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GAME SHOWS AND ENTERTAINMENT

I’ve worked on all sorts of game shows and LE programmes, writing intros, links, contestant information, gags, questions, standby material, etc., as well as acting as script editor /associate /consultant. I have provided straightforward general knowledge questions when required – at one time I was a partner in a board games company, devising the gameplay and providing the questions for lots of different games – but most of the shows I’ve been commissioned to work on have required rather more creativity. They include:

LAST ONE STANDING (RTE)
A general knowledge show with a difference: themed questions with three alternative answers offered; one answer is correct, and the other two – plus a new one - become alternative answers for the next question .. and so on. Tricky to get the hang of and tricky to write – but a fun challenge. I provided nearly 3000 questions for this series in 2003/2004.


BLANKETY BLANK (ITV)

The two series of the programme that Lily Savage did for ITV between 2000 and 2002. I provided Blankety Blanks and Super Match Games for 40 shows, and had a lot of fun doing it.


COUNTDOWN (Channel 4)
Yes, I admit it – I was the one who created the sadly-missed Richard Whiteley’s punning style! In my defence I’ll say that the puns fitted Richard like a glove, and that they helped to make Countdown the cult that it became. I was script associate for the first 857 programmes between 1982 and 1988, writing programme intros, contestant intros , phoney letters (from people like Sheila Blige of Soho) and additional material for Richard and the celebrity guests, working most of the time as live, since in those early years we were recording up to 8 programmes in a day. In subsequent years I rejoined the Countdown team to work on…

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN (Channel 4)
A one-off special in 1997, in which I provided material for Richard, Carol and William G. Stewart, who actually presented the show … and ..

CELEBRITY COUNTDOWN (Channel 4)
A series of 8 programmes in 1998 with celebrities (real ones!) as contestants.


LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT (Sky One)
This was an Action Time dating show, and I provided the material for 300 programmes in 1990/91.

LUCKY LADDERS (ITV)
Remember this popular game show, produced by Anglia TV for the ITV network and hosted by Lennie Bennett? I contributed material for 40 programmes in 1988.

ASK NO QUESTIONS (ITV)
This game show was a lot of fun – devised and presented by John Junkin, it had no questions, just a set of answers, some clues and a lot of extremely witty panelists trying to make sense of it all. As script associate, I provided all the material for 37 shows in 1986/87.


STAR CHOICE (ITV)
An astrological game show presented by Russell Grant. Again I was script associate, furnishing intros, questions, links and gags for 13 programmes in 1984/85.

JUST AMAZING! (ITV)
This was a peak-time Saturday night show that did extremely well in the ratings. Presented by the legendary motorcyle world champion Barry Sheene and Kenny Lynch with (series one) Jan Ravens and (series two) Suzanne Danielle, it was a mixture of death-defying stunts, amazing stories, comedy sketches and lots more. I was script associate, and provided all the intros, links, sketches and structure for 16 programmes spread over two series between 1983 and 1985.
MERRILY ON HIGH (ITV)
A one-off special of Christmas readings and music, presented by Peter Barkworth and broadcast in 1982. I wrote Peter’s script.

BRASS IN CONCERT (ITV)
As the title suggests, a series of 6 shows featuring brass bands, transmitted in 1981. The great jazz trombonist George Chisholm presented, and I wrote his intros and links.

JOY TO THE WORLD (ITV)
My mother was thrilled that I wrote this – not because it was a 1980 Christmas LE special, but because the presenter was the ultra-suave movie star James Mason, an early heart-throb of hers, and I was his scriptwriter.


BANGING WITH MANNING (IBA/Polygram Video)
Not a TV show, but an adult video. At the time of its release in 1992 there was a vogue for sex-education videos, and Polygram decided to make its own satirical contribution to the genre, fronted by the one and only Bernard Manning and scripted by me. Just in case it caused embarrassment to the producers of the children’s programmes I was working on, I did it under a pseudonym – Vic Rains. Unfortunately, nobody was fooled.