Tuesday, 7 April 2015
132 The Golden Shot
First watched : 1973
I don't think this was ever on in our house but I caught it once or twice next door.
This unfathomably popular game show was based on a German series. Basically contestants had to hit a target with a crossbow bolt by verbally guiding a blindfolded cameraman. That was it basically but the rounds were interspersed by banter from the host and special guests from the fields of music and comedy. First host Alex Rae in 1967 was quickly bumped by the shark-eyed , perma-tanned Bob Monkhouse who made sure he upstaged Rae in his guest appearance.
Monkhouse was absolutely vital to the show. Because half the contestants were playing by telephone it was a live show and utterly shambolic. Monkhouse's sharp wit and fleet-footedness held it together amid the missed cues, prematurely-fired bolts , arithmetically challenged dolly birds and tongue-tied contestants.
Monkhouse was controversially dismissed in 1972 for accepting a gift from Wilkinson Sword who then provided a prize for the show. It was very small beer. The producers then suicidally allowed him to present a last show with his replacement Norman Vaughan watching from the wings and having to endure a series of jibes from Bob egged on by the audience.
Though a successful comedian Vaughan never stood a chance and things got even worse when the utterly crap Yorkshire comedian Charlie Williams replaced him. He was completely at sea; contestants were lucky if he got half their name right. In 1974 the execs swallowed hard and invited Bob back. He agreed but , suspecting that the show may have had its day, he made it a condition that he be allowed to host a new show which became Celebrity Squares. A much sharper operator than he's generally given credit for, Bob's instincts were absolutely right and the show was axed the following year.