WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BBC’S Kick Start series? Visit THEN Call the hotline NOW
With its crazy obstacles and catchy theme, it turned a generation on to trials 51 issues for £85 when you pay by direct debit or 51 issues for £97 when you pay by credit / debit card / Paypal FACT FILE BBC 1, August 1979 June 1988 51 issues for £67 when
Kick Start? A quaint trials game show in the 70s wasn’t it? Although merely a lightweight TV half hour which pitted leading trials riders (and later juniors) against each other and the clock, it became a firm favourite that lived on for years.
So just how big was it? Huge, running for nine years and 13 series between 1979 and 1988, spawning a spin-off, computer game and, at its peak, attracting 13 million viewers. Today’s Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, for example, pulls about six million.
So how did it come about? It was the brainchild of 1978 Lombard RAC Rally organiser, Nick Brittan, when he noticed some trials riders out the window of his local pub. A few phone calls to the BBC resulted in a formal pitch and led to the go-ahead with Pebble Mill producer Derek Smith (who later helped create Top Gear).
What was the idea? Basically, top riders would compete against the clock over a course of logs, oil drums, limbo bars, see-saws even a VW Beetle. Time penalties were added for dabs or failures with the winner being the one with the lowest aggregate time. It was more novelty than demanding but the time element and cameras added tension.
Sounds really cool – was it? Nah, not really. This was the era of It’s a Knockout and the Radio 1 Roadshow, it was presented by the TV equivalent of Smashy and Nicey, produced on a BBC budget and hindered by an awful (but catchy) theme tune called, incidentally, ‘Be My Boogie-woogie Baby’ by Mr Walkie Talkie.
Smashy and Nicey? Explain The first series from 1979-81 were hosted by Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis, AKA ‘The Hairy Cornflake’ who was later replaced by ex- Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves.
And this all took place where? Firstly on a course at Donington Park devised by Sammy Miller. Later at none other than Lord Hesketh’s Easton Neston estate near Towcester.
And the riders? The trials stars of the day. Year one had Martin Lampkin (who sadly passed