daily mail headlines
This is played in tribute to the columnists of that great national newspaper. When it was founded in 1896 by Lord Northcliff the Mail’s first readers didn’t know what to think. These days, thanks to Lynda Lee-Potter’s column, they’ve no need to even bother. In this round one of the team members suggests a word and each succeeding panellist to add one more word, either before or after in sequence, until the chairman judges that they have built up a typical Daily Mail headline.
daily mail history of fear
The world of journalism throws up some tough jobs. For several years Dr. Graeme
Garden was a cookery editor for the Lancet and many readers still swear by his
mouth watering recipe for Phlegm Brûlée. In this round the Chairman takes the teams
through a chronology of historical events for which they should provide a
typical Daily Mail style headline.
The Chairman has just been scammed by a Nigerian prince, quite frankly his
version of Purple Rain was pitiful. The Chairman supplies answers to a number of
every day problems posed by students and the teams task is to guess what the
original questions might have been.
a day in the life
Another name for In Their Own Words.
The cardinal sin of wireless broadcasting is total silence, or dead air. However, the teams will be doing well to replicate the stunned silence that greeted Barry last weekend addressing the Church of England Ladies Bible Class Committee - perhaps he shouldn’t have spent quite so long in the bar before telling the one about the bloke who went out to fly stunt kites in the Kent countryside. The chairman has some famous pieces of radio silence for the panellists to identify.
diy 70s cop show
This game is a tribute to the popular TV series Life on Mars, in which a chap goes into a deep coma at the beginning of the series and keeps waking up to find himself in 1973. He’s stolen my life! In this round the teams are asked to come up with a 1970s cop show drama.
The 70s were much simpler times, long before the age of the hoodie and the ASBO. These days it’s even necessary to send grumpy grannies to prison, but I notice that that 85-year old that was put away successfully appealed against her sentence, and had it reduced from 6 months to life. Each of the panellists is furnished with a sound effect common to the 70s detective genre for them to play in.
diy costume drama
Our TV schedules are currently awash with classic adaptations - including Daniel Deronda from the book by George Eliot (which is one of the Chairman’s favourites - he has made a life long study of Eliot’s work and in his opinion there is no writer to match him). Thackeray is another writer whose work has been plundered for television, although the Chairman was sorely disappointed by the BBC’s adaptation of Vanity Fair. What were they thinking? They completely missed out the problem page, and where were the handy make-up hints?
In this round each panellist to take the part of a character from a typical costume drama. Scene changes are signaled with the Chairman’s horn. A variety of appropriate sound effects are provided which can be played in by the panellists.
diy detective drama
As TV detective dramas are all the rage these days the teams next challenge is to improvise their own. One very popular recent series was Life on Mars, where the lead character slipped into a coma and woke up to find himself in 1973 - welcome to Humph’s world. Surely the finest TV detective of them all was Morse, who would famously never let anyone know his first name - it was later revealed to be Mickey.
Each of the panellists are given a part in the drama, and they are all given a selection of familiar sound effects common to the detective genre which they can play in themselves.
diy sci-fi drama
The teams construct their own Science Fiction drama. Barry Cryer is well versed in science fiction having played a small role in Planet of the Apes. In preparation Barry spent many hours with the prosthetics experts having a huge floppy purple backside expertly disguised. Each panellist is given a role and the chairman furnishes them with familiar sound effects common to the science fiction genre that they can play in themselves.
There is an interesting trend with the soaps these days in that they seem to have become a rest home for ageing faded performers to make the occasional stumbling cameo appearance. That’s not the only thing that makes the teams ideal for this round. In fact our own Barry Cryer recently auditioned for a part in East Enders. Sadly he was unable to take the job due to an injury. The very night before his first shoot, just as he was leaving the bar, some clumsy fool trod on his hand.
In this game the teams create a brand new soap opera given just the characters. They may also be given some sound effects to weave into the scenes.
We all go for a regular check ups these days, but a recent survey discovered that over 60% of hospital consultations are completely unnecessary - the Chairman must mention that to his gynaecologist. Health scares are all the rage at the moment with a massive range of types of flu to choose from. There’s swine flu that came from Mexican pigs, Avian flu that came from French mineral water, and now there is boiler flu that makes you faint when you get the bill from your heating engineer.
One team suffers from an unusual medical complaint and have just been called for their appointment with the doctors of the other team. The first team outlines their symptoms and points are awarded based on how accurately they diagnose the condition.
We are a very charitable nation; when the Chairman was stopped by a nose-ringed
Australian with a charity clipboard he was more than delighted to disclose Tim
Brooke-Taylor’s sensitive bank details. The teams are asked to suggest some
names of charities doomed to fail.
This round is a tribute to the TV series Dragons’ Den in which hopeful inventors and entrepreneurs present their ideas to a panel of potential investors. The show provides top class entertainment making venture capital investment interesting to the layman through the winning combination of ritual humiliation and verbal abuse.
Actually, it seems a lot of TV relies on people being abusive to each other these days - Big Brother is virtually nothing else and those inmates don’t even know the derivation of the term Big Brother, they think Orwell is a big green furry duck. Ignorant fools, he’s actually turquoise. Each team takes turns to be dragons while the other side presents their business opportunity and attempt to gain financial support for it.
the dragons’ then
This round is based on the TV show called The Dragons’ Den where
entrepreneurs who believe they have a viable business idea but who lack funding
and advice pitch their concept to a panel of successful multi-millionaires. The
format originated in Japan where it is called Tiger Of Money, a pun based on the
name of one their most famous World War II Generals. There’s a concept to be
admired, honouring your favourite war criminals by naming light entertainment
shows after them. But they are not alone that daytime show about buying houses
at auction was originally a German format called Homes Under the Himmler with
the auctioneer’s popular catchphrase “Göring, Göring, gone.” In this round
the only difference from the original is that this version is set in the past.
The teams are blindfolded and have to identify things being dropped. A selection of common or garden objects are dropped for the teams delight. As each object is dropped the teams should attempt to guess what it is and make a note or it on the paper provided.
Fascinating and beloved creature, the duck can live for 5 to 10 years in the
wild, 8 years in captivity, and about 45 minutes in Chinatown. As you would
expect of this game the panellists have been paired with 4 variously talented
performing ducks so at the Chairman’s command, each panellist will encourage
their duck to perform a popular quotation uttered by a well known person, and
opposing panellists will score points if they are able to identify either the
quotation or the person who uttered it.
Why aren’t there more ducks on the radio? The teams are set to bring duck performance to the radio, each will reprise a classic scene from film or musical theatre with one of their number playing a central role, as a duck.
The teams will attempt to produce a Duck version of some popular tunes. Each
panellist has been issued with his own duck which he has been specially training
to provide an A Cappella rendition of a well known tune for the remaining
panellists to guess. If any duck is deemed to be struggling to hold the tune
Colin Sell will be asked to provide piano accompaniment. Coincidentally Colin
tells us that birds have played a pivotal role in his career, he said once in
1974 he was prevented from playing the cello by a little thrush so took up the
dumbing & dumber
TV schedulers appear to be competing to achieve the lowest possible common denominator. (Coincidentally, Tim Brooke-Taylor appeared recently on Wife Swap, and we were all amused to see he had no idea how to operate a Microwave. Perhaps he should have swapped her for something less complicated.)
In this round the teams challenge will be to come up with ideas for revamping a certain TV programme so its cost and intellectual content are even lower than the current batch on offer. Team A will suggest a way of making the programme more exciting for less money. Team 2 then has to suggest a means of reducing either the cost or the IQ even further. The the first team does the same. And so on, and so on, and so on,
dumbing sex up-down
This round looks at two regrettable modern traits, dumbing down and sexing up. By looking at classic books, plays, films, or radio and TV programmes , the teams are asked to make them more attractive to that most elusive of marketing groups - the 18 to 35 year old male.
The teams have to reverse the appalling trend of dumbing down that has recently blighted so much radio and television broadcasting. They are asked to make suggestions of radio and TV shows that might be made more up-market, sophisticated, or intellectually challenging.
Keyboard because Colin Sell is at the keyboard, and dummy because Colin Sell is at the keyboard. Colin Sell taps out a rhythm on any keyboard other than a piano and the teams have to guess what it is he is tapping out.
The teams sing duets in the style of unlikely partnerships.