his rather bizarre jokes, but he didn’t get involved in the games, leaving that to the award-winning Peter Simon, who continued to constantly fall into the gunge, and it was still very amusing.

He then went over to ITV for a while in the mid-90s, including replacing Danny Baker as the host of Win, Lose Or Draw (curiously he also replaced Danny in those Daz adverts around the same time). He also hosted Lucky Numbers, another variation on the bingo format used in Bob’s Full House, which was one of the first wave of British game shows to offer a five-figure sum as the star prize.

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He then went on to Saturday Night show The Shane Richie Experience, where along with the games he liked to sing rather too often (a hasty restructuring of the format to Love Me Do didn’t exactly give things a boost though). By this point however, his fame was beginning to wane a little, and by the late-90s he had started to fall out of favour.

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In the early-2000s, he decided to take a chance on joining EastEnders, cast as the cheeky barrowboy Alfie. This gave his career a much-needed boost, and he won viewers over with his character. This led to a second wave of hosting game shows on BBC1, including Reflex (considered by many to be an inferior knock-off of ITV’s The Cube), Decimate, and Win Your Wish List. It’s always great to see him on TV.

CBBC Memories – Run The Risk.

Run The Risk (CBBC, 1992-1997)

When I heard that the classic crazy game show Double Dare wouldn’t be returning for the sixth and final series of Saturday Morning fest Going Live! in 1992, I was rather disappointed. But the show that replaced it was also rather good.

Run The Risk could essentially be described as Double Dare Deluxe. The set design was rather impressive, featuring a rotating platform and a big moat of gunge. Peter Simon was kept on to introduce the games but someone else was needed to ask the questions. It seems that someone thought “we’ve could’ve got Shane Richie!” so they did. Peter and Shane were an amusing comedy double act. vlcsnap-00610

Shane added a rather daft element to the show. In between rounds he would tell some awful jokes which mostly seemed to be about Alan Titchmarsh, and he didn’t get involved in the gunge side of the game, unlike Peter. Three teams of three took part. Shane would bounce on his trampoline and then ask some questions. He would then ask one of the teams if they would like to “run the risk” of playing the challenge, or whether they would nominate another team. vlcsnap-00611

Peter would introduce the three against-the-clock challenges, but he still hadn’t learned to walk from his Double Dare days, and he would always inevitably fall into the big moat of gunge whatever else was happening and yet it was still incredibly funny. The way that he would endlessly laugh as the contestants tried to win the challenge was great too. Shane and Peter actually devised some of the games themselves. If the team did complete the challenge in time they scored lots of points. vlcsnap-00609

There was then one more quick round of questions. The teams would then take the points that they had scored into the final obstacle course. Like the final in Gladiators, the highest-scoring team would be given a timed head-start based on how many points ahead they were of their opponents, although this wasn’t always necessarily an advantage. The first team to complete the obstacle course which usually featured lots of inflatables and even more gunge, usually whilst wearing a daft costume too, would win the star prize, while the other teams won some smaller prizes. vlcsnap-00613

I remember that the first series ended somewhat inevitably but brilliantly with a prank being played on Shane by Peter and Andi Peters that resulted in him finally being thrown into the gunge. It was a marvellous moment but I can’t find a clip of it anywhere, it definitely happened though and it is one of my highlights from the entire run of the show. Shane left the show not long after though and he was replaced by Bobby Davro who provided a similar mix of silly comedy jokes and also asking the questions. vlcsnap-00614

Run The Risk continued into Going Live!‘s replacement Live & Kicking and it would also often be repeated during CBBC’s afternoon strand. There were also lots of celebrity specials too. However, the rules and games were changed a lot in the later series in an attempt to make the show “bigger and better”, but it just wasn’t as great really, and by 1997 the show had finally petered (no pun intended) out and left the screen, although Peter would later take the show on tour around the country. And I bet he still always fell in the gunge too. vlcsnap-00608