My Kind of Music



Michael Barrymore


LWT for ITV, 8 February 1998 to 29 March 2002 (49 episodes in 5 series + 7 unaired)


It's Name That Tune but hosted by Britain's Favourite Host (as voted for by his close family) Michael Barrymore!

This attempted game show-, people show- and a music show-in-one didn't do a bad job, to be fair. Three couples put their musical and performing knowledge to the test for a big cash prize.

Before we get to the actual "game" part of it, Barrymore would spend the first ten minutes of the show bantering with all three couples, which while it was fun to watch, it felt like we were watching Strike it Rich 2.0, and we have an hour to get through this show. Yes, an hour.

Pick the Picture is the opening round where nine pictures of various celebrities would appear on the screen, a song would then be played and the contestants would have to try and connect the song to one of the pictures in some way, £100 for each correct answer.

The rejected video wall, which was going to be used for the pilot episode of Today's the Day.

After that, round two would have one contestant from each couple perform a song in front of the audience, the other contestant from that couple who didn't sing would then ask the two other couples a question or two related to the song, £100 for each correct answer.

My Kind of People is the third round where the contestants would watch a video of various people (some performing good, some performing incredibly badly, most of them the latter) singing on a stage in the middle of a shopping centre, while Michael sung a long with them and generally messed about. After the clips were shown the contestants would have to answer questions on what they just saw, £150 for each correct answer.

I' smile.
Urgh, why did I sign the contract for this.

Vox Pops is round four where it's very much like that Guess Who? round from Telly Addicts. Contestants are given five descriptive clues to a song from members of the public, contestants would then write down the answer down and hit the buzzer, depending on how early they buzz in, a maximum of £250 is on offer if they get it right after one clue, £50 is decreased on each next clue but they do get progressively easier.

After the fourth round, the couple with the least amount of money was sent off. We would then have a musical interlude (where at some points Michael gets involved).

Mega Mix is the last round where the remaining two couples would pick an artist/band of nine on the board, they would then be shown six music videos from the artist/band they chose and they would then have to name those six songs, £200 for each correct answer.

And then after that final round, the team with that scored the most amount of money would advance on for a chance to win BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG MONEY!!!

Musical Families tried to be a new concept for a round, but not a very good one. Contestants tried to guess the names of four musical stars who had been formed into a fictional family. The idea was that the mother and father were old enough to have had their two (fictional) children - not a particularly strong clue. Anyway, Bazza would read out long description clues of each person in turn, à la Going for Gold. The first three people were worth a thousand each and the fourth won the jackpot of £10,000. But isn't £13,000 a decidedly odd amount of money to give away?

Aww, a nice touch to end the show.

A lot of Michael Barrymore's appeal was working with the audience, and hecklers were usually welcome for a quick joke. Other than that, the format didn't quite work but at least the graphics were nice.

Second Series Changes

We didn't think much of the first series, but we were surprised that it was recommissioned for a second series. Was it any better? Let's find out.

Each show would now begin with a quick introduction of all three couples names and then Barrymore would do his usual spiel of bantering with a couple for a good few minutes and then ask the person in that couple to sing a song in front of the audience, the two remaining couples would then be asked a question on that song, £50 for a correct answer. And then repeat the routine two more times. This felt like a better flow for the start of the show because it gives us a bit of a breather from the Barrymore/contestants banter to give us a chance to hear the contestants sing no matter how good or bad they are.

Musical Knowledge is one of the new rounds introduced for this series and is the new second round. This is a general knowledge based on music where Michael would ask a series of quickfire questions against the clock, £50 for each correct answer.

A question mark? In a game show? That's new.
Hmm, let's see how many songs I hated since the axing of this show. "Just a Little" by Liberty X, "Pure and Simple" by Hear'Say...

My Kind of People remained unchanged as the third round but every correct answer was now £100.

Pick the Picture was now the fourth round with every correct answer now worth £150.

Sing the Song is another new round introduced for this series, which was the new fifth round as a replacement to Vox Pops and is a charades type game. Each couple had 60 seconds, a singer or band would be shown on the large screen and the one contestant had to sing to the other a song by them, so they can try and guess it, and then swapping over after each song, £150 for each correct answer.

Let's role-play while singing...yeah!

The couple with the lowest amount of money after the fifth round was eliminated from the game. And yes, the musical interludes return.

Mega Mix is still the penultimate round for the remaining two couples, but is now round six with a change of format. Each couple would now pick a year that they have chosen before the show and were shown clips of six songs from that chosen year, they then had to name both the singer/band and the song, £100 if they get one half correct, £200 if they get both.

After that, the remaining couple that scored the lowest amount of is eliminated. For the winning already know.

Producers' have learned their lesson from the first series and created a better flow for the show in this second series. Oh, and a really nice series finale performance with Michael and some of the former contestants performing their rendition of "Can't Help Falling In Love".

The Millennium and The Last Couple of Years

With a third series commissioned, the show was given a brand new timeslot, Fridays at 8pm to be exact.

Only one round change was made in this series and Pick a Picture was replaced by Pop Props. In this round, Barrymore would go behind a Jukebox, collect some items and show them to the couples, the items are visual clues to either an artist or a band. Each correct answer is worth £100. This was introduced as the new third round for this and future series, which means that My Kind of People was now round four.

In series four, the cash prize in Musical Families was given an increase to £16,000, which meant that for getting one correct is worth £1,000, £2,000 for two, £3,000 for three and as always £10,000 for all four.

But a week after series four finished, a body was found in Barrymore's home, later revealed to be Stuart Lubbock.

The death of Stuart Lubbock at Barrymore's house in 2001 caused the star to be arrested on drugs charges. After charges were discontinued, a fifth series consisting of 12 episodes was commissioned in 2002, but only 5 were shown. Barrymore's contract with ITV lapsed at the end of 2002; his silence at the Lubbock inquest in September took him off television for some years.

This ultimately ended My Kind of Music abruptly with the 7 unaired episodes never seeing the light of day for over two decades in the ITV archives.

Key moments

Michael singing (reasonably well) every week in the studio with someone "he met whilst filming".

If the contestants didn't know an answer, he'd sometimes offer it to a member of the audience for the same money. A nice touch.

On one show, a contestant brought his mother and girlfriend along to sit in the audience, and Barrymore mistook the former for the latter, to much hilarity. And even more so when it turned out that the contestant's mother was Italian, and didn't speak English - so he had to explain to her in Italian what Barrymore had just said.


Mike Reid, former presenter of Runaround, wrote some of the questions.

One episode featured Paul Potts, who would later go on to win Britain's Got Talent - and on this show, he didn't even get to sing. Other future stars to appear on the show included Rachel Tucker and Jodie Prenger of I'd Do Anything. 20% of the original Popstars final ten appeared, too: Jessica Taylor (latterly of Liberty X) was a contestant, and Danny Foster (of Hear'Say) appeared in the "My Kind of People" segment.

Barrymore's former wife, the late Cheryl Barrymore, was credited as programme consultant.

My Kind of Music was a spin-off from the "My Kind of People" segment of Barrymore's entertainment show. In this part, the host toured the country asking people to sing and dance in shopping centres. There weren't prizes, so we don't deem this a game show, but we should note that it found a few stars of the future - Jon Lee of S Club 7, David Wickenden was later part of Four Poofs and a Piano, Gareth Gates of Pop Idol, and Vanessa White from The Saturdays and Popstar to Operastar. A series of My Kind of People had aired in autumn 1995, but had no competition as we recognise it.

Web links

Wikipedia entry


File:Barrymore musicpose.jpgBarrymore's video wall.


An episode from 1999 (with Paul Potts as contestant)


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