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
This week’s news has had no impact on this run which continues in much the same way as it’s done for the past two years with various shows being skipped along the way, as has been the case here so there’s a bit of repetition to put up with but still some ace new stuff as well. The extended versions is still billed as such but it’s down here in a half hour slot so we’re assuming it’s only a few minutes longer and they’re rounding down, maybe Blankety Blank had a particularly long tie-breaker that week. We also hear from Sue from Legs & Co – not personally, mind – that apparently 1980’s got the green light, which if true will be fantastic news and will take the repeats past four years. Didn’t even think we’d make it to a fourth week.
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Points of View
- In 'Medusa Touch, The', iMatt says: "The courtroom scene was pretty good too. And the bit when he argues with wife and her new lover (played by Jeremy Brett)."
- In 'McCloud', iMatt says: "Pretty much inspired by Coogan’s Bluff starring Clint Eastwood?"
- In 'Paddles Up', Graham says: "Watching Paddles Up was very educational and I believe young people do white water rafting in Northampton."
- In 'Brass', Damian says: "It’s BLACKGUARD-not ‘blaggard’."
- In 'The Official Doctor Who Fan Club returns', ann marie louuise white says: "I am biggest fan in the world be course I love doctor who Matthew Robert Smith he is so lovely young Man in..."