Gaming Memories – Telly Addicts TV Heaven Edition Interactive DVD.

Telly Addicts TV Heaven Edition Interactive DVD (2007)

Although the market for interactive DVD versions of classic game shows has long passed, it was a rather enjoyable idea, with people returning to host shows for the first time in a decade or even longer to help guide viewers through how to play along at home. I recently got hold of three of the Telly Addicts interactive DVD games, and I have decided to review the TV Heaven Edition.

The host is Noel Edmonds, who by this point was a familiar face on TV again, following the early success of Deal Or No Deal. What is noticeable about this is that the presentation is similar to the original version of the show, before the big relaunch which ended up being the final series, around the same time as the Noel’s House Party fiasco (it’s fair to say that late-1997/early-1998 wasn’t the peak of Noel’s career).

Before playing, it has to be determined if one or two teams will be playing, and if they will be answering the questions aimed at adults or children. So make yourself comfortable on the sofa, get your favourite biscuits, and make sure that you are ready to play. There are five rounds, and the first four are about individual genres of TV, such as soaps, comedy, and cartoons.

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Various pictures and clips from the archive are shown, and then a question with three choices is asked, pick the correct one to score one point. There will also be descriptions of TV shows, and having to guess a theme (although you don’t have to sing along). The more questions that were answered correctly, the more of the picture to which the final question of the round is connected will be revealed.

The final round is Boost Or Bust, where five questions (this time with four options) supposedly of increasing difficultly on anything about TV are asked, and you must get it right to be able to access the next question. If you get one wrong, the round ends right away. If you unsure about an answer though, you can swap the question for another (Noel has always been fond of his swaps), but this can only be used once.

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The winner is then declared (or if it’s a tie, there’s a tiebreaker question). The maximum possible score is 25, will you be able to prove to Noel that you are a true telly addict? If you do get a good score, you will be congratulated, and be able to enter a draw for a big prize (although it expired a long time ago now). With so many TV memories on offer, this was definitely a fun game to play.

Game Show Memories – Game Show Stars Part 11.

This is some whose career has lasted for more than five decades, and it has had more ups and downs than most other TV hosts. Noel Edmonds joined BBC Radio 1 in the late-60s, and he was their youngest host, and I think he was the youngest host just about anywhere on BBC Radio at the time. By the 70s he had got into TV, including hosting Top Of The Pops, Swap Shop, and a revival of Juke Box Jury.

In the early-80s, he hosted The Late Late Breakfast Show, a live show where he seemed to have an interest in trying TV firsts and various pranks whilst wearing horrible sweaters. An attempt to break into American TV in the mid-80s was unsuccessful though. Going into the late-80s, he hosted Telly Addicts, Whatever Next…, and The Saturday Roadshow.

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In the early-90s he had one of the biggest successes of his career with Noel’s House Party, which at first was a very enjoyable live Saturday Night show, and went on to do very well in the ratings, and there was even a spin-off chart-topping single and everything. Into the mid-90s, he hosted Noel’s Telly Years, and the first edition of The National Lottery Live.

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The late-90s were not a good time for Noel though. After running for over a decade, the format of Telly Addicts was changed completely, and this only hastened the show’s end, rather than give it a new lease of life. And, Noel’s House Party, which had also gone through several format changes and long since stopped being the talk of viewers, came to an end as well.

Some people thought that he could’ve taken the opportunity to go on a rant, but his closing speech on that show did come across as suitably sincere. Not long after this, he left the BBC after 30 years, on a rather sour note it seems, and left the screen. It was about six years later that he finally returned when he was invited to host Channel 4’s new game show.

At first, Deal Or No Deal was an exciting and tense show, whether there was a rather large (or rather small) amount of money at stake. He then hosted Everyone’s A Winner, a live BBC1 Saturday Night show that made people feel that he had worked his way back up to the top and was back where he belonged, although this was only ever going to be an intentional one-off.

He also hosted a few shows for Sky, including the game show Are You Smarter Than A Ten-Year-Old? After a year or two, Deal Or No Deal was doing well, but this meant that this was rather milked for everything it was worth and viewers felt that this was overkill, along with endless specials, and the show was on Channel 4 every day of the week at one point.

As the years went by, Noel’s hosting style became increasingly eccentric too, taking the whole thing way too seriously, as if this was an underground cult that worshiped “blue” numbers, and along with the way he treated contestants, this began to be mildly unsettling. When Deal Or No Deal did finally come to an end, there had been over 3,000 editions, only Countdown has had more editions of a UK game show.

Channel 4 did promise him more shows though, there was also Cheap Cheap Cheap, which was rather risky and something a little different, this was an interesting idea that was half-game show half-sitcom, but it was so obvious that this was going to be a flop, and there was the one-off Sell Or Swap that was live and featured plenty of pointless running around.

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He then surprised viewers with his next move, although you’d think that his 50 years in TV and radio would equal a little more than coming last on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! After this, he just about retired from showbusiness, and although he has always been someone who divides opinion, I’m definitely on the side of thinking that he has been a great talent.

Game Show Memories – consolation prizes.

“We hate to lose you, but lose you we must”

Time for something a little different. There used to be a time when however good or bad they did, game show contestants would be given consolation prizes for taking part. Here’s a look at what I think are 16 of the most memorable prizes that were given away. These are the shows where you definitely didn’t go away empty handed…

Backdate. A rather nice electronic organiser.

Big Break. A snooker cue and a trophy, and a waistcoat too if you were lucky.

Blankety Blank. Probably one of the most famous consolation prizes, the chequebook and pen. It’s really isn’t an exaggeration to say that it was more valuable than most of the actual prizes on offer.

Blockbusters. A sweatshirt and a dictionary. Definitely worth having. p3

Bullseye. Tankards, darts, and the bendy Bully. Or the badge and chalk holder that were on offer in the early series.

Countdown. What is always called a goodie bag, including cups, books, and the board game too of course. And don’t forget the teapot either.

Every Second Counts. Not surprisingly considering this was a show based around time, a wallclock and some watches.

The Generation Game. Various prizes in the early-90s revival included a telephone and pocket TV that seemingly only ever showed a picture of Bruce Forsyth’s co-host Rosemarie Ford. p6

Lucky Ladders. A pair of watches. Now they must be expensive.

Raise The Roof. This was the show where the star prize was a house, so the consolation was a teapot in the shape of a house, often known as “Bob’s Bungalow” (after host Bob Holness).

Small Talk. A trophy that according to host Ronnie Corbett was “crafted by my own fair hand”.

Telly Addicts. Another goodie bag similar to Countdown including books about TV, T-shirts and so on. p9

Today’s The Day. A copy of a newspaper from the day that you were born, and maybe a bottle of bubbly too.

Turnabout. Another show that gave everyone a dictionary. Not that exciting, but just any excuse to talk about Turnabout really.

Wheel Of Fortune. Another show that gave away watches and board games.

Wipeout. Early series featured a paperweight, before this was changed to an umbrella. p12

And they all had a lovely day.

Game Show Memories – Telly Addicts Christmas Special.

Telly Addicts Christmas Special (BBC1, 1989)

Telly Addicts is one of my favourite game shows from the 80s and 90s, and there were a lot of Christmas specials made, so here’s a review of the one that was shown in 1989. They even made a special version of the opening theme and everything. Noel Edmonds and one of his horrid jumpers hosted as usual, and for this special two teams of celebrities took part. They might regularly appear on the TV, but do they know anything about the programmes? vlcsnap-00180

The first team was the Crackers, who were Frank Carson, Liza Goddard, George Layton and Graeme Garden. They were up against the Clowns, who were Chris Tarrant (almost a decade before he hosted Who Wants To Be A Millionaire), Barry Cryer, Jessica Martin, and Jim Bowen, marvellous! The usual rounds that were played during this era of the show featured and it was time to let battle commence. vlcsnap-00176

The first round featured questions on classic British comedy shows, and even at this early stage Noel saw that it was going to be a vicious fight to the very climax. In the second round, various people describe famous TV personalities and the teams have to guess who they are. They’re also not entirely convinced that the contributors are genuine despite Noel’s insistence. Where do they find them from? vlcsnap-00179

We then went into the Channel Hopping round, where each contestant had to pick a number from a choice of 12 on offer and answer the question it concealed by pressing the appropriate number on their hoofer-doofer, meaning they had to do all kinds of unlikely things such as guess the celebrity from a picture of their legs, and the famous “sing the sig” round, where they had to sing a famous TV theme and Noel would be very fussy about whether they performed it well enough to earn the point. vlcsnap-00177

There was then a round with questions on classic US comedy shows, followed by Titles And Tunes, where one opening sequence of a TV show was accompanied by the theme to another, and they had to guess both. It’s now time to go into the final round which is in the spotlight, and by this point Noel is claiming that people are passing out with excitement. 12 questions in 60 seconds, so three each, and they will begin, if Frank will ever stop talking. vlcsnap-00178

It was very close between the two teams throughout the whole of the show, and would you believe it, it ends as an 18-18 draw, meaning everyone ends up pleased with how it turned out, including Noel who spent a little too long laughing at most of their answers. This was a fun variation on this classic game show. I still can’t believe that I never got the board game for Christmas…

Gaming Memories – Telly Addicts.

Telly Addicts (PlayStation 2, 2007) 

One thing that was surprising about the wave of interactive DVD versions of classic game shows was the amount of veteran presenters who were persuaded back to host the show they were most famous for one last time, sometimes as much as a decade after they last did so on TV, and Noel Edmonds got out his remote control again to host a version of Telly Addicts that people could play at home. vlcsnap-01375

There were a few interactive DVD versions made of Telly Addicts, but I have the PlayStation 2 version. One thing that must be noted right from the start is that the design of the game is clearly based on the late-80s/early-90s era of the show, ignoring the final disastrous series 1998 when everything was changed, which isn’t much of a surprise. Also, Noel appears to be hosting the show from a tiny room so this doesn’t seem to be big budget stuff. vlcsnap-01376

There are six rounds to play, by yourself or against an opponent, to test which one of you has the best TV knowledge. Most of the rounds were similar to the TV version. The first round has you having to choose from one of six screens. You then see a picture of a classic TV show and have to answer a multiple-choice question about it. vlcsnap-01378

The second round is similar, but this time you see a short clip of a classic TV show and then you have to answer three questions on it. There has been a good look back through the archive and a wide variety of clips are featured and anything can turn up. Round three is the spotlight round, where five questions have to be answered against the clock, similar to the final round of the original TV version. vlcsnap-01379

Round four is the reveal round. A picture of a TV personality is slowly revealed, the quicker you correctly identify them, the more points you score. In round five you are given a question about a TV show and you have to guess the year in which it launched, and then you are asked some further questions about the show. vlcsnap-01380

In the final round you spin a wheel which features various genres of TV. Where you land will determine what TV genre your question is about. Each player has three goes. Then it’s end of the game and the final scores are revealed. Have you done enough to prove to Noel that you really deserve to be called a Telly Addict? vlcsnap-01382

It seems that these Telly Addicts games were made about a year or two after Noel returned to the screen with Deal Or No Deal and I assume that he enjoyed hosting the show again as it’s a great combination of TV nostalgia and trivia. The fad has passed for interactive DVDs of game shows now, with most shows now releasing mobile app versions or even traditional board games, but it was a good success while it lasted.

Game Show Memories – Telly Addicts 2.

Telly Addicts 2 (BBC1, 1997-1998)

About a year after the original format of Telly Addicts ended, the show returned with wholesale changes and a new look, with only the show’s title and Noel Edmonds as host surviving, although he had put the hoofer-doofer and horrid sweaters away and now wore a nice suit and tie, and he was very impressed with the new set design. He was introduced as “the man who can make Britain smile… by leaving it”. There was even a new opening title sequence and theme. vlcsnap-00599

First of all, there were now three teams of two taking part and it was no longer a knockout format. The first edition of this era of the show was a celebrity special featuring Shane Richie and Claudia Winkleman, Coronation Street‘s Angela Griffin and Tracy Shaw, and good old Ant & Dec competing against one another. vlcsnap-00600

There were also lots of new rounds and plenty of pointless running about which Noel seems to like doing, which each round taking place in a different part of the studio. Noel seems to like his firsts and spent a lot of the show saying “this round is new to Telly Addicts!”. In the first round each team was given a TV clip to watch and then they had to answer three questions about the show. In the next round the teams were given a TV programme and had one minute to talk about the show. They had to take it in turns and swapped over when Noel pressed his button. There was a list of ten things that they were expected to say about the show and they scored a point for each one. Cue lots of laughing at their frantic descriptions.


The next round was the celebrity box. There was a special guest celebrity hidden in a box and the teams had to answer a question correctly to get a clue as to who it was and then they could have one guess. There was a bonus for who guessed right and then the celebrity asked a bonus question. The lowest-scoring team at this point was knocked out. vlcsnap-00602

Then it’s down the stairs for the next round, the Pyramid. One team member was nominated and picked one of four categories. They then entered the Pyramid to answer questions on the subject, one point for each correct answer. vlcsnap-00603

Then it was time to run back up the stairs for World TV. Some clips of TV shows from a country were shown and then the teams were asked about what they saw. Raiders Of The Lost Archive was the final round where there were nine classic clips to choose from. Then it was revealed whether the question was worth one, three or five points. When they ran out of time, again the lowest-scoring team were knocked out and it was time for the final, time to run again. vlcsnap-00604

In Stairway To The Stars the winning team had one minute. There was a step with some famous names on it. Noel would give a clue and if they picked the right name they could go to the next step. If they reached the top step in time they won the star prize of the holiday. Noel was looking forward to the series by saying “we’ll be back with this monumentally huge Telly Addicts in the new year – but the bonus is we’ll have real people then!” vlcsnap-00605

Noel’s career with the BBC was nearing its end at this point, his House Party was no longer what it used to be and it must have been thought that this new version of Telly Addicts would help the show to keep going for a few more years, but viewers didn’t really like it and there was only one series in this format before it finally left our screens in 1998.

Game Show Memories – Telly Addicts.

Telly Addicts (BBC1, 1985-1996)

Telly Addicts was a great show, unsurprisingly it was all about the world of classic television programmes over the years and all the nostalgic memories that evokes, and it was hosted by Noel Edmonds who always enjoyed any opportunity to wear a horrible sweater. Telly Addicts 22

The format changed a lot over the years but the basic idea was to ask teams questions about the history of television. Two teams of four competed against one another. In the first series there was a “winner stays on” format but this was changed after the same team won every week so they were there for just about the whole of the series. vlcsnap-00593

After this the format changed to a regular knockout competition. Lots of different rounds were played over the years. These included a round where teams were shown a clip from a genre of TV and then had to answer three questions about what they saw. Each question appeared on screen supposedly by Noel pressing buttons on what he called his “hoofer-doofer”. vlcsnap-00594

Other rounds included being given clues to a TV personality and having to guess who it was, being shown various clips and having to guess which year they were from, and even a round in some series where the one team wrote some questions on TV that one member of the opposing team had to answer. vlcsnap-00597

In the final round the contestants had the spotlight put on them and faced questions against the clock and at the end whichever team had the highest score went through to the next round. There was a great use of archive material on the show and the grand final was always an exciting occasion with a really impressive overall star prize on offer for the series winners such as a great holiday. Telly Addicts 23

The set design changed a lot over the years too, with some series featuring famous TV faces from over the years in the background, and later series looked like they were actually coming from inside a TV, with everyone surrounded by various parts. A chap called Charles would help Noel with the scores in later series too which was all rather odd. vlcsnap-00595

Telly Addicts was successful enough to run for over a decade and it was always an enjoyable watch, and it was popular enough for there to be lots of Christmas specials featuring celebrities taking part and spin-off question books. However, the final series featured such a redesign of the format that I am going to treat it separately and review it soon. vlcsnap-00598

Despite the show leaving the screens in the late-90s it wasn’t over just yet though, Telly Addicts was revived in more recent years when an interactive DVD version was released that was hosted by Noel and was very similar to the original format of the show, and it was great seeing him don the sweater again.