Ben Justice’s Top 100 UK Gameshows of All Time – Part 1

By | March 8, 2019
You can follow Ben on Twitter at @roarjustice

Kenneth Clarke’s Civilization. Attenborough’s Planet Earth. Epic documentary series both.

And now there’s a new landmark documentary to add to the list, Ben Justice’s Top 100 UK Gameshows of All Time. Justice is a little different from your average punter, he actually works in development (with shows to his name including last year’s best-selling format All Together Now, Richard Osman’s House of Games and Benchmark) and may have a different viewpoint to the audience. Will you agree with his choices? Every Friday he’ll be ticking another ten off the list and we’ll be showcasing the video at Bother’s Bar.

So without further ado:

5 thoughts on “Ben Justice’s Top 100 UK Gameshows of All Time – Part 1

  1. Chris M. Dickson

    I’ve not seen such bravery!

    Obviously I like this a great deal – it’s very clearly been put together with a great deal of love, and the clips are excellent – and just as obviously, the more I like something the more I care about it, and the more I care about it, the more I quibble with it. His list, his rules, but I don’t understand why the “no reality shows” and “no panel shows” qualifiers make it a more interesting list. One other open question: will there be shows on the list for which no clips survive, or no clips are available?

    Why I really liked this was typified by number 100. When he showed the clip I happily remembered the show, and I really enjoyed him not only discussing the show but why he enjoyed it so much. Listening to someone talking about why they like game shows for hours is my idea of a good time, I like the insight and reasoning that Ben brings, and the positivity of the tone he has struck is especially joyful. Even trying to guess what a show will be from Ben’s preliminary comments about it, before he reveals what it is, is tremendous fun. And yet including show number 100 and excluding Taskmaster, which is not really all that different a show except for a slightly different emphasis, feels frustrating. (See also Ben’s own comments about number 96!)

    It’s quite tempting to produce my own top 100, which would play by my own rules and thus include entries such as “exactly the first four series of Big Brother”, in order to pay this series the flattery it deserves – though I fear it could only be a written piece and thus inherently less satisfying than something discussing such a visual medium. Looking forward to future installments already, and selfishly I dearly hope that Ben’s tastes prove to be close to mine. Is Ben a long-time punter at the bar?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      When Ben showed me a first cut last week, the Taskmaster/Go Getters thing immediately invited a bit of a discussion, I pointed out they’re practically the same format, he says it’s basically a panel show and therefore not eligible. Both viewpoints are correct really.

    2. RoarJustice

      Hi there Chris, I’m glad you’re enjoying the video!

      In a world where almost any format could be seen as a gameshow if you squint hard enough (Dragons Den, Sell Or Swap…hell even Question Time!) I wanted this list to be about pure quiz and gameshow. I didn’t know I wasn’t going to put Taskmaster on this list, but when I started to work out what felt right and wrong for the list – Taskmaster fell away.

      The simple reason is when I watch Taskmaster, I’m enjoying it firstly as a panel show, not as a gameshow. The games are a huge bonus to me obviously, but I’m there for the banter. The same issue doesn’t apply to numbers 100 and indeed 96 which I am 100% there for the game, and any funny reality stuff I get outside of those is the bonus.

      If I included reality and panel shows, this would be a very different list – but I wanted to investigate what makes a good gameshow first and foremost and those are why they aren’t on the list. However you may be surprised by a couple of inclusions later on that may initially seem to be on the banned list, but clamber onto my top 100 on the virtue that I am 100% there for the game first. I’ll be interested to see what debate they create!

      I’ve been a long term member of the Bar, but being in TV means a certain level of decorum has to be on display. A positive list like this is a good way to be able to talk honestly about TV though.

  2. Brandon

    I never thought I’d see In It to Win It on a Top anything list other than “top 10 strangely popular things” but I suppose when you’ve got 100 gameshows to sort through and you’ve excluded 2 big categories, there’s going to be a lot of odd stuff going on in the list.

  3. Chris B

    Just watched the first video and I can already tell I’m going to love this series.

    On the Taskmaster issue, Brig’s point of “both viewpoints are correct” is basically where I stand too. Whilst Ben may come for the banter, there are people who really REALLY care about the game element of it. Whilst I wouldn’t have excluded it on Ben’s grounds if I was to make my own list I think I’d have to question that is it really a proper gameshow if no members of the public can take part? Perhaps thats six of one, and half a dozen of the other.

    That said, points on for including Almost Impossible Gameshow! That deserved another crack for me


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