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.

More TV Memories – The Saturday Roadshow.

The Saturday Roadshow (BBC1, 1988-1990)

The Saturday Roadshow is the second part of the Noel Edmonds Saturday Night trilogy (the first part is The Late Late Breakfast Show which ran on BBC1 from 1982-1986 but I never watched that one so I don’t have any plans to review it). It is a little odd to realise that this show isn’t as remembered as its successor Noel’s House Party, especially as most of the features that would make that show a success were established in this one. Even the theme music is similar.

There were some differences though. Firstly, this show was pre-recorded, and it was claimed that every week it was coming from a different location, such as the Channel Tunnel, or maybe even a space station, with Noel insisting that they were travelling up and down the country and beyond to host the show from unusual places, when it was actually always the same redesigned studio set. vlcsnap-00174

Features included Wait Till I Get You Home!, where parents of children had to guess the answers that they would give to Noel’s questions to win prizes. The gunge tank was also featured in the game In Other Words. A contestant would be teamed with a celebrity and they would have to work together to solve word puzzles against the clock. If they don’t get enough right in time, I’m sure you can guess what happens next. vlcsnap-00176

Another feature was Clown Court, where a celebrity guest would be shown some of the amusing mistakes that they had made on TV over the years, and they would be made to defend them by Noel playing a judge in a court setting, and Noel would also take part in various silly comedy sketches along with celebrities including the likes of Les Dennis and Shane Richie. vlcsnap-00173

One of the most popular features was where a practical joke would be played on a celebrity and they would receive a Gotcha Oscar from Noel (later renamed simply a Gotcha). This turned out to be another long-running feature and inevitably the celebrities would line up to get their own back on Noel at the end of the series. Let’s see how he likes it! vlcsnap-00171

The Saturday Roadshow ran for three series and I do remember watching some editions and enjoying them, I do think it is a show that deserves more acknowledgement in Noel’s long TV career. It was successful enough to be relaunched in 1991 as Noel’s House Party, where Noel would now greet us from the same location every week, coming live from his big house in Crinkley Bottom. How terrific.