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It seemed a good idea at the time, but when watching it you realised it was a bad one
psi_fla10 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The Mirror's Jim Shelley was right.

Not - well at least not ENTIRELY - about classic UK Gameshows ("Popular, but rubbish") but this.

I watched just one of the specials, The Price Is Right, and right from the beginning I knew something wasn't right.

I get the feeling that those who were born at the beginning of the '80's or thereabouts (like myself) were unaware of how horribly tacky those gameshows of the past were.

Nostalgia, the abominable standard of most TV today, the overuse of modern technology (Satellite TV, DVDs, etc) and the large audiences of the past have allowed us to look back at Sale Of The Century, The Price Is Right, Bullseye, 3-2-1 and the rest through rose-tinted glasses. We grew up with them, so whether we like it or not, they are etched into our memories. And I will be quite happy to watch a repeat of one of those shows - even though sitting through 3-2-1 on Challenge TV recently was more of a chore than I thought.

But we don't have such tacky prizes today. Not in the era of Millionaire. And audiences seem far more - how do I put it - reserved. The screaming audience on the '80's TPiR was natural. The screaming audience of the 2005 revival seemed false.

And then we have Ant and Dec. A winning formula on kids' TV, they haven't really been as successful in the adult arena for me. Dec's attempt to host the classic TPiR game "Cliffhanger" made me cringe more than ever. On this stage, he didn't have the touch of either Brucie or the late Leslie Crowther. In a sense, I pitied him - he looked like he was trying to make the show as exciting as possible.

But it wasn't. And why? It was too long. And the producers weren't doing the show with ordinary people who truly cared about what they won, but with celebrities. Carol Vorderman looked like she'd rather be anywhere else.

Yes. Those classic game shows were junk, but they were still perfectly watchable pieces of junk that will live in my memory permanently. The Gameshow Marathon revival was junk that I'd rather forget.
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As a one-off series it work thanks to the good humoured delivery but it does occasionally feel like it is dredging for ideas
bob the moo27 December 2005
Despite myself I though I would brave the Saturday night light entertainment offerings just to enjoy a little bit of a walk down memory lane for some of the gameshows that used to be on when I was younger. Taking a different show each week, PJ and Dun….sorry, Ant and Dec lead a group of celebrities through each old gameshow, adding up their scores over the whole series. As an idea it is ironically both quite clever and incredibly unimaginative at the same time. The idea of doing it is a nice one and it does work well when placed in the Saturday night schedules but it is hard to shake the idea that really the series is devoid of any imagination and is simply yet another show doing "cover versions" and presenting it as something new (Pop Idol etc anyone?).

Essentially though what is just what this doing – churning out old ideas but presenting it as something new (sort of); but remarkably it more or less manages to pull it off and be quite fun. It does this by essentially keeping its tongue in its cheek for the whole show, letting the audience know to just relax and enjoy it and not take it too seriously. This style of delivery is what stops it becoming just a cynical rehash of old ideas in the absence of new ones because it is fun, silly and quite enjoyable. As much as I don't care of the shows they present, Ant & Dec have gotten rich off doing this – having fun in front of camera and taking the audience with them by never taking it too seriously. I'm sure that "lovable Geordie lads™" stuff will wear thin eventually but for the minute it seems to be working for them big time. They enjoy themselves with each new show and they get the celebrity contestants into it as well, delivered a sense of fun that rises above the retread of the specific ideas. This isn't to say it is fantastic because it really isn't but it does well enough for Saturday night telly.

Overall an OK idea that is delivered with a cheeky wink to the audience that stops it being exposed as just yet another cover version fronting as something new. It shouldn't be allowed to run for more than one series and hopefully they won't bring back the old gameshows (although they probably will try to) but other than that you could actually do a lot worse on a Saturday night (although those that hate that whole TV slot should just leave this alone).
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9/10
Ant & Dec's Gameshow Marathon
jboothmillard25 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This programme was part of ITV's 50th birthday celebrations. Hosted by Anthonty McPartlin and Ddeclan Donnelly, this series brought back classic game shows of the channel and allowed celebrity contestants to get money for their charities. The celebrities that took part were Eamon Holmes, Ruby Wax, Conations Street's William Roache, Emmerdale's Patsy Kensit, Vernon Kay, and deserved winner Carol Vorderman. The games that they played were The Price Is Right, Take Your Pick, Bullseye, Play Your Cards Right, Sale of the Century, The Golden Shot and finally Family Fortunes. It had plenty of laughs and guests, it was a perfect birthday celebration series. Very good!
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