On Safari (1)



Christopher Biggins


Gillian Taylforth


TVS for ITV, 16 February 1982 to 11 December 1984 (54 episodes in 4 series + 1 special)


Bizarre afternoon game show with a jungle-themed studio set. Contestants progress through a number of rounds and get eliminated along the way.

The scores were written on tablets for each team, of which there were two - parent/child combos.

File:Onsafari christopherbiggins gilliantaylforth.jpgThis probably made some sort of sense at the time

One round we can remember with any clarity is the swamp, were three contestants would progress along their own trail of stepping stones to try and get a bunch of golden bananas at the end. However, on three of the four routes the final stepping stone was loose, hence unlucky contestants fall in the gunge. The round had some aspect that they would win objects to try to cross the swamp with (such as a ladder), or other things that weren't so helpful.

File:Onsafari gilliantaylforth.jpgComedy glasses were a standard prop in the 1980s, but you never see them now. Funny that.

Another round in the early seasons were these huge sponge flowers that were like Venus Fly Traps. In the centre was a jewel. Contestants had to lean in and pull the jewel out, but (oh, no!) two of the three wouldn't release its treasure and would "eat" the contestant. There was also a similar round with mummys in sarcaophogi which would grab the contestants. Another round possibly had them swinging over a pool on a tyre swing.

Later series was later revamped to be a bit more Crystal Maze-ish. They had to build a bridge across the swap etc.

Most noteworthy for the most puntastic catchphrase ever (see below).


"Safari, so goody!"

Biggins: "Say goodbye, Gillian"
Taylforth: "Goodbye, Gillian". (Shades of "Say goodnight, JV", "Goodnight, JV" some ten years later on Big Break).


Co-devised by producer Tony McLaren and ex-Runaround adjudicator Tim Edmunds.

Theme music

Roar Music


The 1982 Christmas special featured Lynsey De Paul, Jeanette Charles (Elizabeth II lookalike), Kenny Lynch, Suzanne Danielle, Billy Dainty (vaudeville star), Nicola & Shirley Anne Field, Damian & Melvyn Hayes.

It was one of the very first TVS productions recorded at what were the Southern Television studios by the River Itchen in Southampton (Southern had somewhat grudgingly allowed the so-called 'Portakabin TV' to start producing programmes there ahead of the franchise handover).

Web links

Wikipedia entry


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