TV Cream

TV: W is for...

We are the Champions

No running, jumping or pettingPE COMPETITION overseen by stern-but-fair RON PICKERING and the noisiest thing ever on children’s television. Games on the grass, then in swimming pool. Coloured polygons on T-shirts identified teams. Hopelessly complicated rules: “When I blow the first whistle, I want you to run down here, under the tarpaulin, taking the tennis ball from this post, go around these skittles, and put it in the basket. When I blow this swanny whistle, run back down to here with the wheelbarrow, pick up the quoit and throw it over to the bucket, then take the tennis ball over the see-saw…” Pickering’s penchant for profuse sweating, especially around the nipple region, rendered many an episode not just unlistenable or incomprehensible but downright unwatchable.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    July 18, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    If my old games teacher was hosting this, then it would be case of ” this is rather stupid, let’s play a game of rugby union, a man’s game”, but fortunately this was much more fun. Seemed to feature Mary Peters and Neil Judo Adams as guests quite a lot.

  2. Applemask

    July 25, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    “Pickering’s penchant for profuse sweating, especially around the nipple region, rendered many an episode not just unlistenable or incomprehensible but downright unwatchable.” Well, that’s just hard lines.

    Liked this show. Can’t remember why.

  3. Rob Williams

    July 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Plus also the disability specials! Still after these years I don’t know if they were a good thing or a bad thing… But Ron, he was the master! Now we wonder why all the kids are so fat, bring back We are the Champions! That’ll sort it!

  4. Chris Hughes

    July 26, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Two additions: 1) the Selwyn Froggitt ‘magic our Maurice’-style thumbs-up introductions from the kids; 2) the guest sports star (think Neil Adams or Sonia Lannaman) who would be subject to a half-time interrogation from the kids (“what made you take up the pole vault?”), before introducing one of the games in the most hesitant manner imaginable.

  5. legrandpierre

    July 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Disappointing lack of mention for the free-for-all poolfest at the end of each edition, signalled by a stern and sweaty nippled Picko with his catchphrase, “away you go!”

  6. TV Cream

    July 27, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Ah, but it does get a mention in the ‘TVC Says’ footer. Albeit a waspish one.

  7. Applemask

    July 29, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Oh, also also, continued for three years post-Pickering with Gary Lineker in charge. God knows if it was any good.

  8. MBenger

    October 21, 2009 at 12:48 am

    I was in the last ever series of this with Carcroft School….the pool bit at the end was fantastic we played for ages

  9. LGough

    October 21, 2009 at 10:39 am

    And i watched from the side line MBenger in We Are The Champions…

  10. Richardpd

    November 11, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    The shouty theme was very 1970s but still used into the 1990s.

    On this show those giant skis for multiple skiers seemed to have their only existence outside of winter specials of comics.

  11. Glenn Aylett

    November 14, 2020 at 9:38 am

    It was one of those shows like Record Breakers that was so seventies, yet kept going into the nineties as it was timeless, kids playing games and running about. Also I remember the guest stars always being B list and for some reason often being from the more minor sports like judo or gymnastics, probably as they were cheaper and liked the exposure.

  12. Karl Savage

    March 29, 2022 at 10:22 am

    I remember a spoof strip in which the contestants were all monsters in the Shiver & Shake annual circa about 1979. The host was Ron SICKENING (geddit??).

  13. Richardpd

    March 29, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    Ron’s son Shaun was a guest at least once. Karen Pickering isn’t related but might have appeared.

    The shouty theme tune was a bit of a relic by the 1990s as well, but added to the charm.

  14. Allan Curtis

    July 18, 2022 at 7:56 pm

    We were in the episode filmed in Campbeltown, I was in the team from Lochgilphead High School. I have been searching the Internet for ages trying to find the footage. If anyone out there knows where I could find this episode, please get in touch.

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