TIM FAN­NING MY VIEW

The $64,000 ques­tion is, ‘What is the worst TV game show of them all?’

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - GARDENING -

ad tele­vi­sion shows never die, but un­like good sol­diers, they don’t sim­ply fade away. In­stead, TV ex­ec­u­tives pull them kick­ing and scream­ing out of hi­ber­na­tion, give them a quick shower and throw them onto our screens – about a decade af­ter they’ve passed their sell-by-date. So it is that cult (and I mean cult in the sense of ab­so­lute rub­bish) show

re­turns to UTV this evening. The orig­i­nal ver­sion made a star of Belfast co­me­dian Roy Walker – and his an­i­mated buddy Mr Chips. For those read­ers lucky enough never to have seen Catch­phrase, Mr Chips looked a bit like the plas­tic thing that holds the toy in­side a Kinder egg – but with less charm. Con­tes­tants on the show had to guess a phrase from the shenani­gans of Mr Chips, while Roy de­liv­ered such mem­o­rable catch­phrases as ‘say what you see’ and ‘it’s good but it’s not right’. But as bad as Catch­phrase was (and I don’t hold out much hope for the new ver­sion), there have been worse game shows on Ir­ish TV, as shown be­low.

RTÉ tried to in­cor­po­rate some cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy into this Mike Murphy-hosted show from the 1980s. Aside from the creaky graph­ics and the fact that no­body (in­clud­ing the pro­duc­ers) knew how to use a com­puter back then, just what did the name mean? One of the great mys­ter­ies of Ir­ish TV.

Twink and Bren­dan Grace play­ing cha­rades with as­sorted guests, es­sen­tially. Host Ro­nan Collins tried to bring some dig­nity to pro­ceed­ings, but it was all too much like watch­ing your drunk aun­tie and un­cle at a wed­ding. Derek Davis took over the men’s team when it all be­came too much for Bren­dan.

This show, in which celebri­ties tried to guess songs from one of its lines, has been ex­ported around the world and was re­spon­si­ble for res­ur­rect­ing Linda Martin’s ca­reer. Enough said.

The great Bunny Carr had the reins of this much-loved show. Fa­mous for Bunny’s catch­phrase ‘Stop The Lights’, the show fea­tured lucky con­tes­tants be­ing asked ques­tions in or­der to win cash prizes av­er­ag­ing about 10p. That’s 12 cents, kids, and, yes, it was a real pro­gramme… For me, Mad Men is by far the best drama cur­rently on TV – and it sad­dens me that it’s now tucked away on a sub­scrip­tion chan­nel, rather than show­ing on ter­res­trial TV. But here it is, back again, with a brand-new sixth sea­son – af­ter which, there will be one more be­fore the show’s cre­ator Matthew Weiner pulls the plug. Sea­son five saw big shifts of power at the ad­ver­tis­ing agency, as schem­ing Pete (Vin­cent Kartheiser, above left) ad­vanced him­self ruth­lessly, while Joan (Christina Hen­dricks, sec­ond left) se­cured her fu­ture, Roger (John Slat­tery, right) seemed to rise above the fray, and Don (Jon Hamm, sec­ond right)… Ah Don, who ever knows what he’s up to? Is he happy with that new wife of his, or is the mar­riage crum­bling? We’ll soon find out…

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