Pick Pockets

By | April 28, 2016

This is quite interesting because we hadn’t heard of it before (was it a broadcast pilot?) But from 1988 and Tyne Tees-land here’s Pick Pockets, in which a bowtied Tom O’ Connor hosts a snooker-based quiz, not unlike a proto-Big Break.


With thanks to Gordon Donaldson for alerting us to the existence of this.

10 thoughts on “Pick Pockets

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    The theme sounds like an Ed Welch meets Chas ‘n’ Dave special, but it’s actually by Brian Jackson.

  2. David

    To use the vernacular of the next GS revival coming to the US this summer: “This show is so boring it makes _______ look exciting..”

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Actually there’s some quite interesting things on the German article, it sounds like they too are going to be a four-episode thing, each one two hours, and it sounds like the top prize is €3m.

        This may well give us a hint as to what they’re intending for the UK. Two hour episodes though…

          1. James

            Giles Coren isn’t really ‘ITV’, if you know what I mean. He’s brilliant in most the things he does, but he is a rather unusual choice of host. Bit like Richard Quest on the American version.

            With regards to scheduling, I don’t really think that ITV will show it as 2 hour long episodes. I don’t think it would work with a British audience either.

          2. Brig Bother Post author

            I can’t get my head round it. I don’t get who it’s aimed at. Still, *might* be ingenious.

            Richard Quest isn’t doing series two, of course.

  3. Mart With A Y Not An I

    Did the host booker on the production team, get the wrong Coren?
    Should make for a interesting brother/sister banter at the Christmas Day lunch table though!

    Very odd choice. It’s like the first, second and third choice hosts said no. If he hadn’t been propelled back into the red tops for ‘other’ matters – would have thought that was a shoe in for Vernon Kay.

    Of course, things could have been a lot different for Giles. He recounts that we went to do a non broadcast pilot for a cookery show at the old BBC London HQ in Marylebone High Street few years ago, but didn’t think it would work as well on screen and didn’t get the gig as a resident judge/host.

    The programme? It’s never been heard of since – The reboot of Masterchef.

  4. Mart With A Y Not An I

    Now I’ve had chance to watch Pick Pockets that is a very interesting show.

    Given that (and I’ve just picked an early Big Break episode off of ‘the tube’ and ff’ward it to the credits), there isn’t a single name that featured in the both. So, it’s either accidental, or the ‘produced in association with’ credit in Pick Pockets, hides a name that the credits in Big Break doesn’t reveal.

    The end game in Big Break owes a heck of a lot to the end game of Pick Pockets. Whilst slower in nature, and more ‘drier’ that Big Break, with a little bit of spit and polish between pilot and transmission, it could have worked.

    This was talked about in another media forum last month, and the consensus was that although it was meant for transmission (Tyne Tees ident at the start, 10″ Liquorice Allsort break cue dot before the end of part one, and a name check of the pro’s turning up ‘next week’), which may indicate if it got a full commission that would have been the first episode – there is no record of it being broadcast regionally to the North East, or anywhere on the ITV network.

    “cue David”. Nice play on words for the first time, Tom – bloomin’ irritating by the final round..


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