So what did I see?
I am sure you will have heard of Just A Minute, but there were other Ian Messiter shows. My favourite was Many A Slip, the mistakes game. Roy Plomley read out some pieces and the gentlemen or ladies had to spot them (1 point) and correct them (second point). There were also musical mistakes with legend Steve Race. I didn’t quite see the classic line up. David Nixon was there, Eleanor Summerfield and Isobel Barnett, but Paul Jennings had replaced Richard Murdoch. It was a great show, funny, clever and with everyone plainly having a good time and enjoying each other’s company.
We saw one of the first News Quiz recordings, with Barry Norman in the chair. And Son of Cliché, now long forgotten, but both of these were a bit later. Oh, and The Impressionists, with Barry Took, Peter Goodwright and Roger Kitter. I met Stanley Unwin there, a terribly nice man.
A great Messiter show was Fair Deal. David Nixon again (though it was revived later with Paul Daniels). A pack or cards was used, each suit on a topic, a question on each card. Picture cards were more points for harder questions. Panelists had to remember what cards had been picked as they lost points for picking a card that had already gone. It got more hysterical as the episode progressed. The team I saw were June Whitfield, Patrick Moore and Willie Rushton though I have a feeling that comedian Duggie Brown was in it at one time.
There were other venues. One of my favourite shows was Twenty Questions, which I never saw, but did catch the World Service version, Animal, Vegetable or Mineral, at the Playhouse Theatre, by the Thames. Terry Wogan was chairman, Michael Flanders, Bettine Le Beau and Rachael Heyhoe Flint, plus someone I cannot remember, my apologies, possibly Ray Fell, on the team. The quickie on one episode was ‘Michael Flanders’ and it was pretty hysterical.
I also remember something called Mother Nature’s Bloomers. Oh well….