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Britain's Got Talent (2007)
Best Reality Show on TV
Britain's Got Talent started in 2007 with the aim of finding a new act to perform on the Royal Variety Show. The first series was strangely only on TV for one week, however the second and third series was extended to around eight weeks, with the auditions broadcast on a weekly basis for seven weeks and then the live finals broadcast daily over the following week.
In my opinion, Britain's Got Talent is a more entertaining reality show than any of the other main ones such as Strictly Come Dancing, X Factor and Dancing on Ice. The main reason for this, is the show is open to absolutely anyone with any talent. The auditions are hilarious and are my favourite part of the series.
It's just a pity ITV don't give the show more air time. Considering X Factor is on TV for four months, it's strange they only give eight weeks to a show that is actually more popular.
Harry's Mad (1993)
One of my favourite shows as a kid.
Harry's Mad was a story of a normal family who inherit a parrot from an American Great Uncle. Initially they aren't pleased with their new pet but soon realise he is no ordinary parrot, in actual fact he is more intelligent then most people! He gets the family out of a lot of problems but also gets them into numerous problems too.
For some reason IMDb have Harry's Mad as starting in 1996, in actual fact the programme ran from 1993 until 1996. There was some excellent stories throughout the four series life of the show and it is still fresh and enjoyable today as it was when it originally aired.
I'm 22 now and still enjoy watching a few episodes now and again from my tape collection. I don't find them 'childish' like so many modern children's programmes.
I can't understand why so a great programme has been left unrepeated for so many years. I have young cousins who I'm sure would love the programme if only CITV or another channel would show them again.
Brainiac: Science Abuse (2003)
Funniest Science Show Ever
I started watching Brainiac from its second series and it is the funniest science show I've ever seen.
Okay, the main attraction to the show may be the massive explosions but deep within, there are lots of interesting experiments that make you remark "Wow, I don't know that!" From electrocuting celebrities, blowing caravans up to Jon Tickle walking on custard, Brainiac has the wackiest and funniest experiments ever seen on TV, a true masterpiece.
Two spin-off shows have also been produced: 'Brainiac: History Abuse' and 'Brainiac Test Tube Baby'. While 'History Abuse' was a little hit and miss, 'Test Tube Baby' was live and as funny as the main show. Sadly though both have only run for one series.
Good Game Show but showing its age
'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' was totally revolutionary when it first aired in September 1998. The opportunity for someone to become a millionaire by just answering 15 questions was really exciting.
The show originally aired for roughly 10 consecutive nights but later changed to a Saturday night slot.
For the first few years, it was fresh and good to watch, answering the questions along with the contestants was also quite a challenge but as time went on, the show lost some of its character. Underneath the exterior that promotes the chance to win a £million, is basically a bong-standard quiz show. The idea for the show is great but it could seriously do with a complete overall to last another ten years.
Other quiz shows such as 'Blockbusters' and 'Weakest Link' are more competitive and are more exciting to watch.
A Refreshing change to Saturday Night TV
Saturday Night Takeaway is a refreshing change from an evening TV that is mostly filled with Reality-TV.
First aired in 2002, Ant and Dec took the 'Noel's House Party' formula from the 1990's and reintroduced it with success, features include 'Little Ant & Dec', 'Ant & Dec Undercover', 'Beat the Boys' and 'Ant v Dec'. All these add up to a fun-filled show that doesn't involve voting off celebrities or hopeless singers and I really enjoy it.
I don't feel the show has quite the same atmosphere as 'Noel's House Party' and sadly some of the features such as 'Little Ant & Dec' and 'Ant & Dec Undercover' have seemed to have disappeared from later series but other than that, this is a great Saturday Night show.
The Crystal Maze (1990)
Best Game Show Ever!
The Crystal Maze was the highlight of Thursday TV viewing in the early 1990's, no game show before or since has managed to capture the brilliance of this show.
The Crystal Maze started in February 1990 and ran for six series until August 1995. The aim of the game saw six contestants making their way through four 'time zones': Futuristic, Aztec, Medieval and Industrial (which became Ocean in 1992). Within these zones, the contestants played between three and four themed games to win crystals. Each successful game gave the team one crystal which equalled five-seconds of time in the 'Crystal Dome'.
Once contestants had been through all four zones, they went to the Crystal Dome, here contestants had to catch as many gold tokens as possible in the time limit, while they were blown about in the dome. Silver token were also collected but each one of these deducted one gold token from the total.
If the contestants collected over 100 gold tokens after silver deductions, they won some activities to do on a day-trip or holiday.
The Crystal Maze is a pretty unique game show that is as great to watch today (repeated regularly on Challenge) as it was on its first broadcast on Channel 4.
Last of the Summer Wine (1973)
Used To Be Very Good
I loved Last of the Summer Wine in the early 1990's when I was a kid and really enjoyed the mischief Compo, Clegg and Foggy got up to. Story lines also included Compo's constant attempt to attract Nora Batty which was always a laugh, but sadly in 1999, Bill Owen (Compo) passed away. Surprisingly though, the producers just continued making new series. The 'Compo's Funeral' episode was very touching but in my opinion, this should have been the show's final episode, ever since then, the show's quality has declined rapidly. Many of the other major characters have now passed away and often just replaced with other 'similar' characters, making it more like a soap than a much-loved sitcom. Even Clegg (Peter Sallis) is now only in episodes briefly.
I feel the producers are now just trying to keeps the show alive for as long as possible, but with few 'original' characters and poorer story lines, new episodes could tarnish the image of the series that was once brilliant.
Fun and totally different to other video game shows
There has been many video games shows made over the past 20 years or so but none have been as good as GamesMaster.
GamesMaster ran from 1992 until 1998, in a time when gaming was a more of a niche hobby than it is today, yet GamesMaster is still the best video games show ever.
Most other video game shows focus mainly on reviews and previews but GamesMaster's focus was on challenges making it more a game show than a video game show and this is what made it fun.
It seems very strange to me how Channel 4 commissioned a television show dedicated to video games in 1992 when it was really just a niche market for kids yet have no such programme in 2007 when video games are a huge hobby enjoyed by millions of people at any age.
Bring back GamesMaster!!
Family Fortunes (1980)
A Fun Game Show
Family Fortunes was a great game show in which two families play against each other, guessing the results of a survey of 100 people. The family with the most points at the end of the game goes on to play "Big Money" in which two family members have to try and guess the top answer for 5 surveys, if they get all top answers between them, they could win a big prize such as a car or holiday, otherwise they could get a large sum of money if they got over 200 points.
Many of the surveys were very funny and received many strange (but very funny) answers from the contestants.
The only real bad thing about Family Fortunes was its set, some of the earlier series were really dull sets with horrible brown walls, newer series with Les Dennis weren't that bad though, but it's only with the latest series with Vernon Kay does the set really look bright and cheerful.
The Best Quiz Show Ever!
I was only young when they axed the original Blockbusters with Bob Holness but I have good memories of watching it. In recent years Challenge has shown repeats and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them.
Three contestants participated at once, two of them worked together in a team and the third worked on their own. The game was played on a board which consisted of 20 hexagonal blocks, each containing a letter. Players would ask for a particular letter and a question would be asked with the answer starting with the letter the player had chose, if the player got it right then the block would change to their playing colour: Blue for the team and White for the single. The team worked horizontally and the single worked vertically on the board with the goal to create a line of correct answers, the first to create a linked line from left to right (Team) or top to bottom (Single) won the round. After up to three rounds, the player with the most rounds won, took part in a 60 second "Gold Run" and a chance at winning a "big" prize which in later series was usually a holiday.
In my opinion, Blockbusters is the best quiz show ever made, much better than the likes of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Weakest Link. It was fun to watch and sometimes the answers given to questions were hilariously wrong!! It would be fantastic if the show was brought back, it recently appeared in ITVs "Gameshow Marathon" too.
The X Factor (2004)
Become a childish "my acts better than yours" show instead of a talent show.
I used to quite enjoy the X Factor when it first started, however I have been increasingly fed up with the way everybody takes to too seriously and the way the judges act like little spoilt kids especially when someone criticises "their" act.
The auditions are good though and by far the best part of the series. I always find them very funny.
If the judges weren't also mentors, maybe it would improve the show and stop the stupid jibs at other judges acts. Its just so childish.
I think for the next series, I'll watch the auditions and forget the rest.
Turn the clock back to the 90's and bring some decent Saturday shows back to life!
Strictly Come Dancing (2004)
Good show but a bit too serious for Saturday Nights
Strictly Come Dancing is by no means a bad show, it is quite fun and the celebrities participating really enjoy themselves but as a Saturday night TV show, I do feel it is taken far too seriously, judges can be quite harsh and often seem to forget it's just a light entertainment show (Len Goodman blaming the viewers for voting wrong for example). So too do some viewers, getting quite angry if their "favourite" is knocked out.
I loved Saturday night TV in the 1990s when I was a kid, it used to be just all about fun and didn't take itself seriously. If they made Strictly a bit more like that, then it would be a great Saturday night show.
Noel's House Party (1991)
Saturday Entertainment at its Best!
Noel's House Party was probably the best entertainment show of 1990's and hasn't been bettered since.
The show ran from Autumn through to Spring and was full of just "FUN" from the Gotchas to the celebrity guests and of course who could forget the gunging.
I still miss the show after 8 years of being off air and when I look at Saturday Night TV shows today, they are ALL reality shows such as "X Factor" and "Strictly Come Dancing" which I feel have been flogged to the death now and people take them far too seriously.
With Noel's House Party you could sit down and have a good laugh without the need to phone in and vote like so many Saturday shows nowadays want you to do.
"Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway" has done a good job of recreating some of the entertainment from Noel's House Party but hasn't quite got the same atmosphere.