It’s Ben Justice’s Top 100 UK Gameshows Of All Time Part 2

By | March 15, 2019

Actual real life TV format developer Ben Justice runs down his next ten entries in his top 100 gameshow odyssey. Some verrry interesting choices on his list so far.

If you missed Part 1, you can watch that here.

21 thoughts on “It’s Ben Justice’s Top 100 UK Gameshows Of All Time Part 2

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    Can you imagine what an amazing coincidence it was the Chuckle Brothers were to get caught in a storm and get shipwrecked on a place called Chuckle Island? It’s basically a proto-Lost.

    Scavengers had an excellent music score.

  2. Jon

    Could you just post a list so we don’t have to watch the videos?

      1. Mark Leete

        Ha haaaa – blatant and loving it! Why you wouldn’t want to watch the vids is beyond me as it’s reminding me off some long forgotten gems like Go Getters (of which there are a couple of eps on YouTube). Keep up the great work, Ben

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I should suggest, in case anyone was wondering, that I have no input into this and just agreed to promote them (I usually get to see a cut the night before). I would imagine Ben will write a list when all parts have gone out.

  3. David B

    I don’t know why it’s not mentioned on UKGameshows, but the strange thing about Scavengers is that it was devised as a ‘team vs the house’ game – a la Crystal Maze – and only until a relatively late stage did an ITV exec insist that it had to have a ‘winner’ in each episode. This is why the scav had to be colour-coded , and you had some games where they weirdly had to work cooperatively because the game wasn’t meant to accommodate two teams.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Ooh I had no idea about this.

      I think I saw a clip of the Spanish version which had four teams playing for money.

  4. TheLupineOne

    As a child of the nineties both Fun House and To Me To You were both of my era (and Cross Wits on Baker days!). And Brucie and William G. Stewart were teatime heroes. Thanks for bringing back warm memories.

  5. Chris M. Dickson

    Ooh, loads of fun. Thanks, Ben! Like some (but not all!) good game shows, it has plenty of “shout along at home” value, and it got me shouting “SALVAGE!” at great volume. (And, talking of great theme tunes, it also got me singing the US Classic Concentration theme to myself, but that’s another matter.) Fifteen-to-One: we’ll probably never know quite how much of the format was due to the mighty WGS and quite how much of it was due to John M. Lewis; I’d like to imagine it’s weighted towards the latter, but suspect practicalities dictate it’s the former.

    That Lucky Ladders clip was amazing, and it’s a contrast in styles as to how Lennie deals with contestants who repeatedly draw blanks compared to some other instances. Lennie has fun with it, but he does it in a way that feels natural and organic for him, compared to – say – when Alexander Armstrong very, very occasionally drops the politeness act on Pointless and just gets snide. I loved your paean to Scavengers; to me, the same reasoning adds up to something a good seventy places higher in the list, but that’s why (as you say in the first episode) this can only ever be a list of “favourite” rather than “best”… and that’s why you can get away with putting what probably would be a general-public consensus national top twenty show quite so low. 😉 The really interesting question, which I don’t expect a positive answer to but we will be able to eventually deduce by a process of elimination, is which high-profile game shows don’t work for you. (Or, at least, that you like but just don’t make your top 100 – but that’s not nearly as much fun!)

    I’m also trying to work out quite how old you are, not just from how old you look but from the passing comments you make about how each show fit into your life. Will you end up listing any shows for which there aren’t any clips at all? (I’m not sure off the top of my head if there are any shows that would make my top ton for which I haven’t been able to see a single clip…) It took me far too long to work out why you left the hexes on the Blockbusters board uncovered that you actually did, and I look forward to seeing if you add more and more cool props as the episodes pass.

    Looking forward to next week already!

    1. RoarJustice

      Thanks for your comments!

      No, I am not ruling out shows that dont have footage, but thanks to some very recent YouTube channels, I think most things are on the internet. There is one on my next list for which I havent so far found actual show footage so make of that what you will…

      1. Chris M. Dickson

        If anyone can find any footage of Channel 4’s week-long “Qd – The Master Game”, which would be in my top 30 at least, I would doff my cap. My favourite show beginning with Q, QI firmly included.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I’ve looked for some before but couldn’t find any, sadly.

          I’m aware it’s on an Endemol catalogue, I wonder if there was a Dutch version?

    2. Oliver R

      From the page you linked about 15 to 1: “it has no need to offer major prizes or handfuls of cash […] and no funny stories are required of the contestants before they are allowed to play.”

      Those, for me, are two of the main problems with the revived version of the show, although I do still enjoy tuning in when it’s on.

      I can’t quite place Ben’s age either and I still can’t see any pattern on his Blockbusters board! (Yes, the letters that spell out GAME SHOW are there but not in any clear order) I couldn’t figure out the rebus puzzle from the clip of Concentration. Lennie Bennett and Lucky Ladders were totally off my radar alongside Scavengers, but that clip made them look like lots of fun.

      There’s nothing wrong with a game show host being snide in my opinion, but it is jarring whenever Alexander Armstrong does it because it feels so out of character. If I were in his position I’d lose patience with contestants much more often. I did like the way Lennie handled things, mind… but then again, I have no reference point for what the atmosphere of that programme was usually like.

      1. Andrew Sullivan

        I have one of those Blockbusters games and the letters are on 5 vertical strips which you slide into the back of the board, so they were in fixed positions and I guess it was the best arrangement he could make. Would LOVE to know where he got an actual Golden Ball from, though…
        As for the rebus, I think it’s ‘Knock On Wood’ because there was a NO + a CON, and then W + a HOOD.

        1. Oliver R

          Ah, I see the significance of the placement of those Blockbuster hexagons now. And yes, I was wondering about the prop from Golden Balls too!

          I thought the second bit of the puzzle was ‘would’ (so, not far off) but I couldn’t think laterally for the first part at all. Thanks!

  6. Chris B

    So video two, some interesting choices for sure. I agree with TheLupineOne that there are lots of fond memories flooding back for me (Like Chris, I’m also trying to guess your age, I think you are a little older than me but not by much). Fun House made Fridays for me, but then also when Play Your Cards right started playing I got an even stronger retro Friday feeling I hadn’t thought about in years.

    A couple more random thoughts

    – Don’t Forget The Lyrics. Not really that much to do with the video but that reminded me that there is another spin off of Saturday Night Takeaway being piloted in Singalong Live with Alan Carr. Anyone know where that is, has it got past pilot stage?
    – This was – I think – the first time you covered a show that’s been away and come back. Assuming more big hitters are to come, I’ll be interested to see how you cover those. I get the impression that Fifteen to One was included on the basis of the original era alone, although you stated you enjoyed the revival, the focus was firmly on the original. Not a criticism BTW, but it’ll be interesting to see how you cover shows that have had multiple eras/hosts. That said those shows tend to have stronger formats to begin with I guess.
    – On a related note, and feel free to tell me to sling my hook – one thing that would be helpful (to me anyway) to mention in the videos is when the shows were on originally, and maybe even what channel. Don’t want to create extra work, and realise it’s something you are doing for the love of it, but it’s nice to have that bit of context.

    Anyway, it’s great stuff, and for now this is my new Friday feeling for the next few weeks!

  7. Chris M. Dickson

    Frank Skinner on Absolute Radio just now, channeling Digitiser’s The Man’s Daddy:

    Who was the most magnanimous TV presenter?
    Magnanimous Magnusson!

  8. RoarJustice

    Hey Botherites,

    Thanks for all the comments, feedback and love – it really gives me the energy to keep going. Each videos taking about six hours to fully complete so having the support getting through each week is really helpful! Starting to get a little ahead of schedule now though so hopefully it gets easier in a few weeks.

    And yes, I have now seen a full episode of Cyber Zone. No regrets, it can stay my number 95!

    1. Des Elmes

      “I know I said that I would put no US game shows on my list…”

      Well, I count at least four other shows in this part of the list that originated Stateside. 😉

      Although I grew up with the ’90s version of PYCR, it’s the ’80s version I’m more interested in seeing. I assume most episodes (if not all) exist, and that the rights aren’t too difficult for Challenge to obtain, since it was produced solely by LWT. I wouldn’t be too surprised, however, if Challenge fear that viewers will react negatively to points being gambled in the end game rather than cash…

      Thinking about it now, the original Fifteen-to-One theme (before it went all jazzy in 2000) deserves a bit more recognition and praise, doesn’t it?


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