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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.

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