Knockout Game Show

It's A Knockout Game Show - Made My Sides Ache!

Does anybody remember It's A Knockout' on the good old BBC in the 70's? What a treat that was for the whole family. It's A Knockout was compulsive viewing in our house. The whole family would get real comfy around telly and delight at the stupid games, water fights and of course those hilarious Giant characters nodding about with stupid expressions on their faces.

The interest and great laughter came from the cleverly inventive Knockout games such as: Elastic Bungee runs, Greasy Poles, Water Fights, Water Slides, Slippery Turntables, Giants in Costumes and more. All of course with some good old BBC Gunge thrown in. Loved it!

Of course we had the local regional heats first, traipsing across merry old UK 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 (a much better idea), which I think as called "Jeux Sans Frontières", which if my French serves me well means something like "Games Without Borders"... all in the interests of better Euro-relations.

A friend told me that It's A Knockout actually started in the late 1960s in black and white but became a top show in the early 70's. The main compère I remember was 'Mad as a Hatter', 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 blond.

Of course there are now companies that have revived the It's A Knockout concept for team-building, private parties and family fun-days, I guess to cater for our nostalgia.

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 Knockout's 'Dip-Stick'? He used to carry a very long stick to measure water collected from some precarious collection game? Was it Arthur someone or Eddie Waring? Or was he the Knockout referee with the whistle? He couldn't talk that's for sure!

Whatever. I 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".)

August 2019

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