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.
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.
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.
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 Crackerjack.
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.