Thursday, 16 June 2016

418 Play Your Cards Right

First  viewed  :  February  1980

Play  Your  Cards  Right  was  given  a  big  build-up  as  the  return  of  Bruce  Forsyth  after  a period  spent  licking  his  wounds  after  the  disaster  that  was  Brucie's  Big  Night.  

The  show  was  based  on  the  American  show  Card  Sharks  and  basically  required  contestants  to  guess  whether  the  next  giant  playing  card  was  going  to  be  higher  or  lower  than  the  one  before. That  was  it  really, no  skill  or  knowledge  required  , just  guesswork  and  a  lot  of  luck. That's  what  all  the  hype  about  Brucie's  big  move  had  come  down  to ,  host  of   the  crappiest  game  show  on  TV.

Of  course  he  had  the  catchphrases  , the  slightly  sadistic  banter  with  the  contestants  and   the young  dolly  birds  turning  over  the  cards   but  that  could  never  compensate  for  the  game  at the  heart  of  the  show  being  utter  shit. The  ratings  were  good  but , you  know , sometimes  the   viewing  public's  just  plain  stupid.

Brucie  was  stuck  in  this  purgatory  for  seven  years  until he  found  an  escape  route  in  America  hosting  Bruce  Forsyth's  Hot  Streak.   He  returned  to  the  UK  to  host  You  Bet  for  a  couple  of  years  then  returned  to  the  BBC  for  three  years  re-installed  as  host  of  The  Generation  Game .  ITV  lured  him  back  in  1994  for  a  relaunch  of   Play  Your  Cards  Right   which  lasted  for  the  rest  of  the  decade. Bruce  had  a  new  toupee  for  this  which  makes  dating  stills  and  clips  a  bit  easier.

The  show  was  revived  again  in  2002   but  now  the  show, the  host  and  most  importantly  the  audience  were  tired  and  it  was  axed  after  12  episodes.


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  2. I can relate to your sentiments re the quality of the actual game. I far more enjoyed Fantasy Football League's parody, with Skinner's Bruce impression including the memorable lines "welcome to Play Your Inside Right/the wife's too young and the jokes are shite".

    I recall the "guest" was Baddiel as Jimmy Hill, whose name was described as "sounding like a piece of high ground where you'd go for a piss". Apologies for the random aside!

  3. I remember Skinner's line and thinking "Whoo that's a kick in the crotch !