(1987 TV Special)

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Strange British charity
Dr Wily12 July 2004
I, too, caught this on the USA Network in the late 1980's. I believe The Grand Knockout Tournament was held yearly; not sure if it still is. And, I think USA carried one more installment of this, after which, it was never seen again.

Decidedly, one of the oddest charity events ever televised. Not that the charity was odd, but, the games the celebrities played for their perspective teams. In one, someone dressed as a jester has to cross a pole suspended over water while opposing team members dressed as royalty toss fake food at him in an attempt to prevent him from crossing. Another event has players from one team dressed as vegetables while the other chases after them in an attempt to remove their costumes and toss them into a gigantic soup pot.

All in all, it was a whole lot of fun. Very strange, but, a lot of British humor is to be expected that way. And, since it was all for charity, I say let the grand knocking out commence!
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What would Queens Victoria and Elizabeth think?
henkster22 April 2000
I watched this show on USA network in 1987 and the big question I wondered about this one back then is: what would Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II think about members of the royal family dressed up in medieval outfits, leading like- dressed celebrities (I bet John Travolta would never do something like this now) to play games (like Knock A Knight) for charity? Anyway, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson (they were married for a year at this time), Princess Anne and Prince Edward captain their teams of Brit celebs and some oddball choices (Walter Payton, Meat Loaf, etc.). A curio back then, and a curio now.
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Valiant attempt to reach out to the public
safenoe21 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The aftermath of The Grand Knockout Tournament got a bit of a bad rap (quite unfairly I think) when it screened. Here you had a host of members of the Royal Family gamely and bravely participating in the special royal version of It's a Knockout, and good on them for raising money for charity.

Given all the royal shenanigans over the past two decades, somehow I think the "controversy" of The Grand Knockout Tournament pales into comparison, and it almost seems nostalgic in a way.

Maybe Her Majesty can consider a reboot, or if she's shy of this, then perhaps King Charles III (whenever he takes the throne, whenever) can organize a reboot to raise more money for charity. It will help to lighten things up in this post-Brexit world.
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Off With His Head
Theo Robertson27 July 2013
What can the Royal Family do to retain the affection of the Great British public ? How about joining the army , flying an Apache helicopter and zapping mad mental theocrats in Afghanistan ? Things were slightly different in 1987 and killing very bad people wasn't allowed . Instead someone somewhere thought it might be a good idea to bring in the somewhat lowly regarded Queen's children to lead an all star celebrity IT'S A KNOCKOUT and involve Edmund Blackadder and Stuart Hall . Edmund Blackadder was always the man to hate in British television in the late 1980s being a cruel sadist and who would ever think that in 2013 that after seeing THE GRAND KNOCKOUT TOURNAMENT in he'd be only the second most despicable person on screen . Of course Rowan Atkinson isn't playing Edmund Blackadder , he's playing someone called Lord Knock of Alton but he's Blackadder in everything but name

The show itself revolves around those zany assault courses that made IT'S A KNOCK OUT a popular TV show in the 1970s where people dress up in strange costumes and run around tripping all over the place while getting soaked with hoses while Stuart Hall collapses in to hysterical laughter ( I bet you're not laughing now Stuart ) and there's two differences with this edition

1 ) It's for charity

2 ) The contestants are major celebrities from Britain , American and Australia

As for the first point if there's a need for charity might it not be a good idea to scrap the civil list thereby negating the need for Fergie's expensive dresses and Prince Edwards expensive hairdressing bill ? As for Australia they are mainly represented by George Lazenby because Australia didn't have very famous actors back then except for Rod Taylor and Errol Flynn and Errol Flynn wouldn't be seen dead in this

The tournament is won and Lord Knock states that " It's always sad to pick out a winner when all have behaved with such consummate absurdity . But let the losers take comfort in the thought that they will never ever look so foolish again . " This isn't actually correct since in 1992 Fergie was seen with a financial adviser who was giving her advice her husband wouldn't approve of and the presenter Stuart Hall ... well we all know what happened to him and his notoriety will live long after him . When a republican watches a show and their pernicious hatred isn't focused on the royals that tells you something about the nugatory morals of Stuart Hall . Off with his head
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