Saturday evenings used to be about two things in my house – good shit TV and a ‘Saturday Night Tea’ (basically, something my Mum could just chuck in the oven and we could eat on our knees in the living room – and ‘tea’ because it’s Northern for ‘dinner’). There were some dream combinations: Curly Fries and Stars In Their Eyes, Fish & Chips and Family Fortunes, Bird Eye Potato Waffles and Wheel Of Fortune? (Was that even on a Saturday..?)
Tonight, Blind Date returns to our screens with Paul O’Grady stepping into his mate Cilla’s shoes (but not as Lily Savage, just to be clear). And with The Crystal Maze and The Price Is Right (with Alan Carr) on their way back, we got thinking about what other game shows we’d like to see, and who should be hosting:
Heres our Graham with a run down of the game shows we’d like to bring back.
Will it be number one – The Weakest Link?
Before Katie Hopkins realised that being an absolute bitch could help with the bank balance, Watchdog’s Anne Robinson was doing it. Admittedly she was doing it a little more innocently, by which I mean insulting individuals based on their intellect, and not entire races. The Weakest Link ran for 12 years, with a group of strangers taking it in turns to answer questions, randomly shouting out ‘bank!’ when they wanted to keep the winnings, and didn’t trust themselves to get a question right. As with our recent election, however, it’s votes that count, and not intellect.
Robinson’s tongue soon became notorious, with lines including ‘eject the idiot’, ‘banish the buffoon’ and ‘who’s in need of mental floss?’, which would all probably cause OFCOM complaints now. Following a short-lived run in the States and dance-single featuring her catchphrases, Robinson (looking younger and more leather clad each series) ended her contract with one last wink and ‘goodbye’. Who could take do it justice now? I’m not giving Hatie Kopkins any more attention than she deserves, so how about Kim Woodburn. Now she can throw an insult: “You are The Weakest Link, you little bitch!”
Will it be number two – Fort Boyard?
For those of you haven’t seen it, first of all what were you doing with your life in the early 2000s? And second, Fort Boyard was a game show where contestants would have to crawl through spider infested tubes, test their physical endurance, and collect keys and clues. This all happened in a Napoleonic Fort in the middle of the sea. And in the final challenge, which saw contestants scrambling to collect gold that they could release by guessing the password from their clues, if they weren’t quick enough, tigers were released. I don’t know what the producers were smoking when they created it, but I want some.
And we mustn’t forget the regular character who lived in the fort watchtower, and asked contestants riddles. Back in the day he was played by national treasure Tom Baker. And I’d say that only another national treasure could take his place. Stephen Fry, maybe? Or Patrick Stewart? They would work as a wonderful foil to new host Melanie C. Her cheery disposition would make the inevitable tiger mauling a viral sensation.
Will it be number three – Finders Keepers?
Neil Buchanan, Childrens’s TV legend of the nineties, was presiding over a house between 1991 and 1996, almost as chaotic as Pat Sharp’s Fun House. Two teams of kids rip the place apart to find objects to win amazing prizes (A Sega Master System, a pogo stick, a soda stream…)
Arguably even more fun than the Fun House as it was set in a relatable real world environment, I don’t know about you but I still feel the urge from time to time to rip apart my mothers well kept box room. This timeless appeal alone would bring new fans even in 2017.
Also, it’s about time we saw Neil back on the telly, since CITV withered up and died he has been sorely missed.
Will it be number four – Play Your Cards Right?
There’s always been something TRASH-y about a gameshow where the assistants are called ‘Dolly Dealers’ – and there’s always been something even TRASH-ier about Corrie’s Liz McDonald’s outfiitts.
Liz is played by the lengednary Beverly Callard and I can just see our Bev desperately trying to reach the higher and lower cards on the wall in a leopard-print mini skirt that’s a size too small and being jealous of that dead classy carriage clock.
I feel that Liz has always aspired to be a Dolly Dealer anyway…
Will it be number five – Knightmare?
CITV has really not been the same since the special effects laden Knightmare was ripped from our screens. Consisting of four private school nerds (you know the type) working as a team to escape a medieval dungeon. Three of the team would navigate the forth (who incidentally is blinded by an oversized battle helmet) around crudely rendered ‘digital’ environments, completing quizzes, obstacles, tasks and meeting a series of characters played by the very best am-dram actors ITV cash can buy.
Genuinly groundbreaking for its time (1987-1994), watching in hindsight reveals how quickly outdated it became. You could only like old episodes with a deep rooted irony. An updated reboot would be able to take full advantage of all the amazing advancements in computer generated effects and give healthy competition to all those PlayStation and X-Box games that have rendered our fair nations millenials living zombies.
The quest was chaired by bearded Dungeon Master Tregaurd, played by Hugo Myatt (nope, me neither). Our new version would require someone with less beard and more Shakespearean gravitas, ensuring our modern post-9/11 and post-truth kids took the endeavour seriously for fear their pal would actually be put to death in an iron maiden.
With his X-Men film schedule in the clear, and his recent West End run with mate Patrick Stewart at an end, Ian McKellen has both the time and the grump-of-character needed to do justice to this beloved gem from yesteryear. If anyone stepped out of line (literally) he’d quip them hard and fast, in that booming play-to-the-cheap-seats voice of his, and always end with a 10 minute monologue and standing ovation.
Let us know which show you’d like to see make a return – @MoveToTrashUK