Blingo'r Bwci



Narrator: unknown


IE Ideas for S4C, 29 July to ? 2002 (18 episodes)


Unconventional game show broadcast over the summer (so, it was bound to fail) set in a stylish betting shop where three contestants predicted the outcomes of weird goings on filmed specially for the programme around Wales.

There were two women (one of whom was probably Eleri Sion) in the studio, made to look like a bookmakers' office, plus two men on the road. One of these was the Bwci (that’s bookie) who priced up each betting opportunity, while the other (a character in Pobol y Cwm, maybe?) acted as his witness.

In each round (and there were seven or eight in each show), the three players in the studio were shown a betting opportunity and asked to wager on the outcome. Each player started with £100, with minimum bets at £20 per round and players could not skip any round. Once all players had handed over their betting slips (which looked more like the sort of thing used to take down meal orders at a restaurant, no less), the message on the film said ‘Betting Over’, then the film contined to reveal the outcome. Winning bets were rewarded with returns.

What were they betting on? Anything and Everything. From which type of bread a shopper would aim for, which of four people would cross the road on a pelican crossing first, even down to asking someone in the street who their favourite member of the Royal Family was (that really did happen). You can make comparisons with Banzai at this point, and indeed it is a totally serious version, with totally serious money at stake.

Even a totally serious situation of someone making five losing bets in a row and having no money left. It was either an early ejection from the studio/office, or a chance to pawn off an item of the player for £20 for the next round. Win, and they got some winnings to pay back the pawning. Lose and the player doesn’t see the item again. One player even lost his wife’s favourite earrings in this way.

The player with the most cash would go on to an end game and... hang on, who is that coming in? Why it’s the Bwci! He comes with a head or tail guessing game (pre-dating ‘Heads or Tails’ by a few years) with eleven specially minted coins with a pig’s face and snout on one side and a pig’s curly tail on the reverse. Instead of spinning the coins, the guess was which side up the next coin in the pile was. There were ten guesses at a minimum of £10 per go with the stake doubled for a correct guess. At the end, the winning player got to toast their success (or otherwise) with bucks fizz.

There was no host, just a narrator. Ask any self-respecting expert of regional television in Wales about this series and they'll probably say to you that this was one of the worst shows that S4C ever broadcast. Such was the extent of this flop that the production company have not produced a programme for the station since.


Jessie May


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