Basil's Game Show

Image:Basil's Game Show logo.jpg



Barney Harwood and "Basil Brush" (Michael Windsor)

Johny Pitts (stand-in host, episode 18, series 3)


The Foundation for BBC One, 11 January to 4 April 2008 (13 episodes in 1 series)

The Foundation for CBBC, 14 April 2009 to 20 November 2010 (38 episodes in 2 series)


Another week, another show cobbled together with bits of other programmes. See if you can guess which phrase we never thought we'd have to use about a children's TV show.

Three teams, each named after an animal, compete to win some semi-inspiring prizes, ranging from a wheely-bin pencil sharpener (contain your excitement) to something quite new-fangled and shiny.

Round One is Dunk Beds. This is lifted directly from Takeshi's Castle. Yes, Takeshi's Castle. One member of the team lies on a bed, the other tries to push them far enough to score points but not so far that they fall in to the obligatory gunge pool at the end of the game. Health and Safety must have loved that one... At the end of the round, the lowest scoring team gets their wheely bin pencil sharpener, and yes, a gorilla ride home.

Round Two involves dressing up as fish, knocking over sharks and screaming in a mechanism we don't entirely understand. We won't be going back to examine further. At the end of the round, yada, yada, yada.

Round Three involves a "Gunge-u-lator" (think Gladiators, but horizontal) and attempting to pass food down it to someone dressed up at the other end (who may or may not also have appeared on Mighty Truck of Stuff), while the "Gunge-u-lator"" gets slowly faster. Should they fall over... you can guess what happens next. Right up to the Gorilla Ride Home.

As is usually the case with Saturday morning telly, we're sure it's fine if you're eight, but not so if you want something original. But it's better than anything ITV's coming up with...

Series 2

Following its move to the CBBC Channel, the programme underwent a few changes. Firstly, Barney Harwood got a credit in the title, as the programme became known as Basil and Barney's Game Show. Secondly, although the first round remained the same, the second round changed to be staged in a mock Western town. Each team has a hand-cranked conveyor belt with buckets attached. While one team member cranks the conveyor, the other fills the buckets with gunge. As the buckets go over the end of the conveyor, the gunge falls into a measuring cylinder. The key to the game is to crank the conveyor fast enough to fill the cylinder as quickly as possible, but not too fast that the gunge misses it as it falls out of the buckets. The winning team is the first to fill their cylinder, with the other team being eliminated. For some reason, the winners then enter a mock mine shaft and are then gunged.

The final round was also changed, and now goes by the name of Yetis in Space. The proceedings in this round take place in a space-themed maze. Both team members sit back-to-back, each with their feet tied together, on a special dual-direction vehicle. The team member facing forwards is blind-folded, while the one facing backwards shouts directions as they move around the maze. Some teams quickly realised however the trick is to turn the vehicle around, letting the sighted team member do all the work, and leaving the now rear-facing blind-folded team member to just come along for the ride.

As they travel around the maze, they must find and open a number of large cocoons. Inside are blue, yellow, and red spheres, referred to as eggs, which they must collect in a special hopper atop their vehicle. Yellow eggs win the team instant prizes, which they get to keep no matter what. The team must also collect three blue eggs in order to open the exit to the maze and, should they make it there, win the star prize (typically a games console). However, collecting three blue eggs, or just a single red egg means the team have just ten seconds before the Yeti (aka a man in a rat costume with a large net), who is the keeper of the maze, is released. It is then a matter of the team reaching the exit of the maze before the Yeti catches them in order to secure the star prize. They can of course risk looking for for more yellow eggs to win more prizes, but if they are caught, they miss out of the star prize, and walk away with whatever instant prizes they may have won.

Key moments

Falling into gunge. Gorilla rides home. Need we say more?


"Boom Boom!"

"And your Gorilla Ride Home!"


For some not properly explained reason, Johny Pitts stood in for Barney Harwood in one episode during the third series.

Web links

BBC programme page

Wikipedia entry

See also

Weaver's Week review


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