It’s a Knockout TV Show – The BBC Should Repeat

It’s a Knockout TV Show – The BBC Should Repeat it Again

I remember the fantastic ‘It’s A Knockout’ on the good old BBC in the 1970′s. You could guarantee a night of laughter from the very silly but inventive Knockout games. Remember the Elastic Bungee runs, Greasy Poles, Water Slides, Water Fights, Spinning Turntables, Giant Mad Monks and more with some good old BBC Gunge thrown in for added effect. Loved it!

They had the regional heats of It’s A Knockout first, traipsing across merry old UK, usually in the winter weather in some forsaken farmer’s field maybe! It’s a Knockout would then go on to the European version for summer viewing (much better idea), which I think as called “Jeux Sans Frontires”, which if my French serves me well means something like “Games Without Borders”… all in the interests of better Euro-relations. But we still wanted to stuff the French didn’t we ?

An informed colleague told me (probably got it from WikiPedia) that It’s A Knockout actually started it’s TV life in the late 1960s in black & white but peaked in the early 70′s. The main compere I remember was Stuart ‘Mad as a Hatter’ Hall, running around like a demented pixie and laughing hysterically at the contestants antics. He would ‘interview’ contestants before and after a silly game; confirm the ‘Joker’ had been played; try to hold the show together with commentary and of course check the scores with the dolly bird scorer, whom usually wore very tight hot-pants, the must have 70s fashion item for any self respecting dumb-blond.

There was a ‘Marathon’ game that I think was ongoing between each other individual Knockout game. I can;t remember quite how this one worked but I think it was the BIG game that was spun out over the show to build a bit of tension to the scoring. The Joker of course could be played for a very confident team to double their points but was often squandered!

And who was the Knock-out’s ‘Dip-Stick’? He used to carry a very long stick to measure water collected from some precarious caollection game? Was it Arthur someone or Eddie Waring ?? Or was he the Knockout referree with the whistle? He couldn’t talk that’s for sure!!

Whatever. I do remember it fondly and in the pre-digital, reality TV age with only 3 channels to choose from then it was good family viewing… I don’t suppose It’s A Knockout would last the test of time now? (unless it was called “I’m a celebrity, get me on the new knockout show cos I haven’t been picked for anything else show”).

Harry Spirali is a web consultant for Digital Idiom Web Design – he helps advise on web development, design and search engine optimisation in the UK.

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