Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

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GarethR
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Re: Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

Post by GarethR »

Has it now been pretty much confirmed that "the bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey" is apocryphal? Or at least was never said by Brian Johnston?

didi-5
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Re: Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

Post by didi-5 »

Brock wrote:
Simon36 wrote: Of course the Turkey man from Family Fortunes was a legend, though the best part of that for me was the shot of his family's reaction after he screwed up the Big Money game.
Bob Johnson. I think he was also the one who answered "Disraeli" in the infamous "Name a famous Irishman" round.
Someone suggested Paddy McGinty as well, I think? That was just an hilarious edition and the 'Turkey' round was a classic.

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Post by Brock »

didi-5 wrote:
Brock wrote:
Simon36 wrote: Of course the Turkey man from Family Fortunes was a legend, though the best part of that for me was the shot of his family's reaction after he screwed up the Big Money game.
Bob Johnson. I think he was also the one who answered "Disraeli" in the infamous "Name a famous Irishman" round.
Someone suggested Paddy McGinty as well, I think? That was just an hilarious edition and the 'Turkey' round was a classic.
Not sure about that one, but from memory I think the non-scoring answers offered in that round also included Tom O'Connor, Des O'Connor, Shughie McFee (the Scottish chef from Crossroads), Thomas O'Malley (not the name of anyone famous as far as I know) and Garret Fitzgerald (the Irish PM - actually a correct answer, but no one in the survey had mentioned it). The point was not just that there were so many wrong answers, but that it took at least six goes before anyone came up with a scoring answer (Terry Wogan I think being the first).

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Re: Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

Post by Brock »

GarethR wrote:Has it now been pretty much confirmed that "the bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey" is apocryphal? Or at least was never said by Brian Johnston?
Henry Blofeld claims that Johnston did say it, though as a deliberately prepared remark:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket ... 664751.stm

Most other sources say it's apocryphal though.

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Re: Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Billy wrote:Les Dennis had a whole comedy routine of "bad Family Fortunes answers" and I'm more and more convinced he just made lots of them up, or at least bended the truth a little.
I know I've mentioned it before, but the most unbelieveable FF faux pas I recall seeing was, "Name a famous canal," getting the answer, "Guadalcanal." I guess it doesn't turn up on clip shows precisely because it's too obscure a mistake.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

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Re: Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

Post by Steve Williams »

Brock wrote:
didi-5 wrote:Not sure about that one, but from memory I think the non-scoring answers offered in that round also included Tom O'Connor, Des O'Connor, Shughie McFee (the Scottish chef from Crossroads), Thomas O'Malley (not the name of anyone famous as far as I know) and Garret Fitzgerald (the Irish PM - actually a correct answer, but no one in the survey had mentioned it). The point was not just that there were so many wrong answers, but that it took at least six goes before anyone came up with a scoring answer (Terry Wogan I think being the first).
Ernest Hemingway and Trevor McDonald were the other wrong answers. Thomas O'Malley is the cat from The Aristocats.

The best bits about that whole sequence, which I think is even funnier than Turkeygate, are a) Max's "What are they like, eh?"-type laughter when the second set of contestants come up, not realising the second set were even more clueless, b) the bloke offering up Garret Fitzgerald being absolutely furious that he gets no points, rather overestimating the current affairs knowledge of the audience, c) Max mishearing Shughie McFee, and offering up "Jimmy McFee" and d) the absolute relief of everyone concerned when the great Taffy decides this madness must stop and offers up Wogan.

The thing that absolutely baffles me about the turkey incident is that, even if you were so convinced that turkey was such a brilliant answer, what possible advantage is there of deciding to just put all your eggs into one basket and completely ignore all the other questions? Although heaven knows what was going through Bob Johnson's mind. A "bit of a character", I think.

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Post by Brock »

Is it true that, after the recording, Mrs Johnson went up to Max and offered him £100 not to broadcast the show?

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Re: Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

Post by Bob Richardson »

We had a number of unintentionally funny moments on various games shows I worked on for the BBC. I did live scoring on nine series of Big Break in the 1990s and on a special edition for deaf contestants the Trick Shot prize was a snooker table-shaped novelty telephone. The contestants roared with laughter when John Lee (who was signing for them) explained what it was. Recording was stopped and a less controversial prize was substituted. A home gymnasium with exercise bike was a prize on offer to a lady in a wheelchair on another Big Break (substituted for TX). I recall weightlifting equipment being won by an elderly lady in her 80s on Blankety Blank, which Les D made reference to - and which was kept in for TX.

Prize sequences for shows were usually done as pre-records en-bloc, so it was inevitable that a few errors would creep in during a 3-shows-a-day, 42 episode block...
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Post by Simon36 »

The story is that Johnson had overheard the "chicken" answer and was so determined to say "turkey" he answered it immediately, then again for the second answer which was the relevant one, then for a giggle the third time as the question was "the first thing you buy in a supermarket" which is a very strange question anyway.

I remember working on a celebrity version of some BBC show in the 2000s, can't recall the title now, possibly The Other Half, and guests were asked "if your wife was a Carry On film, which one would she be". After others said "Carry On Loving" etc Tony Blackburn brazenly said "Carry On Up The Khyber".

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Post by Brock »

Simon36 wrote:The story is that Johnson had overheard the "chicken" answer and was so determined to say "turkey" he answered it immediately, then again for the second answer which was the relevant one, then for a giggle the third time as the question was "the first thing you buy in a supermarket" which is a very strange question anyway.
Wrong way round. He answered "turkey" to the first question ("something you take to the beach"), then to the second question ("the first thing you buy in a supermarket") and finally to the third question ("a food often stuffed"), which was the one that made him giggle, perhaps because he wasn't expecting it to be a scoring answer.

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Re: Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

Post by Billy »

He says it in confusion at first - as said, probably because he was sure "chicken" was the first answer he heard - then says it again for the second and laughs as he thinks it must have been the "supermarket" question he heard. Then says it again for the third as he realises it was actually that one he heard.

One clip show did annoy me by digitally editing the clip so he says it after the fourth "Name a famous snooker player" question too, which I'm surprised the Daily Mail didn't jump on as an example of TV fakery and makes poor Bob Johnson look even more nuts.

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I remember a guy on Keynotes (I think) who claimed to appear on lots of gameshows, he really introduced himself with "Hey, X is the name, gameshows are the game!". He had spiky hair, gradient shades and a sparkly jacket all to indicate he was the late-80s version of a wild and crazy guy. Some time later I saw a magazine or newspaper article where he talked about his career as a professional gameshow contestant and was photographed with the various disguises he used to get past the qualifying stages where producers were wise to him. Thing is, I only ever saw him on that one episode of Keynotes.

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I seem to recall the subject of recurring faces on game shows was raised on a Right to Reply-type programme once. A report no doubt began with one of them seen hunched over an encyclopedia, and then a camera panning along a mantlepiece crammed with Dusty Bins and Blankety Blank cheque book and pens...

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Mike S wrote:Does anyone else recall the (much-hyped) debut UK edition of The Price Is Right? I was only ten, but I recall the show was dominated by a hyperactive/extrovert woman who inevitably became the winner. It only sticks in the memory beacuse this was very ususual behaviour on a British game show, where inaudible nervousness was normally the order of the day, so I suspected (or rather my dad did) that she had been something of a plant. Or at least a 'character' who had been fast-tracked through the auditions.

Anyone else remember her?
Yes I remember her and I'm not much older than you. I seem to recall she took a long time to calm down at the start.

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Simon36
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Re: Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

Post by Simon36 »

Now you come to mention it, I think I remember this slightly too. I vividly recall the first episode being broadcast and being absolutely aghast at the hysteria of it all, and my mum coming into the living room from watching it in the kitchen and saying "oh it's ridiculous!", as much at the (for the time) insanely generous prizes as the audience enthusiasm. They all seemed to have spent several months in training for the show.

But yes, a vague image of a very lively contestant who seemed to exemplify the whole thing (conveniently) does ring a bit of a bell now.

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Post by GarethR »

Simon36 wrote:I vividly recall the first episode being broadcast and being absolutely aghast at the hysteria of it all
I watched the first episode as well, and I wasn't remotely aghast - I thought it was wonderfully exciting. My main memory is of assuming that the "Showcase Showdown" that Crowther kept referring to would be in a future programme, but no, it happened every week! Fantastic.
But yes, a vague image of a very lively contestant who seemed to exemplify the whole thing (conveniently) does ring a bit of a bell now.
I don't think for one minute that any of the contestants were acting (which seems to be the implication here). The programme was, IIRC, under intense scrutiny from the IBA from the start *because* it was going to be so different from the standard British game show, so I severely doubt they would have taken unnecessary risks like hiring actors or coaching the contestants.

William G. Stewart has spoken many times about how they used to gee the audiences up, and there's a fair bit of behind-the-scenes footage of it too, with WGS in his spangly Union Jack jacket getting everybody standing up singing Land Of Hope and Glory. Warm up an audience in the right way and you'll find that there are some very excitable people in it.

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Re: Memorable non-celebrity gameshow contestants

Post by Bradders »

Tilt Araiza wrote:I remember a guy on Keynotes (I think) who claimed to appear on lots of gameshows, he really introduced himself with "Hey, X is the name, gameshows are the game!". He had spiky hair, gradient shades and a sparkly jacket all to indicate he was the late-80s version of a wild and crazy guy. Some time later I saw a magazine or newspaper article where he talked about his career as a professional gameshow contestant and was photographed with the various disguises he used to get past the qualifying stages where producers were wise to him. Thing is, I only ever saw him on that one episode of Keynotes.
That'll be Paul Wilder.

http://www.paulwilder.biz/

His autobiography is a good read, actually.

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