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
The series of Mastermind almost lasts as long as the football season, this run starting way back in August, so you can’t argue the winner of tonight’s final doesn’t deserve their prize. This is now we think the only time we get to know about the contestants rather than just watch them answer questions, and we’ll find out why they picked subjects including the Falklands War and The Ashes.
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Points of View
- In 'Words and Pictures', Graham Pearson says: "Watch the episode of Words and Pictures in which Henry tells the story of a pumpkin scaring members of the public until a pig thwarted him...."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard16378 says: "You did mention this a few days ago, it was one show I was too young to click with when it was first on. The titles & music do feel like..."
- In 'Creamvote #2 The most unforgettable news theme!', Des E says: "Here’s the full version of the Money Programme theme tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNcUnfvFAFI A shame,..."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard16378 says: "In 2013 there was another version shot, which needed a special train as there are no longer any non stop services from London to Brighton."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Droogie says: "Cheers, Des E. The no-show on BBC iPlayer of the previously TV Cream reviewed TOTP episode did make me suspicious"