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
Well, here’s something very intriguing – to all intents and purposes, the ITV version of TOTP2! As the So It Goes repeats on Sky Arts illustrated a few months back, there’s certainly all kinds of interesting musical moments in the ITV pop archive, with Revolver and So It Goes breaking just as many bands as Whistle Test, while we’d even be prepared to argue that Razzmatazz managed to attract virtually every big name in eighties pop to Newcastle. But somehow they never quite managed to find that one influential show that would ever rival the Pops as a flagship. What this all means is that we may see some familiar songs in unfamiliar form throughout this run, so it should be fascinating. And seemingly they’re setting their stall out early doors with The Sex Pistols and The Clash promised in this first episode.
Points of View
- In 'Zokko', Peter Coutts says: "I remember Zokko ,Skayne and the theme tune for the show which was the sort of catchy thing that drove you mad. After Zokko a very similar show with an..."
- In 'Tigris', THX 1139 says: "For years I thought I had watched the film of Kon-Tiki (the other famous Heyerdahl seafaring expedition) when I was a very small boy but when I finally saw..."
- In 'Juggernaut', Joeb says: "I always loved the bomb in the Rover biscuit tin. Classic. And I like the bit where the kid says the frogmen look like his Action Man."
- In 'Pale Rider ', Ian B says: "Just watched this on Blu-ray. Excellent film with the legend that is Clint Eastwood. Covers many themes and looks great."
- In 'Creamvote #14 The most unforgettable kids’ entertainment show theme', Applemask says: "I want to vote for “The 8.15 From Manchester” so bad it hurst, but I fear it..."