My EXCLUSIVE interview with the voice of ‘The Price Is Right’, ‘Wheel of Fortune’, ‘Family Feud’, ‘Deal Or No Deal’, and more… Mr John Deeks! Part V

Those pesky Whammies from ‘Press Your Luck’

This week, Deeksie’s back for the penultimate chunk of our chat about his career and game shows in general.

And there’s one oft-forgotten game show in Australian television history, that I used to watch and enjoy more for its goofy camp value than anything else….


SH: One game show of the many you’ve been involved with, which only ran for a year here, was Press Your Luck. I remember watching Press Your Luck

JD: Ah, the Whammy!

SH: That’s right! “No whammies! No whammies!” It ran from 1987-1988, and it was hosted by your old pal from The Price Is Right, Ian Turpie. 

JD: Yes, I used to have to go down Clarendon Street to put all his bets on for him, at the TAB.

SH: Oh, did you? Okay, alright.

JD: Yes, that was part of my role.

SH: Essential.

JD: Essential. Anyway, so back to me… (laughter)

SH: Yeah that’s right! That’s why we are here. So… Press Your Luck.

JD: Press Your Luck was a technically challenging show because, a bit like The Price Is Right, there were a lot of technical mechanics in it; things moved, things happened in it, there were screens, there were split-second buzzers, there were animations being played over the top of live vision… I didn’t think it was as good (as Price). So Press Your Luck wasn’t really a stayer. I mean, I’ve done so many pilots over the years….

SH: Oh yeah?

JD: … And most of them are still friends. Boom-tish, thank you very much. But no, I have done a lot of pilots and thinking about the amount of shows that have come and gone, there have only been, Stephen, about 5 great game show formats in the world. I can list them. There’s Wheel, there’s Feud, there’s Jeopardy!, which never worked in Australia.

SH: Yeah – Jeopardy is a bit more like $ale of the Century, isn’t it?

JD: Yeah. But look, if we were in the states, all the shows that I’ve been working on would still be running, probably, in syndication.

SH: Yes of course. And there’s the Game Show Network, and America’s population is 20 times ours, and so on.

JD: Yes. But the common thread with all the contestants… what I tell them all is the word “Natural”. Be yourself, don’t try and put on another personality, don’t try to beat the host at their own game because the one thing people hate – whether it’s producers or people at home – is a smartarse. And occasionally we’ll find someone who we think is a bit ‘left-of-field’, and we’ll put that person in the mix, to make things interesting. Because when you’re at home, watching these shows, you sit there and you judge, judge, judge, judge.

SH: “I like her”, “I don’t like him…”

JD: And that’s why Eddie talks to the contestants on Millionaire Hot Seat, and you find out about them all. “Oh, you’ve just build a mud brick house, have you?” All that kind of stuff. So it’s empathetic, it’s the character of the person, it’s the attachment that you have to get with them.


Next week, as my chat with Deeksie concludes, we hear about his Favourite Game Show Host of All Time, and his thoughts on the future of game shows. 

Until then, take care, and remember that impassioned plea, that heartfelt entreaty, that emotion-charged call of all those valiant Press Your Luck contestants who went before us; those words which will forever echo through The Corridors of History…

“No Whammies! No Whammies! No Whammies!”


My EXCLUSIVE interview with the voice of ‘The Price Is Right’, ‘Wheel of Fortune’, ‘Family Feud’, ‘Deal Or No Deal’, and more… Mr John Deeks! Part II

John Deeks


And welcome to the second instalment of my interview with TV game show voice over legend John Deeks.

Before we go any further, I’d like to thank John for very kindly recording a little welcome announcement for the site, which you can see on the top right corner of this page! If you click on it, you’ll hear his dulcet tones bidding you a warm welcome, as only he can.

But now, as we pick up our conversation, we’re still discussing the Melbourne version of The Price Is Right which was shot at Festival Hall back in the eighties…


JD: It was a huge show with massive sets, with lots of cars, and a huge audience, in the right part of town.

SH: How many were in the audience? 

JD: Oh, 300 – 400. It was jolly big.

SH: For a studio audience for a TV show, that’s very big.

JD: Huge. And the later versions were never on that scale; when we tried to do The New Price Is Right, they really cheapened it. They did it in this tiny studio in Sydney, Larry Emdur was the host, and I think they gave away like a Goggomobil; it was one of the cheapest cars you could find.

SH: As you say, you were the voice of the show and you did its warm ups, from a position in the audience. As such, you would have watched thousands of episodes; would that be fair to say?

JD: Yes.

SH: Were there any times when you were watching, thinking, “No – don’t do that! You’re supposed to be doing this”?

JD: The best people we had – and this applies to all of the shows – except where intelligence is really required, (and thank God I never worked on shows where intelligence was a prerequisite! And I mean that with love). I’ve never worked on a Sale of The Century, that sort of show; they’ve all been game shows and I love the format of the game show; I love the repetitive nature of it; I just really, really enjoy it. You either do or you don’t. I did. But the common thread amongst all those people is that they were natural. They gave of themselves. You can’t have too many barriers; you have to say “Here I am, World!” 

SH: Warts and all?

JD: Yeah, warts and all. The best ones were the ones who had character; they would come out and just be themselves. If they had friends in the audience they could interact with them, so we’d shoot them as well and they got the game. Because I always told the audience, “You are part of the production process. We just come along with this template every week. The template works and now it’s up to you to put the flavour in it.”

SH: And you were also the voice of Wheel of Fortune from 1984-2006.

JD: 22 years, yeah!

SH: Incredible! So again that must have been thousands of episodes, maybe tens of thousands of episodes?

JD: Stop counting.

SH: Sorry.

JD: No, not you – I did.

SH: Oh, you stopped counting.

JD: Yeah, yeah.

SH: I see. Was that always in Adelaide?

JD: Yes it was. Until (co-host) Adriana ran out of husbands, and then we moved it to Sydney.

SH: Right.

JD: Well, there was a bigger pool…


SH: Yes, sure.

JD: And also, (host) John (Burgess) needed to get new leather pants.

SH: Right.

JD: We’d fly there every Friday to record five shows, and sometimes we had to do ten. It was like; “Oh my God – we are doing ten shows; five on a Friday, five on a Saturday as well!” But now, of course, they’re always churned out that way; ka-chunka, ka-chunka, ka-chunka!

SH: The show had a few hosts over that time… starting with Ernie Sigley, I think?

JD: Ernie was there… and then I was going to be the host after Ernie left.

SH: Interesting!

JD: But I was doing The Price is Right at the same time, and they said “No, you can’t do that; you’ll have to stay on The Price is Right.”

SH: These are both Seven Network productions?

JD: Yeah. So I’ve said “Oh, okay.” Then of course a little time later Price finished, and over at Wheel of Fortune in Adelaide, the guy who’d been doing my job (the voice job), was cleaning leaves out of his gutter, and fell off the ladder.

That I pushed.

And they asked if I could come over for the weekend to do shows, and I said “Sure, but I want to do the warm up as well”. They said “Knock yourself out, kid” (because that was what I was used to doing on The Price Is Right.So I came over one weekend, and 20 years later…  I’m still receiving death threats from the guy who I –


SH: Can he walk again?

JD: I felt terrible about that night.

SH: That’s showbiz.

JD: It is showbiz, and you know what they say; “Never take a holiday”.

SH: Never take a holiday.

JD: Or clean out the gutters.

SH: Or clean out the gutters.


Mmm. Good advice for us all.

Join us here next week, for Part III, when Deeksie discusses Wheel of Fortune‘s various hosts, and reveals his favourite Australian game show host of all time! 

My EXCLUSIVE interview with the voice of ‘The Price Is Right’, ‘Wheel of Fortune’, ‘Family Feud’, ‘Deal Or No Deal’, and more… Mr John Deeks! Part I

The incomparable John Deeks


This week, I’m very pleased to bring you Part I of my latest exclusive interview for I was delighted, recently, to get the chance to talk to a real Living Legend of the Australian game show landscape. This man has been the voice behind THOUSANDS of episodes of our favourite game shows. He was the voice of Wheel Of Fortune, he was the voice of The Price Is Right, he’s a former host of Family Feud, and after almost 40 years in television, he shows absolutely no signs of slowing down…

He’s also a really lovely bloke, as well. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the one and only John Deeks!

================================================================== SH: John Deeks, thank you so much for talking to me for

JD: My pleasure, Stephen.

SH: It has been – and continues to be – a very long and illustrious career, but I want to take you back to the early eighties, to start with. You were the voice of the Australian version of The Price Is Right from 1981 to 1985.

JD: The Price Is Right was a fantastic show and it was the first game show I did. For a start, we were doing it at Festival Hall, which was massive. And it was the first time I had worked with Ian Turpie. And I had seen him many years before at the HSV Teletheatre in Fitzroy, when my mum took me to see a show and I remember being in the audience and seeing him and Olivia Newton-John. This was in a show called Time For Terry…. back in the 1800s.


JD: So Festival Hall was sensational, and the audience was mostly made up of our European friends. Because over on Channel 9 you had Tony Barber doing Sale of the Century, where you had to know who the third King of Prussia was (and that wasn’t a question, so don’t answer it, smartarse)*… they couldn’t get that, but they knew how much a fridge was.

SH: Which is what that show is.

JD: Exactly. And our audience had a very large Maltese contingent. There was one instance… and I should point out that I had requested that I do audience warmup as well as being the show’s announcer, so I was integrated into the audience. And Ian Turpie would throw to me and I would say “Mary Vostopopolous! Come on down!”  And Mary on this particular day jumped up – and back in the early 80s, boobtubes were very popular…

SH: Yes…

JD: You know where this is going, don’t you?

SH: I have a rough idea.

JD: And Mary Vostopopolous was a fulsome middle aged lady. So Mary leapt up, and they caught her on camera and, as she ran down to the stage, her very fulsome bosoms went NorthSouthNorthSouthNorthSouthNorthSouth. And as she charged down the stairs, with her arms outstretched, Mary’s top started to slide and slide and slide… and by the time she got to the bottom of the stairs, it was a belt. A very big belt. But Turps handled it brilliantly; he ran up to her and gave her a cuddle while we all tried to get our act together.

There was another time when a very large woman grabbed my hand as she ran past me – because I was positioned in the audience itself – and she’s pulled me out of my seat and taken me with her as she barreled down towards the stage. Now this lady must have been 15 or 16 stone (210 lb – 224 lb, 95 kg – 101 kg). And she’s reached the stage (Did you ever go to the wrestling at Festival Hall? Anyway…) She’s reached the stage, and tripped over, taking me with her; I fell as well.

Thank God she broke my fall.

SH: Oh! There was a bit of ‘cushioning’ there?

JD: A lot of cushioning. So it was an interesting time.

SH: Was she okay? Did she carry on and go on the show?

JD: Yeah, yeah I was okay – thanks for asking.



And that’s where we’ll leave it for this week. Next time, Deeksie reflects on Family Feud, and Wheel of Fortune, and discusses what separated the successful contestants from the unsuccessful ones. Until next Tuesday, then.

The Game Show Humane Society would like to advise that no 15 or 16 stone Price Is Right contestants were harmed in the making of this blog post.

* Looks like Deeksie might have been throwing in a trick question here; it seems Prussia only ever had two Kings Of it: King Frederick I (1701 – 1713) and King Wilhelm II (1888 -1918). There were many Kings In Prussia, though.


Ryan comes on down to ‘The Price Is Right’!

Hello! I hope you had a great Christmas yesterday, and Happy Boxing Day to you!

We’re hearing again from our guest blogger Ryan Vickers today, and this time he takes us through his experience on a show that’s pretty much an American institution – The Price Is Right.

There are some great tips too, so if you’re harbouring an ambition to ‘Come on Down’, read on….


My Life in Game Shows

Episode 11 – Sick day viewing: ‘The Price is Right’, 2015.

When I was a kid in the 80s, Canadian and American television game shows were a dime a dozen in daytime television. You hoped that if you got sick, your parents would at least let you watch the glitz and glamour of these spectacles. I loved shows such as Scrabble, Blackout, Super Password and $ale of the Century.

Over the years, daytime game shows have for the most part gone the way of the wind. Yes there are syndicated offerings that pay in daytime hours, but the only true ones on network television are The Price is Right (since 1972!) and the current reboot of Let’s Make a Deal (which I’ll get to in the next entry).

The Price is Right is as classic game show as you’re getting to get, from the heyday of game shows of the last century. A smiling host, a jubilant announcer, an audience that clearly has come expecting a rock concert and prizes galore; and it also boils down to a simple premise: guess how much something costs, without going over.

I had been twice previously to Price in the 2000s but it had been a good ten years since my last visit.

PRO TIP: If you’ve auditioned for a show before, try to remember how the last time went. What did they ask? What do you think they were looking for?

Armed with that thought, I made attempt number three at trying to get on the show. I felt I had interacted well with the contestant picker that day and waited to see my fate. But I didn’t just rest on my laurels… I made sure that I interacted with other people while we were waiting in line (not that it took that much effort – I’m a people person!) and made sure my energy was at full capacity when we were ushered into the studio.

PRO TIP: Assume someone’s always watching. That could be in the form of a staff member either behind or in front of the scenes. Give them the best impression and you never know what could happen!

And then I heard those magical words…


Continue reading

The world of a Game show contestant co-ordinator, with Lalitha Selvendra – Part II

Game show contestant co-ordinator extraordinaire Lalitha Selvendra, with the FremantleMedia Gold Award 2014 for Best Program for 'Family Feud'!

Game show contestant co-ordinator extraordinaire Lalitha Selvendra, with the FremantleMedia Gold Award 2014 for Best Program for ‘Family Feud’!

Last week saw Part I of my interview with game show contestant co-ordinator Lalitha Selvendra. Lalitha is a veteran of many game shows, including The Price is Right, The Singing Bee and Family Feud. She’s interviewed countless potential game show contestants over the course of her career. So if YOU’RE a potential game show contestant, and would like a sneak peek behind the other side of the contestant interview desk, then read on…


SH: Do any examples spring to mind where you knew right away – almost at first sight – that the person was going to be a great contestant?

LS: Too many to narrow down to one. But, if we look at Family Feud, it really is about how a family interacts with each other. Often, we’d see three family members who were really thrilled to be there, and the fourth member who clearly did not want to be there. Sometimes the difficult part was finding four good individuals who, together, make a great team.

SH: And conversely, do any examples come to mind where the would-be contestant made every mistake in the book? And if so, can you talk me through that?

LS: I think more so the people who come along to an audition and admit they’ve never seen the show. Now, for me, this isn’t necessarily an immediate “Bah-bow”, as I like the honesty and we have had people who had just moved back home from overseas etc. However, it certainly does set some alarm bells ringing…

SH: When auditioning or being interviewed for a game show, what are some of the best things a potential contestant can do?

LS: Play along and don’t take it too seriously. Have fun! We know you’re nervous, but nerves aren’t a bad thing. And remember, it’s not the end of the world if you’re not successful in your audition.

SH: When auditioning or being interviewed for a game show, what are some of the worst things a potential contestant can do?

LS: If you come on the show for the wrong reasons, the potential for disappointment is huge if you walk away with nothing. However, if you came on simply to have fun, you’ll have a memorable day no matter what.

SH: I’m guessing you’ve watched a lot of game shows being recorded in your time; do you have any tips or hints on how to win them?

LS: Based on the shows I’ve done, it really is down to luck… and luck can change in the blink of an eye. I think staying positive throughout really helps. If you’re low on points or coming last, the momentum of play could suddenly swing back to you, but you need to be ready for it.

SH: Have you noticed certain things that all the best players do?

LS: They’re prepared. They’ve watched the show, played it at home with their family and friends, played it online. It helps to know the format of the show, even just a little bit. Also, doesn’t hurt to know a little bit about the host.

SH: Which has been your favourite game show to work on?

LS: I can’t pick a favourite child, Stephen! Honestly, I have been so fortunate to have worked with not only some talented and generous hosts but also been a part of shows that have been led by great Executive Producers. I have formed life-long friendships through many of these shows and I am forever grateful for that.


And what a lovely note to finish on! I’d like to thank Lalitha again so much for her time, and to wish her all the best for whatever show she’s working on next. And, in the future, if you should ever happen to be auditioning for a game show, and see her smiling face on the other side of the desk, be sure to mention!

Not that it’ll necessarily help your chances – I could use the publicity, that’s all.


The world of a game show contestant co-ordinator, with Lalitha Selvendra – Part I

Game show contestant co-ordinator extraordinaire Lalitha Selvendra, with the FremantleMedia Gold Award 2014 for Best Program for 'Family Feud'!

Game show contestant co-ordinator extraordinaire Lalitha Selvendra, with the FremantleMedia Gold Award 2014 for Best Program for ‘Family Feud’!

Hello! Firstly, apologies for there being no regular Tuesday post here last week, but hey, I did warn you…

We’re now coming into the last couple of weeks of rehearsals for Fawlty Towers Live, and so life is pretty hectic at the moment. I’m living, sleeping eating and breathing Basil Fawlty these days, as Opening Night creeps closer and closer. In fact, here’s an interview I did about it recently.

But I digress.

I have managed to score a new interview for, and it’s my first ever interview with a real life game show contestant co-ordinator. Lalitha Selvendra has worked on several game shows over the years, she’s interviewed hundreds (maybe even thousands?) of aspiring game show contestants, so I thought her experience and insights would be just the thing for this site!  So, if you’d love to be a game show contestant, but haven’t yet taken the plunge and applied, then read on….

=========================================================================SH: Lalitha, welcome, and thanks very much for talking to me today for! Can you take us through your career as a game show contestant coordinator? Which productions have you worked on?

LS: My very first game show was The Price is Right with Larry Emdur. It was such a great production to be a part of, and an even better place to learn. Although it may appear to be a simple game show, the amount of preparation that went into every episode was staggering. It involved a lot of people power and the keys, I think, were communication and passion. Everyone who worked on that show loved working on it and a lot of people still have such fond memories. It was a tight-knit crew, with a wonderful host to boot.

I went from Price onto Bert’s Family Feud; thereby being lucky enough to work alongside TV legend Bert Newton. His professionalism and great sense of humour was great to be around. We had a small team but produced a lot of hours and had a lot of fun doing it.

After this I was Talent Coordinator for two seasons of Celebrity Singing Bee, Again, a really fun show to be a part of and a really generous host in Tim Campbell.

Post-Singing Bee, I worked on a few small pilots and went into kids’ TV before joining the current incarnation of Family Feud as Senior Casting Producer. A massive privilege to be working under television’s very own Pam Barnes as EP and alongside an amazingly talented host in Grant Denyer. Bringing back a beloved format is always dangerous and all the elements needed to work to make it a hit.

SH: How would you define the role of a contestant coordinator?

LS: To define it simply, it’s about finding watchable contestants. If I was at home watching from my lounge room, what kind of contestant would I find entertaining? Would I love them? Would I love to hate them? Would I be barracking for them?

SH: What are you looking for in contestants? What would make the difference between a person getting on the show and not getting on the show?

LS: You get to spend a lot of time with contestants during auditions. So, you can tell if they are genuine or putting on an act. There’s no set list of ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ for people getting on a show. But, one thing I would encourage is, definitely do your homework before you go to an audition. Know what the show is about and how it works etc. We also often like to tell auditionees, “just be yourselves but on a really good day”. Be genuine and have fun. For me, if you’re not in it to have fun, then there’s no point.


And that’s where we’ll leave it for this week. Next week, as my chat with Lalitha concludes, she reveals more great tips, including the Top Two Things you should never ever do at a game show audition. That’s next Tuesday. Until then, keep calm and Don’t Mention The War…

‘How To Win Game Shows’ the eBook: UPDATE!

Hello everyone, and welcome to the scheduled launch day for How To Win Game Shows  – the eBook! 

Only thing is, it’s not quite ready yet.


All the content is done, but I’m afraid I’ve underestimated the time that editing, proofreading and getting an eStore up and running would take. So, I know I did say that it’d be ready to go by today, but if you can bear with me for one more week, I’d really appreciate it. That makes the revised launch date Sunday September 20th. I’d like to thank you so much for your patience and understanding. As a little taste of what it’ll look like, here’s the eBook’s cover:

The eBook's front cover!

The eBook’s front cover!

In the meantime, it’ll be business as usual here at the blog, with my next weekly post due on Tuesday. That will chronicle the first part of my Australia’s Brainiest Quizmaster journey – this was the show in early 2006 that pitted Who Wants To Be A Millionaire winners against Sale of the Century and Temptation winners, in a battle to win the $20,000 for charity, and the title of ‘Australia’s Brainiest Quizmaster’. I did manage to win it, but it certainly wasn’t all smooth sailing. The story of how I accomplished it begins right here on Tuesday, and hopefully there’ll be some tips and hints in there that will be helpful to you, as you learn from my mistakes.

Until then, thank you so much for your patience, and remember, you can still get a FREE SNEAK PREVIEW BONUS CHAPTER of the eBook by signing up to the How To Win Game Shows mailing list, by using the handy (if slightly squashed) email sign up box to the right! ——————————————————————————————————->

How to Win Game Shows’ Greatest Hits!


As we lurch into the cold winter months*, I thought I’d take an opportunity to let you know about (or remind you of) some of the earlier posts here that you may have missed…

You can find links to all of these, and more, on the ‘ABOUT ME’ page, but here are some highlights, and the ways in which you may hopefully find them helpful…

For those wishing to go on Family Feud, all sorts of handy hints can be found in this interview with the show’s former Executive Producer Michael Pope, and in this interview with the show’s current Executive producer Pam Barnes.

If The Price Is Right is what you’ve set your heart on, this incredibly handy list of tips is well with a look, as is this part of the Michael Pope interview, where he speaks about his time behind the scenes on the show.

And for any budding Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestants, I’d recommend this 9-part interview with Millionaire millionaire Martin Flood, which goes into great detail.

If you’d like to hear more from other game show champs who’ve been there and done that, there’s this interview with Million Dollar Minute winner Alex Dusek, this interview with Sale of the Century champ Russell Cheek, my own Temptation experience is outlined here, here, here and here… and of course there’s also my recent interview with David St John, who holds the Guinness World Record for the Most Appearances as a TV Quiz Show Contestant!

And I have more winner interviews lined up in the coming weeks, so remember to keep checking back here each Tuesday.

Over the past couple of years, quite a few game show hosts have generously given their time to be interviewed for the blog. Among them; Peter Berner (the host of The Einstein Factor), Ed Phillips (the host of Temptation), Julia Zemiro, (the host of RocKwiz), and Michael Pope (the host of Blockbusters). Of course, Michael’s a game show producer and Executive Producer too, and he speaks about his experiences on that side of the camera in other parts of our interview.

And finally, if you’ll forgive me for a bit of cross(/self)-promotion, here’s a plug for the iPhone app I created: Step-By-Step-Story.

There’s just a sample of some of the past posts from the site. I hope you find some useful stuff in there. And again, a reminder that you can find them all on the ABOUT ME page, if you scroll down to the bottom.

Next week, I’m going to take an in-depth look at a classic game show conundrum, which is also a logic problem. And it’s one that packs quite a counter-intuitive punch, getting even the most intelligent, rational people acting in the most illogical way…


Until then, Live Long and Prosper.

* Your results may vary, depending on geography.

Review of ‘Come On Down! The Game Show Story’ – Part I

COME_ON_DOWN_THE_GAME_SHOW_STORYSomething a bit different this week: Part One of my review of Come on Down! The Game Show Story, which was a 4-part documentary series shown on British TV in August last year.

Presented by Bradley Walsh (host of ITV’s The Chase), this was a look at the history of the British game show; its formats, hosts, contestants, and the evolution of the genre. It was a diverting – if not overly educational – overall look at the British game show, but to my mind, it didn’t really need four one hour-long episodes. It could have been told just as well, if not better, with two.

Episode 1 focussed on British game show history, with Bradley interviewing one of its major figures, Sir Bruce Forsyth. Sir Bruce, whose game show hosting career spans decades and decades, revealed that in the 1980s he tried to buy the rights to the American game shows Card Sharks and Family Feud. But he quickly discovered that Bob Monkhouse – another evergreen British game show host – had already snapped up the  rights to Family Feud, which was renamed Family Fortunes in the UK. Brucie did manage to get the rights to Card Sharks, though. And re-branded for the UK as Play Your Cards Right, and with Bruce hosting, it was a hit over 16 seasons, from 1980 – 2002.

A recurring theme in British game shows seems to be that many hits were adaptations of successful American formats. Mark Goodson & Bill Todman were the game show format kings, and many UK game show successes were adaptations of American ones. Apart from those mentioned above, prominent examples included What’s My Line?The Match Game (known as Blankety Blank in the UK) and The Price is Right.

This last one caused quite a controversy. In British game show culture, where big cash prizes had never been front and centre, the 1984 launch of the proudly materialistic The Price is Right sparked an enormous backlash. People thought it was undignified, that it glorified greed, and  that it could even lead to an increase in the crime rate!

The theme of UK adaptations of successful American formats continues, with Bradley paying a visit to – and appearing on an episode of – Celebrity Squares. This adaptation of the classic Hollywood Squares has enjoyed success in the UK in several incarnations since 1975, and the latest version is hosted by Warwick Davis.

Which I did not know.

But now I do.

This is followed by an interview with one of the new breed of game show hosts, Vernon Kay, current host of Family Fortunes. Kay tells the story of getting the gig, and receiving a phone call from the show’s previous long-serving host Les Dennis, (host from 1987 – 2002) wishing him luck in the role. It turned out that Les Dennis was keeping a Family Fortunes baton-passing tradition going; when Dennis started hosting the show in 1987, he’d received a call from the original UK host Bob Monkhouse (host from 1980 – 1983), wishing him all the best.

Honour Among Game Show Hosts – who’d have thought?

In all, episode 1 of Come On Down! The Game Show Story was an amiable and entertaining wander through the history of UK game shows with a couple (but not a lot) of interesting nuggets of trivia for the game show aficionado. There’s a lot of Bradley Walsh and his persona in it, including a ‘Test Your Comprehension’-type sketch at the end, where various game show hosts quiz Bradley on what he’s learnt during that episode. If you’re a big fan of Bradley Walsh and don’t find him in the slightest bit annoying, you’ll probably quite enjoy these bits.

But if you’re like me… ah, maybe not so much.

Episode 2 of Come On Down! The Game Show Story focusses on quiz shows in Britain, with winner interviews, several shocking scandals, and trivia tidbits including the surprisingly serious inspiration behind the creation of Mastermind.

All of which will be covered in Part II of my review… next week!




Now THIS is a Happy New Year…

Price-is-Right Sheree HeilYou’ve probably seen this by now, as it went viral pretty much the moment it happened.

On Monday December 30, Price Is Right contestant Sheree Heil won an Audi R8 V8 Spyder Quattro S-Tronic, (which is some type of car, I’m led to believe) valued at $157,000.

It’s the most expensive car the show’s ever given away, and Sheree won it by playing the game Gas Money. The win made her the The Price Is Right‘s biggest daytime winner ever. 

When she did win, she seemed quite pleased; you might be able to spot it if you watch this clip from the 5:46 mark.

Sheree had said that going on The Price Is Right was “on her bucket list”. She even had a T-shirt made that said so, to drive the point home to the show’s producers, (and to help get her selected).

At this time of year, when we’re all reflecting on the last year and making plans for the next one, by way of those dreaded New Year’s resolutions, I think Sheree’s story serves as an inspiration. So if one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to “finally try your luck on a game show”, I’m certain that Sheree’s advice to you would be exactly the same as mine….

GO FOR IT! You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

I’ll keep posting info here about game show auditions and opportunities, and tips and hints that will hopefully be helpful when you do get through, to help those vague dreams and resolutions become reality.

Fortune favours the bold.

Who knows? Perhaps the next game show victory dance viral video will be starring you!

Happy New Year, everyone.

May 2014 be happy, healthy and prosperous for you and yours.