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
New! From K-Tel!
TVC on Twitter
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
As ever we’re delighted and amazed when this comes back for another ten episodes, delighted because we think it’s a lot of fun and, at a time when we’re often watching it in larger groups, pleasingly easier than the proper show, and amazed that they’ve managed to yet again convince forty celebrities to do some revision, schlep up to Salford and potentially look stupid. As ever the episodes are shoved in whatever gap they can find over the next fortnight and beyond, and the run kicks off with Tony Marshall from Casualty quizzed about Richard Pryor while ‘stEnders’ Emma Barton discusses matters Carry On.
Subscribe to Creamguide
Points of View
- In 'It’s the double-sized Christmas Creamguide number 2014!', Des E says: "Nice spoof of the 1991 Christmas Radio Times cover."
- In 'In Concert', Glenn A says: "A more sober alternative to The Generation Game, turn over to BBC 2 and put Radio 1 on in stereo and watch Nazareth in concert. Tended to be heavy on..."
- In 'Words and Pictures', ange says: "Thank you so much Halloween Pumpkin! I thought I would check on this site, not really expecting for someone to have uploaded the pumpkin story after..."
- In 'It’s the double-sized Christmas Creamguide number 2014!', Alan B says: "Huzzah! Huzzah! … Huzzah!"
- In 'The six best Christmas TV Times covers', Alan B says: "The Minder one is very reminiscent of Computer And Video Games covers of the same era."