WELL-DOCUMENTED BUT far from well-heeled national and pan-European pantomime Olympics, promoting cross-continental integration through the dignified pursuit of citizens in oversized giant-headed frog costumes, the exchange of blows with massive fuck-off foam mallets on greasy poles above paddling pools, and the embarking upon the carrying-of-green-water-in-a-tarpaulin-to-measuring-jug assault course. UK incarnation pitted plucky provincial batteries of squared-jawed blokes and tottering big-haired women against each other in muddy fields adjacent to Notable Local Architecture. STUART HALL was ringmaster, chiefly required to laugh endlessly at stupid 70s people slipping up in acres of 70s mud. Aided and abetted, far from ably, by EDDIE WARING while ARTHUR ELLIS, an ex-referee, kept score, logically. Teams could play “joker” – giant-sized (wasn’t everything?) card brandished from out of nowhere – to double points in any one game. Tenuous theme usually linked proceedings, tenuously linked in with surrondings and tenuous celebrity guestage. European league – JEUX SANS FRONTIERS – found “plucky Brits” battling for the pride of the nation against “ruthlessly efficient” Germans, “romantically careless” Italians, “cunning” French, “unpredictable” Spanish, “frustratingly enigmatic” Swiss, “unknown” Belgians etc.