Blockbusters

I was a bit young to fully enjoy Blockbuster. I would have struggled to answer a question like “What ‘O’ is the generic word for any living animal or plant, including bacteria and viruses?”.

That question was answered incorrectly with “Orgasm” during a famous outtake, that cheeky sense of humour ran throughout and then there was the host, Bob Holness. His response to the above was to cooly but knowingly say “There are reasons I can’t accept that particular answer”.

A grey haired headmaster-type seems an unusual choice of host for a show that was only one place above a children’s programme. The contestants were sixth-formers. But Bob made for the perfect host.

The gameplay was simple. There was a board with yellow hexagons with letters on which would be the first letter of the answer.

The winner of each game would go through to the Gold Run which had more complicated answers. As a kid I was always hoping the contestant wouldn’t complete the Gold Run so I could hear the (suitable) bad luck music.

There was even a boardgame brought out, which in pre-technology days used bits of cardboard and plastic to recreate the game board. Imagine my excitement when about ten years later (long after the series bit the dust) I got to play it!.

When the series ended in the early 90s it was much missed, not just by me, when BBC2 relaunched it I remember tuning in. Now hosted by Micheal Aspel and with adult contestants it was boring which proves that such a simple format needed the right host to be successful.

I’ll have a P please Bob.

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