PAN-CONTINENTAL LATE 80s joke, mainly thanks to ludicrously ambitious Euro-harmony raison d’etre, and much-derided sub-Wogan compere HENRY KELLY. Original incarnation offered holiday to Seoul Olympics as first prize (cue animation of Olympic mascot swirling a ribbon thing on his head), later series strained to maintain golden theme, hence much ballyhoo about trips to pan for gold in the Australian outback, mentioned by Kelly about seven times a show (and repeated the next morning). Bland as hell, how-many-cliches-can-we-fit-in theme: “The heat is on, the time is right, it’s time for you, for you to play the game, people are coming, everyone’s trying, trying to be the best that they can, when they’re going for, going for GOLD!” The hapless Kelly usually blathered about the 28 nations taking part (handily splitting Britain into England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle Of Man) but no-one ever seemed to mention that the Brits had the built-in advantage of having English as their mother tongue. Perennial, never-changing format as follows: seven multi-national contestants span round on rotating desk for elimination round, perched behind seemingly metaphorical mushroom-shaped buzzers. Klaus from the Cafe Hag commercial (“Ah, Henry Kelly! Schmells good!”) turned up every day. First four contestants to get a question right progressed to the “first round proper” (eh?), the detritus spinning off to try again tomorrow. Inevitable Wednesday afternoon battle for final place between two remaining contestants invariably cast xenophobic “come on Malcolm, beat the kraut/wop/frog” air across living room/hall of residence/sixth form common room. Four qualifiers bantered uneasily with host: “I am big fan from Imran Khan” quoth one Eastern European cricket fan, while Kelly vouchsafed that “Going For Gold is so popular in Belgium”. Quite. Remaining contestants answered questions worth one, two or three points, with first three to eight progressing to one-minute “specialised subject” round: “I am not so good with the geoh-graf-ey!”. Best two went”head to head” in absurdly complex final, featuring celebrated “Where am I? I am a river in northern Africa” questions as time ticked away “in the big four zone”. Daily winners went on to Friday final, and the whole thing went on for months and months and months. Shown as part of Reg Grundy double bill after NEIGHBOURS in early daytime schedules, while no-doubt huge airfare bill for BBC was mitigated by pathetically cheap perspex trophy for daily winners. Effect on European brotherhood deemed negligible. Kelly went on to mispronounce composers’ names on Classic FM before being ousted by Simon Bates and his gossip network.Read More
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Bad luck to Matt Lucas who, even in this year’s threadbare BBC1 festive line-up, can’t get the Christmas episode of The Matt Lucas Awards on any earlier than the 17th, though quite why they persist with a show that’s virtually identical to Room 101 when they’re also showing Room 101 we don’t know. He’s on far more interesting form here in this repeated documentary where he tells the story of his favourite musical and then gets to appear in it as well.
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Points of View
- In '29) “That’s what I did last night, anyway, here’s Hawkwind!”', Richard16378 says: "I got a lot more of the references the 2nd & 3rd times I watched it,..."
- In '29) “That’s what I did last night, anyway, here’s Hawkwind!”', Rob Free says: "I used to watch this over and over on VHS. I loved the the little cameos from..."
- In '26) “I don’t do French, I do woodwork!”', Richard16378 says: "You are spot on about Victoria Wood being ahead of her time spoofing documentaries. The washed out..."
- In '46) “Radio 1 disc jockey Mark Goodier!”', Richard16378 says: "I really liked The Day Today, most of it has stood the test of time without becoming overly dated, certainly..."
- In '29) “That’s what I did last night, anyway, here’s Hawkwind!”', Richard16378 says: "Possibly Harry Enfield’s finest 45 minutes, a laugh out loud moment..."