"Kerwhizzitor": Jacob Scipio
Voice cast: Telka Donyai (Kit), Yasmin Garrad (Kaboodle), Alex Velleman (Twist), Jermaine Woods (Snout), Kriselle Basilio (Ninki)
Studio 100 for CBeebies on BBC One, 3 November 2008 to 11 May 2009 (26 episodes in 1 series)
Claimed to be the first quiz for preschoolers (OK, we'll take the bait.... The Shiny Show, Clever Creatures, The Giddy Game Show, Tichpuzzle!), this live action / animation hybrid sees CGI characters competing for advantages in a final race. Actually, the pre-release blurb oversold the show somewhat, suggesting that the studio audience of children (and yes, there is one) would be involved in answering questions and making decisions. This is only true up to a point, as they may shout "pod mod!" at the appropriate moments and laugh at the child-level jokes, but they're not actually influencing the progress of the show in any way, they're merely providing a soundtrack (and a few cutaway shots) to a pre-recorded show.
The basic premise is that the three CGI teams (each made up of a human and a "creature" sidekick, the running joke being that the sidekicks are smarter than the humans) take part in a race through a fantasy world in their flying "pods". But first they must compete in the quiz, with the winning team getting first pick of the "pod mods", these being items which can be used to negotiate obstacles in the race.
The quiz is simple logic and observation questions, and probably pitched about right for the target audience. The characters are quite good and the second half of the show is enjoyably Wacky Races-like. Probably the best element for the grown-ups is the Kerwhizzitor's knowingly cheesy script, which is full of the sort of lines that the late Mark Speight would have relished, and which Jacob Scipio delivers with the appropriate gusto.
All in all, while we probably wouldn't watch it for its own sake, if we were in a room where it was on the telly we wouldn't complain too much.
"Kerwhizz: the quiz with added whizz!"
Tony Reed and Steve Cannon
By Rob Lord.
Answer the questions and get them right You'll have a pod that's out of sight Take your racers round the track Use those mods to get you back In Kerwhizz, the quiz with added whizz
Kerwhizz, the quiz with added whizz It's the biz you'll never want to miss In Kerwhizz, 'cos that's where it is Kerwhizz, the quiz with added whizz
The theme is available to buy as a download.
For those of you scratching the old head about the company behind this, Studio 100 is very much Belgium's answer to Disney (if it is possible to build up such an empire). Set up in 1996 to produce a hugely popular series entitled Samson en Gert (about a kids TV presenter and his pet puppet sheepdog), it has since grown to include a huge production line of children's television output, three theme parks in Flanders and management for several popular-beat combos. They also manage the rights to Beat the Boss, Trapped and The Slammer.
The show is still being repeated on the Cbeebies channel as of 2011.
Kerwhizz Magazine with game - requires Flash