Thursday, 17 March 2016

356 3-2-1

First  viewed :  1978

We  know  a  new  decade  is  approaching  as  the  eighties'  stalwart  shows  start  appearing  in  the  schedules.

3-2-1  was  based  on  a  Spanish  game  show  and  was  first  broadcast  in  the  summer  of  1978.  Although  not  in  the  same  time  slot - Saturday  evening  as  opposed  to  Sunday  tea  times - it  was  essentially  the  successor  to  The  Golden  Shot  , half  game  show, half  variety  show  held  together  by  a  smart  host. Instead  of  Bob  Monkhouse  you  had  former  redcoat  comedian  Ted  Rogers  who  had  done  warm  up  acts  for  Perry  Como  and  Bing  Crosby   as  well  as hosting  variety  performances. Ted  was  assisted  by  a  bevy  of  forgettable  dolly  birds  including  Mireille  Allonville  who  didn't  appear  to  speak  English  very  well.

Like  Sale  of  the  Century  or  The  Generation  Game  the  aim  was  to  win  money  and  prizes  , the  twist  being  that  you  could  end  up  winning  merely  a  new  dustbin. Hence  the  show's  mascot  was  Dusty  Bin , half  clown  half   er  bin. It  was  quite  a  risk  to  have  a  bin  fronting  the  show  but  it  was  very  popular.

At  first  the  variety was  provided  by  a  dance  troupe  and  a  trio  of  second  rate  comedians  i.e  no  one   who  was  going  to  upstage  Ted , but  as  the  show  got  a  bigger  budget , guest  performers  from  the  light  entertainment  world  drop in  to  do  a  turn  and  then  bring  a  cryptic  clue  to   the  couple  who'd  battled  through  the  earlier  rounds.

The  clues  referred  to  the  five  prizes  including  the  bin  and  were  so  convoluted  the  poor  sods  stood  precious  little  chance  of  unravelling  them. Seeing  them  struggling  to  unpick  the  nonsense  doggerel  was  part  of  the  fun  though. It  has  been  suggested  that  the  clues  had  multiple  interpretations  so  that  the  producers  actually  chose  what  prize  the  couple  received.

It  was  reasonably  entertaining ; Rogers  was  a  skilled  host   but  I  didn't  often  want  to  commit  an  hour  to  watching  it.

It  was  axed  after  ten  years  while  still  holding  its  place  in  the  ratings  causing  Ted  to  fulminate  against  the  "Oxbridge  lot"  who'd  deemed  it  too  downmarket , an  argument  which  doesn't  hold  too  much  water  when  you  consider  the  likes  of  The  Price  Is  Right  were  still  going  strong.

Poor  Ted  then  cut  a  rather  sad  figure,  touring  the  bin  round  the  seaside  towns  before  going  bankrupt  in  1992. He  still  worked  in  show  business  making  occasional  appearances  on  TV  before  his  death  following  open  heart  surgery  in  2001.

1 comment:

  1. I vaguely remember the show (more for Dusty Bin than anything), but it stands out more for it inspiring the Viz one-off strip "Ted Rogers in the 25th Century".