Everyone’s talking about them: Graham Norton, Steven Moffat (writer of “the scariest Dr Who episode ever – since the last one I mentioned” says Russell T Davies), even Terry Wogan on next week’s Radio 2 breakfast show.
But just what are shiny-floor shows? Mercifully the answer to this question presents itself in the form of a ten-part list, which mercifully follows below:
1) COME DANCING
A floor that magically materialised at different venues of the country at the downbeat of the BBC Dance Orchestra conductor’s baton. Its most famous incarnation was at the top of the Blackpool Tower, a floor later to play host to the jumping of the shark by Peter Kay.
2) MICHAEL BARRYMORE’S MY KIND OF PEOPLE
Not too shiny, this, in case any of the titular “people”, who tended towards the octagenarian, were likely to slip and break a bone or several. That didn’t stop your host from donning his shiniest loafers to loon about atop the polished proverbial, utilising the shininess to dash that bit faster between the contents of a pensioner’s handbag, a deaf mute trying to sing It’s A Long Way To Tipperary, and a pensioner dropping their handbag in hysterics at the sight of a deaf mute trying to sing It’s A Long Way To Tipperary.
3) YOU BET
This floor was too big even for Brucie, who complained about the distance he needed to travel in order to essay even the simplest of shimmies. Sick of playing second fiddle to an acre of tiling, he soon jumped ship back to the more restrained shiny-floor fiefdom of The Generation Game.
Sir Terence himself fell afoul of this floor, famously ending up on his arse at the end of his very first thrice-weekly assignation upon the verdant lawns of Shepherd’s Bush Green. Unlike on Parkinson, the all-important “chat area” was similarly non-carpeted, perhaps to encourage guests away from ludicrous back-slappery and more towards polished gossiping.
5) BLIND DATE
This floor had to be especially shiny in order for the partition to work properly. And to allow a stupid oaf to fall over while doing a stupid “comedy” turn at least twice a series.
6) THE NATIONAL LOTTERY LIVE
The numerous shiny floors featured on the earliest incarnations of this misleading bingo game had the unusual distinction of not being real. They, along with that whooping audience (and, indeed, the present “National Lottery HQ”) existed solely as computer graphics inside a VT machine stored close to the locked cupboard where all the episode of Have I Got News For You that contain disparaging references to Princess Diana are kept.
7) JIMMY WILL FIX IT
Beanbags somewhat obscured the shininess of this floor, but it was still kept well-polished for whenever Mr British Airways came to call.
8) THE STEVE WRIGHT PEOPLE SHOW
An example of a bad shiny-floor show. The grouting and all-round non-stick decor made for an ugly juxtaposition with the presenter’s demeanour, which wasn’t that hard given the presenter was an ugly juxtaposition with himself.
9) RECORD BREAKERS
A shiny-floor show for kids. In this instance the surface had to be maintained at an especially high standard in order that the host could break out into a sudden flurry of toe-tapping hoofery without fear of scuffing the ground or his soft shoes having any perilous purchase on the lino.
10) ITV NEWS AT WHENEVER
What happens when you try to bolt a shiny floor onto something that doesn’t need one. A catastrophe.