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

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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

SUB­SCRIBE TO­DAY… Op­tion 1 Print 13 is­sues for £21.25 when you pay quar­terly by di­rect debit Op­tion2 Dig­i­tal 13 is­sues for £16.75 when you pay quar­terly by di­rect debit Op­tion 3 Print & Dig­i­tal 13 is­sues of Print and Dig­i­tal for £23.75 when you pay quar­ter

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