I Remember The 1990’s – Part 4: Time To Play The Game Show

26 04 2012

Another time to look at a simpler time when Big Brother was just a member of the family.

One of the 1990’s main features for television was Game Shows. If you look at the rubbish shows on TV today they are nothing more than copy cats of each other, quiz broadcasts. In the 1990’s there was a diverse range of Game Shows where the contestants had to participate and be physical instead of just sitting/standing around, answering questions and being generally lazy. The constant talk of obesity in this country it is easy to see why, no more physical TV shows.

Even children were physically more fitter because they had shows like Fun House. It was one of the highlights of Fridays when coming home from school. 2 teams of children (one boy and one female) would participate in incredibly silly games in the hope of getting points and then win the chance of running around in the fun house to win an assortment of prizes, I wonder if anyone managed to collect all the prizes in the Fun House? This was presented as always by Pat Sharp and aided by his two cheerleaders Melanie and Martina. The Fun House was always the main attraction, it was the show you wanted to be on, I remember the bobsled being the most fun looking part.

Fun House was not the only form of physical entertainment for children; some people may remember Run The Risk. Another game show but this time presented on CBBC where as Fun House was presented on CITV. Run The risk involved 3 teams participating in silly games some of which involved Gunge which was more valuable than oil for TV executives as well as answering questions. It’s presentation style was similar to many game shows of the time which included studios with an audience and no natural sun light, it also included electro music which helped its overall style as being slightly rebellious. It’s one of those shows which was absolutely fantastic but only well-remembered by those who saw it and enjoyed it which is a real shame really because the games were similar to other shows of the time but it’s presentation style really stood out.

There was one other Major Show for kids and it was presented by a man who is possibly the greatest children’s TV show presenter in history, Dave Benson Phillips. The show was called Get Your Own Back in which children apply to have their parents or other adults subjected to a series of silly challenges before the possibility of having them dropped into a tank of Gunge. DBP was of course the star attraction with his wacky style and wacky voice. The show had many format changes in its history but the overall idea stayed the same. The show ended in 2003 after 190 episodes but I have just found out that there is a planned revival in the works.

These 3 shows were all brilliant in their own ways but as far as I know only one has had repeats on Challenge, that being Fun House, I would say that they are all equally brilliant with possibly Get Your Own Back being the better show. All 3 shows also had Fantastic soundtracks.

It was later on in the decade that the Greatest Game Show of all time arrived, Robot Wars. Robot Wars was an amazing show where teams of people who spend a lot of time in the shed make deadly robots that would attack each other. The show continued into the 2000’s but is sadly not on TV anymore and it is about time that it gets a revival. It was the show I wanted to appear on the most and I still want to compete in this sport. The show was eventually (STUPIDLY STUPIDLY STUPIDLY) sold to Channel 5 and that is where it died. So this is really a message for the BBC – BRING IT BACK YOU IDIOTS. I will keep this part short because I can probably get a much better look at Robot Wars if it was a whole post.

Whereas the children had their shows, some of the most well-remembered shows were on Saturdays. Big Break was one of the main events of a Saturday night along with Casualty and Noel’s House Party. It involved several people from the public teaming up with professional Snooker Players to try and win prizes. It was presented by Jim Davidson and John Virgo. What is most confusing about snooker as a whole is why does it take forever seeing as the professionals in Big Break could clear a table in less than 3 minutes? My favourite part as always was the Trick Shot round where Virgo would get the contestant to try and perform some amazing trick (and usually help them cheat). It was also the occasion when the show was most likely to appear on Auntie’s Bloomers. The show was potentially the first sighting of a formula which would eventually spawn Strictly Come Dancing.

Bullseye was more 80’s and so the only thing I will mention about it is that it is about time that we have a year off from watching it constantly on Challenge.

Gladiators was one of the biggest shows of the decade, John Fashanu and Ulrika Jonsson presented a show where many physically fit contestants have to complete many demanding challenges against the might of a group of athletes known as The Gladiators. Forget the recent remake (that was rubbish and not worth remembering), this is the true gladiators. The star attraction being Wolf who was a villain to the contestants and the public. He was an extremely entertaining character as well as a very dangerous athlete for the contestants. Another star attraction was John Anderson, the Scottish referee who had his own memorable style in which he overlooked the games, “You Will Go On My First Whistle”. Many of the challenges were something in their own rights. Games like duel which really caught the nation where a contestant and a Gladiator would fight up a height using big sticks. Other games like my favourite Slingshot involved contestants having to jump on a bungee cord to collect a ball and put into their box while avoiding the Gladiators. Eventually the contestants would have to face each other in the Eliminator which was this massive assault course which involved many challenges including the travellator which was a treadmill going up an incline (this was the subject of a comedy piece where someone managed to get a remote for it to go up, see the video below). The show had the combination of music from Queen and its own soundtrack which was an incredible combination.

We can’t talk about shows like these without mentioning The Crystal Maze. What is regarded by many (not including me) as the greatest Game Show of all time. A show where a team of people play through challenges to win crystals so they can have as much time as possible to compete for a big prize in a crystal shaped dome with floating tickets. The only format changes were when the Industrial Zone became a Ship Zone, The clothing worn by the contestants changed and when Richard O’Brien (who recently sang for a song on a certain Puppet TV Show) left and was replaced by Ed Tudor Pole. It was a show that is just asking for a revival and why shouldn’t it, as long as it is exactly the same show (no changes). It’s crazy style was accelerated even further by it’s wacky presenters. Not much can be said without making a whole post about it.

Technically all game shows from this period had fantastic soundtracks particularly in their intro music videos for the show. You have to look at shows that are not game shows to find anything equally as good on TV these days (Rescue: Special Ops). In more recent years the stupid Quiz format has dominated the schedules with only a few shows deserving a mention, shows like Total Wipeout, Globo Loco (look out for the bloke saying “EACH”, one of the best catchphrases in TV history) and Jungle Run (before it was ruined). It is time for the Game Shows to return and get people off their backsides. Stop pretending you can sing or have some strange ability and get off your bum and do something active that is also fun for people to watch without making a complete fool of yourself. The 1990’s was a golden period for Game Shows, a period which will be remembered and may not be seen again. Game Shows, another reason why the 90’s was Fantastic.


I Remember the 1990’s – Part 3: One Colour, Advert Colour

14 10 2010

Hello, it’s time for another look at a more peaceful time, a time when the Mobile Phone did not have control of the Human Body.

Adverts were a lot simpler back in the 1990’s. They got straight to the point, they were more polite as well and didn’t bore you with the details. NOT ANYMORE. Now Adverts are just so terrible, we have too much information on the screen, people talking about how they worked in films and some people breaking into other people’s houses. Back in the 1990’s we had nice little Jingles, we didn’t have “I’m Lovin it” or bad spelling. We had people singing 0891 50 50 50 0891 50 50 50.

The adverts back in the 90’s were creative, we had salesman claiming we can have our windows and doors fitted for just 1p, we had paint that did exactly as it said on the tin, we had people knocking on the door (politely) and asking people to try out their washing up powder, washing up powder even had that X FACTOR which made your clothes fantastic.

Nowadays we have people coming on the TV saying “I am the makeup artist on the worst film ever and I use Treseme”- WE DON’T CARE. We have bulldogs with 1 digit IQ’s going oh yes, I can do that it’s not difficult. Some of the worst ones today are the VANISH adverts. Someone says they are having problems with their clothes and at that moment VANISH breaks into the person’s house and says why not use this. I have been meaning to get on to this, in one advert a boy playing football is wearing pink football gear……………………. I don’t care about my Whites or Pinks because I don’t wear any. What about Black t-shirts. Nowadays people are urged to carry a bottle of Dettol were ever they go.

In my day Fairy liquid did everything. We had Toilet Duck in bottles that were shaped like Duck Bills. We had proper cleaning detergent, like DAZ (before it became the Soap you didn’t want to believe in) with the DAZ door step challenge.

Sweet adverts were different, we had Skittles adverts which encouraged us to Taste The Rainbow (thank you http://hannahlikessheepbaa.blogspot.com). We had chocolate adverts that showed pictures of chocolate. We didn’t have people constantly, constantly, constantly telling us that their food does contain Artificial Flavours and Colourings. We had Crunchie Chocolate Rollercoasters. We had the Cadbury’s Caramel Rabbit. Food adverts in general were better, I remember one advert that involved someone drilling holes into the back wall of a Burger King just to look at this awesome new burger. UM-BONGO. Uncle Ben’s was mentioned in the jingle. Wispa Gold was made using some kind of putting in machine. Smartie’s always had the answer.

Cheltenham and Gloucester featured an undersea battle between divers and a boy. Holsten Pils was one Colour, Beer Colour, One Flavour, Beer Flavour. Mr Muscle wasn’t a super hero. Mr Sheen rode an Aeroplane. Frogs said Budweiser, Monkeys could make tea, you were slapped you when you drank Tango, Dolmio was so good you didn’t waste a drop, Cats would dream, and some people wait, that’s what they do, Tick follows Tock follows Tick follows Tock.

We need adverts like these again, these are proper adverts. We all know that food contains Artificial Flavours and Colourings you don’t need to keep telling us. We don’t care about what celebrities think, it costs less, so more room and money for creativity, we don’t even know who Everest are let alone know what they do. Give us what we want, Proper Adverts.

(I will update when I remember more stuff)


Off-Topic: This Week I discovered a great way to wake up in the morning. Drink a Hot Chocolate and listen to music from the band Madness.

I Remember the 1990’s – Part 2: A Quick Look At Television Shows

8 10 2010

Hello, it’s time for another look back at a simpler time, a time when the news was the only reality TV show and mobile phones were never around, it was peaceful.

I remember TV shows from the 1990’s, OK I was only a boy and watched only the children’s TV but it was the best. Back then we didn’t have the Stupid Fimbles, Hoobs, Rolly Mo Show and best of all Balamory wasn’t on. We had Play Days, a show where every week day it was a different stop with proper characters like Poppy the Cat, Peggy Patch, Mr Jolly, Dave Benson Phillips and my favourite Why Bird. It was fun, the Fimbles replaced it. We had better than Fimbles, We had Teletubbies (Yes it started in the 1990’s). We had the proper version of Postman Pat when he drove a red van and not a submarine or helicopter. Every time he drove over a bridge the gears would pack in. He was the only person in the Royal Mail who never went on strike. It was in a small village, it was entertaining. The BBC has ruined Postman Pat. We had children’s shows on Saturdays as well with Live and Kicking, which included the highly brilliant Trev and Simon. Noel’s House Party (OK it’s adults as well but it was GOOD TV).

We had:

  • Chucklevision (When are the Chuckle Brothers going to get Knighthoods)
  • How 2,
  • The Really Wild Show before it went bad,
  • Get Your Own Back (with Dave Benson Phillips),
  • Smart,
  • Thomas the Tank Engine (before it went Rubbish)
  • Art Attack
  • Rugrats
  • Number Time
  • Words and Pictures
  • Look and Read (including Through the Dragons Eye and The Legend of the Lost Keys)
  • It’s a Mystery
  • Blue Peter before it became rubbish,
  • Games Master
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
  • Rerelease’s of Stingray
  • Rerelease’s of Captain Scarlett
  • Rerelease’s of Thunderbirds
  • Aquila
  • Bad Influence
  • Miami 7 (S Club 7 TV Show)
  • Repeats of Wacky Races
  • Ocean Odyssey
  • ReBoot
  • Knightmare
  • Sesame Street
  • Newsround (That actually gave us the News)
  • Crystal Maze
  • Gladiators (the good 1990’s one, the recent one was terrible)
  • Fun House (whole load of fun, prizes to be won)
  • Robot Wars
  • Byker Grove
  • Sooty and Co (When is Sooty going to get a Knighthood)
  • (I will update the list when I remember more stuff)

My 2 Personal Favourites were The Demon Headmaster and Roger and the Rotten Trolls. During the 1990’s we also had some repeats of the Original and much Better Doctor Who.

Back in the 1990’s there was no Bad Language or Swear words on TV. If you said bad Language or used a Swear word you would get told off. I remember when there was no Holby City, One Show, Strictly Come Rubbish and Big Bother. I remember when the X Factor was an ingredient in Washing up Powder. TV chefs were more interesting in the 1990’s, we had The Two Fat Ladies. I remember what Casualty looked like in the early 1990’s.

If you were a show off you could watch stuff on the Sky Channels. It was easy to tell who the Sky Show-offs were because they had Black Bin Lids outside their house (or satellite TV as it is known).

Adverts were plain and simple, the adverts didn’t involve breaking into people’s houses just to show them how Vanish Cleaner works, and there was no Cillit Bang coin cleaner. In the early 90’s there was no Churchill Dog. We didn’t have people talking about saving the Environment or artificial flavours and colourings. We had cylinder shaped Smartie tubes. We had Ronseal door paint that did exactly as it said on the tin. We had washing up powder that cleaned all colours and not just whites. We had honest adverts that did not need celebrity endorsement. If they wanted to sell something they just told us plain and simple, and just before Christmas we saw the TOYS R US adverts. Skittles Encouraged us to Taste The Rainbow. One of my favourite adverts was the original Coca Cola Trucks advert. The first Bacardi Breezer advert was good and had a bit of fun in it.

The 1990’s was a Golden Age for TV, an Age that may never happen again.

As said before I will probably update this one when I remember more stuff.


I Remember the 1990’s Part 1 https://numb3r5s.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/i-remeber-the-1990s-part-1/

Additional Material Provided by http://hannahlikessheepbaa.blogspot.com/

Off Topic: Last Week I started University (Teesside University, Middlesbrough, University of the Year).

I Remember The 1990’s – Part 1: Time To Look Back

24 09 2010

Welcome to the First part in a series Where I Reminisce about the 1990’s. A time when the world was at peace, only show offs had Sky and Mobile Phones, The Internet was exciting, there was only 3 political parties, Big Brother didn’t Exist, Plasters healed Everything, Going to the toilet was funny and the only thing on my mind was getting home quick enough to watch Cartoons, (technically I am Reminiscing about my child hood but it happened during the 1990’s and I will be mentioning other 1990’s stuff as well).

This is the First Part in how many I decide to do because I haven’t planned these out, it’s all random what I am talking about.

This time I want to give a summary of what the 1990’s was like and go into detail of these things at a later time. So sit back and relax as we look back at the 1990’s

Yes, The 1990’s was the time of your life, Life was excellent, the news was the only Reality TV show on the TV, Children’s Television was Enjoyable, Plasters Healed Everything, The Mobile Phone was only used by Rich Show-offs and so the world was a lot more quiet.

Back then School was the thing you dreaded the most, You didn’t want to go, You tried to sleep in to avoid it, you didn’t like maths and the was only one computer in the classroom if at all, and the only thing to do on the computer was Paint. Playtime and free milk was the best part of school.

There was no such thing as Health and Safety, you could do want you wanted without having to fill in the Paperwork. Nowadays Plasters don’t heal everything, You need to first wash the wound, clean the wound, dry the wound, put cream on the wound, put a plaster on the wound, take a pain-killer and fill in the paperwork (or at least you do if you are at work or school).

Everyone has a walkie-talkie and is on it 24/7 with their new language that doesn’t make sense with those of us who use punctuation, it would be nice just to have 5 minutes of no mobile phone noises, just 5 minutes of peace.

Nowadays everyone uses bad language – constantly, is it too much to ask for just to have a conversation with someone without a swear word in it. You can only buy cards for people with rude jokes on, who wants to get a rude joke on their birthday or mother’s day or father’s day or Christmas and many other events. In the 1990’s Nobody used bad language and if they did they got told off, Not anymore.

Everyone starts saying odd words which they invented like LOL, WUU2, ATM, GR8 and many other odd things. Back in the 1990’s people talked proper words with punctuation.

Voting for political parties was easier because there was only 3 political parties, You didn’t care about the news, you didn’t read the newspaper.  The One Show didn’t irritate us every week day and Ballroom dancing was boring.

We had proper TV in the 1990’s with Robot Wars, The Demon Headmaster, Roger and the Rottentrolls, The Crystal Maze, Gladiators, Play days, Thomas the Tank Engine, Sooty, Chucklevision and many more.

Our toys were better, We had Tommy Trains, Lego, Meccano, Train Sets, Plasticine, Puppets, Cuddly Toys and Tamagotchi’s. Our imaginations would run wild, An empty card board box was a Train, a bottle of water was a plane or a rocket ship and we were the pilot.

Going on the train was exciting; going for a ride in the car was exciting.

Back in the 1990’s we didn’t recycle, we could just throw our rubbish in the bin.

I should end otherwise I won’t have much left for the rest of the series, So return soon for more reminiscing of the 1990’s.

Off-Topic: This week I am going  to University.


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