TV Cream

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Railway Carriage Game, The

WRETCHED WITLESS whimsical game show boasting a triumvirate the like of which could only have been dreamt of (in the most drink-addled of nightmares): host GYLES BRANDRETH plus team captains LENNIE BENNETT and STAN BOARDMAN. The “aim” was to act out a well-known Dingbats phrase or saying in a railway carriage (or similar tatty cardboard wobbly set) for the other team to guess. The reality was a pre-Six O’clock News purgatory that made you pray actively for the return of FAX.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    June 18, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Sad but possibly all the BBC could afford in this slot along with repeats of Dr Kildare and Star Trek. Neighbours and the guarantee of Coronation St size audiences couldn’t come too soon for Michael Grade.

  2. Richardpd

    February 11, 2024 at 12:59 pm

    From what I remember it used The Royal Scot as a fitting theme tune.

    John Inman was a guest, who I think were picked from a pool of semi-regulars.

    The 5:35pm slot on BBC1 had all sorts of shows before Neighbours claimed it, which this being one of the weaker ones.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    February 12, 2024 at 3:10 pm

    @ Richardpd, it used the London To Brighton In 4 Minutes film as an intro, about the only good thing about The Railway Carriage Game. It sort of reminded me of what Star Turn would have been like if Giles Brandreth hosted it. Poor, but there were better alternatives in this slot in the pre Neighbours era like Masterteam and Doctor Kildare repeats. However, once Neighbours received a second airing at 5.35 and audience figures reached Eastenders levels, the BBC had a hit that ran for 20 years in this slot.

  4. Richardpd

    February 12, 2024 at 10:39 pm

    I think I remember London To Brighton In 4 Minutes being used, but it was shown a lot in the mid 1980s after being remade in colour.

    Star Trek had been shunted to the 6pm slot on BBC2 by the mid 1980s, along with M*A*S*H & Mission: Impossible, with Dr Kildare being aired earlier in the day on BBC1.

    As well as Masterteam I remember First Class, Go For It, Fax, Hospital Watch, Charles In Charge and The Flintstones among other programmes in the slot.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    February 13, 2024 at 6:59 pm

    I’m sure Grange Hill was aired at 5.35 in 1985 as the 5-6 pm slot in the mid eighties on BBC1 switched between children’s programmes, repeats of imported shows and game shows, once 60 Minutes had been axed. This was quite an eclectic mix and probably an early Grade idea to get as many people as possible watching BBC1 before the news as when Blockbusters wasn’t being aired, ITV wasn’t very strong and the News at 5.45 was too short compared with the new BBC Six O Clock News.
    Then, of course, came Neighbours from January 1988 onwards, which while it guaranteed the BBC enormous audiences for several years, never clicked with me at all. Odd when nearly every other 20 year old in 1988 was a big fan, I was part of a select group who considered it rubbish.

  6. Richardpd

    February 13, 2024 at 10:27 pm

    I had thought Grange Hill was usually shown in the 5:10 – 5:35 slot after Newsround.

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