The Friday Question: Gameshow showdown


From the intellectually worthy (Countdown, Mastermind) to the completely witless (Strike It Lucky, 3-2-1), gameshows have graced our screens for years and bloody years.

Though you’re unlikely to rate a gameshow as one of your favourite things on the box, we all still sit through them from time to time and have done down the years. I’ve even found myself rooted to the sofa watching ChallengeTV before.

Not often though, I ought to add.

So which of them has captured your heart? As you look back through the ages, taking in masterpieces such as Henry Kelly’s Going For Gold, Rob Curling’s Turnabout and Terry Wogan/Les Dawson/Lily Savage’s Blankety Blank, let us know:

What’s your favourite gameshow of all time?

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50 Responses to “The Friday Question: Gameshow showdown”

  1. The Tombstone Says:

    It’s got to be The Generation Game with Brucie, a bit of everything that. I used to like Deal or No Deal but now, meh, who’d have thought people opening boxes would ever get dull.

    Did you ever watch that show endurance where they’d see who could do crazy shit and hurt themselves the longest. I think Jonathon Ross’ untalented brother hosted it. I loved the theme music “Endurance, we ain’t got a no life insurance, doo bee doo.”

  2. Swineshead Says:

    Based on the Japanese gameshow, Endurance, I presume? Clive James on Tv always used to have clips of it.

  3. The Tombstone Says:

    Never saw the Jap one, I would imagine so. I bet their’s was well better they’re nuts.

  4. Swineshead Says:

    I wouldn’t say ‘nuts’. Culturally different. Obviously in the 80s the angle was – ‘check out the Japs, they’re nuts!’, these days it’d be ‘ha ha ha! Look at the cultural differences between us and the people of Japan!’

  5. George Says:

    It’s got to be Takeshi’s Castle. It’s so brilliantly over the top and zany it’s almost a parody. And voiced over by the great craig charles, as well.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Good old crack-smokin’, porn-consumin’ Craig Charles. I quite like his Radio6 show.

  7. Badger Madge Says:

    It’s bordering on reality TV but I LOVED The Mole (channel 5 years ago). Anyone remember it?

  8. Swineshead Says:

    Not sure I do, badger – remind us?

  9. Wenchy Says:

    Wheel of Fortune! I loved that programme. The thrill of not knowing where the wheel will stop, shouting at the complete ‘tards who can’t guess correctly when there’s only one letter missing, a slight young-girl crush on Nicky Campbell…lovely. I just loved that show.

    I have a soft spot for 15 to 1 due to my Grandad. He’d watch it/play along while I sat with him, usually reading. I have happy memories of 15 to 1.

  10. Swineshead Says:

    15 to 1 with William G ‘Grumpy Bastard’ Stewart. Or Stuart. One of the two.

    The only quiz show host in history who looked like he’d rather be working in a key-cutters.

  11. Wenchy Says:

    I always thought 15 to 1 seemed very serious, even though it was just a gameshow….but still, Grandad loved it. And Countdown – he LOVED Countdown, and he always got to conundrum in about 5 seconds, he was bloody good.

    I have to say, there hasn’t been a recent gameshow that I’ve enjoyed much at all.

  12. Swineshead Says:

    I think I’ve watched Countdown on every available narcotic.

    It benefits from watching it on blotters (lightning strikes the studio audience every time they’re shown) but rubbish when you’re grinding your teeth on amphetamines. It’s just so bloody slow…

  13. Badger Madge Says:

  14. indy Says:

    when it comes to gameshows, harajuku and bukkake porn, we just can’t compete with the japanese. we are the menswear to their kula shaker.

  15. Badger Madge Says:

    Oh we’re getting human tetris soon. I can’t wait!

  16. Badger Madge Says:

    the good thing about the mole was that, at the end of the series, they went back and showed clips of all the shows that had clues as to the mole’s identity. it was kick ass!

  17. George Says:

    Nobodies mentioned the Cystal Maze yet? When that was on we used to play it at school, someone would run onto the building site next door to the school, and get a tile or something. What was the piratey rip off? Fort bonranrd?

  18. Swineshead Says:

    I have no memory of this mole.

    Turnabout was hot shit. Rob Curling made that show his own. I wonder where Rob is now?

  19. Swineshead Says:

    Fort Boyard (though I heard that existed overseas before The Crytal Maze here).

    Crystal Maze was good when O’Brien was doing it. Ed Tudor Pole was ok but the format was knackered by the time he came in. And he didn’t sing his trademark Who Killed Bambi song.

  20. Swineshead Says:

    Yes – ‘Crytal’.

  21. George Says:

    loved the pure pomposity of the show more then anything; it wasn’t just a studio, it was the ICE ZONE. Or something.

  22. Edna Welthorpe Says:

    Curling now on Sky News, no?

    Gambit with Fred Dinenage for me, every time.

  23. Swineshead Says:

    Ice Zone?! You clearly weren’t watching as avidly as me – I remember the Mediaeval Zone, Industrial Zone, Aztec Zone and Future Zone as clear as anything. I dreamed of being in that big perspex crystal at the end, gathering bits of gold paper as the crystals counted down…

    Sadly I wasn’t a dickhead yuppie, so I was exempt.

  24. Swineshead Says:

    Never heard of Gambit – but is that where Curling ended up? Poor Curling – he was an affable sod.

  25. indy Says:

    crystal maze? isn’t that a down market cocaine?

  26. charliemingles Says:

    Every Second Counts With Paul Daniels.

    I’m not exactly sure of the rules. But from what I can gather, the aim of the game is to sit watching your tv set on a saturday night shouting ‘CUNT. LITTLE FUCKING BALD TWATTY LITTLE CUNT!!’at the television, until the show ends.

    As s I say, I’m really no expert on the rules.

  27. piqued Says:

    Gambit, Jesus Edna, I remember that

    Do you remember Paul Squire btw, he gets a mention in The Young Ones…

  28. Swineshead Says:

    Crystal Maize is what they make druggy Monster Munch out of.

  29. George Says:

    I know this doesn’t count, as it’s not actually real, but Bamboozled from that friends episode would have been a great TV gameshow.

  30. Dave Says:

    Bamboozled conjures glorious memories of Ceefax. What times.

  31. Joanne Says:

    The Crystal Maze or Knightmare. Fucking brilliant.

  32. Joanne Says:

    Oooh and Catchphrase!!

  33. Wenchy Says:

    CATCHPHRASE! I loved that show when I were a nipper.

    Going for Gold with Henry Kelly. Just pure genius.

  34. charliemingles Says:

    Noel’s Telly Addicts – of course.

  35. charliemingles Says:

    And i’m assuming you’ve all seen this:

    A young earnest Stephen (call me ‘Steve’) Merchant on Blockbusters.

    Aren’t they cute at that age.

  36. Napoleon Says:

    I’ll just drag m’self off my death-bed to mention Lucky Ladders with Lenny Bennet. Awful, but weirdly compelling.

  37. Badger Madge Says:

    Yeah Knightmare was great. scared the shit outta me…

  38. charliemingles Says:

    Welcome back Napoleon old boy. Hope you’re feeling better and we can get back to insulting each other again like normal.

  39. Napoleon Says:

    Actually, Charlie, I’m still feeling pretty ropey. Mind you, at least the insanity’s worn off – small mercies, etc.

  40. iamnotthebeatles Says:

    Before Neighbours mugged the 5:30 slot on the BBC, there was a gameshow on – part of which involved watching the contestants play classic computer game Track & Field. Anyone remember what this gameshow was called ?

  41. charliemingles Says:

    Beatles, Madge has very helpfully provided this link to all the UK game shows that ever existed. It’ll be there somewhere.

  42. wally bazoom Says:

    Tim Vine had a game show in the 90s, but I can’t remember it’s name. It was excellent.

    Also, Simon Munnery had one hidden away on UK Play or something a few years ago. Again, it’s name escapes me, and it was excellent.

    I also recall Tony Wilson had some student based thing, possibly called Remote Control, definitely featuring Frank Sidebottom, and on around 1990 on channel 4. I can’t vouch for it’s quality.

    Lastly, there was this thing where John Mcenroe (sp) bellowed questions at people strapped to a metal chair, with flames shooting out of the ground and sirens going off. I can’t remember it’s name, it’s quality nor whether it really existed at all. Nobody I’ve spoken to can remember it.

    And Families at War was ace as well. That one should have run and run.

  43. Swineshead Says:

    Remote Control – that was a weird half hour. Also featured Phil Cornwall off Stella Street.

  44. The Tombstone Says:

    Tim Vine quiz game show was Whittle, 100 people when you get a question wrong you’re out, or whittled. It was worth it just for his crap jokes alone, I love the fact that he does stand up shows of nothing but crap jokes and bad puns.

  45. Napoleon Says:

    Wally – That Macenroe thing was called ‘The Chair’. It was, as you’ve indicated, insane.

  46. Edna Welthorpe Says:


    My boss were on that one.

  47. charliemingles Says:

    testing … is this on?

  48. charliemingles Says:

    SH, that new post doesnt seem to take comments. Either that or theyre being screened first. or sumfiin. youre probably off in ‘oliday by now tho’ guv. Oh well…

    *rolls self in ball for week*

  49. charliemingles Says:

    oops. just ignore me. i get it now. daft twat.

  50. wut Says:

    old topic is old

    I LOVED the mole and endurance, those two were my favorite ):

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