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Play Your Cards Right

"...so much better than last week's"IT’S 5.15PM, work’s over, Thames have fucked off, “and dealing the first hand of the weekend, right on time, Bruce Forsyth.” Hooray! It’s massively over-spent lavish LE bollocks from the South Bank till Sunday. US import, piss-easy rules, BOB MONKHOUSE turned it down, lifeline for post-BIG NIGHT in-the-doldrums FORSYTH. Early years the best, with the man still at his peak, a-riffing and a-gurning round endless reworkings of how-stupid-is-this-person patter. Absolute skeleton of a premise guaranteed, nay, demanded, full deployment of Brucie armoury leading to stunning parade of phraseology (“Get nothing for a pair…Could still be a big night…Hang loose/back in a deuce…” etc.) Toss in hapless punters and bevy of giant-sized card wielding fatales, and resulting money-spinner kept LWT in pocket during alleged early 80s pauper years. Highlight of highlights: after dutifully checking with the floor manager (“How long have we got?”), spare transmission minutes would be utilised for show-stealing here’s-a-fiver routine with the host effortlessly working the entire studio audience. Typical later decline, with Bruce getting bored, buggering off to the BBC, then getting bored again, jumping back again for more money, then throwing childish hissy fit at David Liddiment.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Arthur Nibble

    September 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    …or “Play Your Kurds Right”, which was the original (and banned) name for this segment when Brucie hosted “Have I Got News For You, For You Have I Got…..News”!

  2. David Smith

    September 6, 2017 at 7:24 am

    All the recent articles and obits in the wake of Brucie’s sad passing (many of the best of which coming from TV Cream, natch), have awakened a buried PYCR memory – can you guys, or any readers, back me up on it?

    Classic/”imperial phase” era episodes used to kick off of course with Brucie’s opening gag, usually based around the “What a lovely audience/you’re so much better than last week/ooh, you have cheered me up…” formula. But – does anybody else remember one random week when, as a one-off, the great man dispensed with a gag and instead called out “Dolly Dealers…!”, whereupon he and the laydees embarked upon an elaborate and tightly-drilled dance routine, to the strains of the PYCR feem toon?

    I remember at the time it seemed like it went on for about five minutes(!) but it probably was more like 1.5 tops. What I remember more clearly though is that when said routine was through, Brucie resumed his dialogue with the studio audience, saying something along the lines of “Yes, well, we just thought we’d do a dance routine this week instead of an opening joke. [KILLER PAUSE] Yes, I heard that Doris, you thought the dance routine *was* the opening joke…”

    So, like I say, anybody back me up on this one? Definitely from an early episode in the run, the years which are (currently, more’s the pity) poorly catered for by YouTube and Challenge TV…

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