The Top Ten Pieces Of 2019.

Let’s start the year by taking a look at my ten most viewed blog pieces from last year, to see exactly what people were most interested in out of everything I’ve done. However, none of my top ten were actually published in 2019, as some older pieces remained popular. Here’s what they were… 2019


The mid-90s CITV horror game show that was hosted by Steve Johnson still has a big fanbase it seems, although people do often mix it up with the similar CBBC show Incredible Games, which was great too. vlcsnap-00046


My piece on this show actually wasn’t focused on what it was about, partly because it’s well-known and still going, and it’s about to reach the 21st anniversary. I concentrated more on the publicity surrounding the launch of Family Guy in the UK when it came to Sky One in 1999, and unsurprisingly it was sold as “if you thought The Simpsons were dysfunctional, just wait until you see this lot!”.fg0001


Again, this show is so popular I didn’t really need to do a piece explaining its premise, so instead I did two pieces revealing my ten favourite one-off characters, the first of which has done very well. vlcsnap-01669


Although I am not hugely interested in weather forecasts, the characters that were used to introduce them on ITV in the late-90s called The Weathergens was a remarkable piece of TV presentation. I decided to analyse each one, as I had a feeling that this piece would be consistently popular, which turned out to be correct. vlcsnap-00694


The zany CBBC sketch show from the mid-2000s. When I was putting the piece together, I realised that about a decade on some of the sketches and their catchphrases had acquired cult status, which must be why a lot of people were attracted to this one. vlcsnap-00672


This is actually my most-viewed piece of them all (and I have now done almost 900). I’m not sure why this 90s game show with Des O’Connor is so popular, but it’s pleasing to know that people have enjoyed it. vlcsnap-00050


My piece on the long-gone Channel 5 soap has done very well recently. Again it’s proof that you can never tell what’ll become a success. Maybe people really like my anecdote about someone who I went to school with being in the cast for a while. I wonder how many other people can boast about that. affairs0001


I am always hoping that people will take interest in my pieces, and they will attract a bigger audience by people spreading the word. I noticed that my piece about CBBC’s The Nelly Nut Show had been linked to in a Buzzfeed article about children’s TV which gave it a big boost. And anyway, it’s just a great show, plus someone who was in the cast replied as well, and I was really pleased about that. vlcsnap-00160


This is one of the few game shows that I have reviewed that is actually still running on TV. Every time there is a big win on the show, there is a surge in views for the piece from people who have done an online search to discover what the largest amount ever won is, and it’s flattering that most of them turn to me.


It’s £57,500.


When I decided to set up this blog five years ago, it was mostly to share my memories of game shows, children’s TV, and sitcoms. It never really occurred to me to do much about music. But since the Bananarama incident, I wanted to discover some more pioneering women who made music in the 80s. So I did a piece about the career of the remarkable Danielle Dax, and then I did another to coincide with her 60th birthday in 2018. Despite that, I did feel that it was too niche a subject to have that much mass appeal. But would you believe it, by some margin it became my most-viewed piece of 2019 (with almost 600 views), and it’s now my second most-viewed piece of them all, only behind Take Your Pick. One odd thing I have discovered about her since doing the piece is that her song “Flashback” was used as the theme to BBC2’s coverage of Crufts in 1996. I am really thrilled at the interest in this one, Danielle is a star and it’s good to know that lots of people around the world are still fond of her. That really is fantastic. Why don’t you let me know your favourites too? dd111

Happy New Year!

Game Show Memories – Tenable.

Tenable (ITV, 2016-present)

This is a game show that launched only a couple of years ago that I’ve really enjoyed. Tenable is a daytime game show that is hosted by Warwick Davis, who is better known as an actor (he was in Star Wars, but he is very modest about it and sometimes goes up to five minutes without mentioning it) who only really entered TV presenting when he hosted the revival of Celebrity Squares on ITV a few years ago. vlcsnap-00023

Tenable is a show that is based all around Top Ten lists, but it had a different idea to the long-forgotten Topranko! A team of five (who all know one-another beforehand) take part, including a captain. Every team member plays an individual game, and the maximum prize money on offer is £125,000. The question is shown, such as “the ten largest countries in the world” or “the ten most recent Champions League winners”, and then they determine which one of the team will play. vlcsnap-00113

They then give their answers one by one, if they get stuck they can nominate one of their teammates to offer an answer, but this can only be done three times throughout the game. The captain can also overrule an answer if they want. If they get up to five correct answers, they start to win money, going from £1,000, all the way up to £25,000 for finding all ten answers on the list. However, get too many wrong and they are eliminated from the game (for now at least), and the money is lost. vlcsnap-00155

The last of the five on the team to play is the captain, who is immune from elimination. Once they get up to five correct answers, they have the option to buy back an eliminated team member (which could came in useful), or take the money. The team then take the contestants that they still have in the game, along with the money that they’ve made, into the final. Warwick always encourages the contestants along all the way and there are some interesting facts learned from the lists used. vlcsnap-00151

In the final, the team are given a choice of two categories. They make their choice, and the question is revealed. They then take it in turns to give answers, a correct answer keeps them in for another go, a wrong one eliminates them for good. If they can find all ten answers between them, they win the money. The biggest wins on the show so far have been around the £40,000-£50,000 mark. vlcsnap-00163

Tenable has been a very good addition to ITV daytime to create an enjoyable trio of game shows along with Tipping Point and The Chase, and although I doubt like those two established shows they’ll suddenly be making about 300 editions a year (plus celebrity specials), hopefully it has done well enough to continue for a while yet, (and also if there are still enough lists to play with!) it’s definitely a success for me.