15 items from 2012
Last night, Jimmy's Food Factory became plain old Food Factory. Jimmy Doherty has abandoned the show in order to shout at supermarkets on Channel 4. And, even though Food Factory remains a pop science show about mass-produced food, Jimmy's absence has changed the feel of the show entirely.
Food Factory was much more downbeat under Doherty's watch – the whole idea of mass-produced food seemed to disgust and repel him. But new host Stefan Gates, formerly of kid's shows Gastronauts and Incredible Edibles, has changed all that. He practically cartwheels through episodes, fizzing with so much enthusiasm for orange squash and Cup-a-Soups that you end up spending the entire episode worrying about him. At one point during a trip to a salt factory, his exuberance »
- Stuart Heritage
As 56 Up director Michael Apted prepares to hand over the baton, which shows have outshone their original formats
There's a tradition in sport known as "retiring the shirt", in which the squad number worn by a particularly influential player is taken out of circulation: in American basketball, the vest in question will sometimes be symbolically raised into the rafters above the court. A similar issue arises in TV when a format becomes connected with particular personnel and the dilemma is represented twice in next week's schedules.
While promoting the return of 56 Up (Monday, 9pm, ITV1), director Michael Apted showed commendable lack of ego and squeamishness, in addressing a sensitive technical question.
As the now almost 50-year-old project was intended to follow a group of children through their lives and Apted was three times the age of his subjects at the beginning, a majority of the participants are likely to outlive him. »
- Mark Lawson
With a revival of Blockbusters launching soon, we tot up the scores for some of television's most-loved gameshow hosts
The ever-affable broadcaster Simon Mayo is to turn gameshow host for a new series of the cult quiz show Blockbusters. Launched in 1983, the show ran for 11 years before eventually disappearing from the schedules. The revival comes just a short while after its much-loved host, Bob Holness, died aged 83.
Holness was as much a part of Blockbusters as the hexagonal gameboard, Gold Runs and end-of-series hand jives: Mayo will have big shoes to fill when the new series lands on Challenge TV this spring. But which other hosts have enlivened television's many gameshows? . Step up to the oche, come on down and say what you see, as we run down six of the best. Your thoughts on who else should join them welcome, as ever
Holness was beloved by »
- Daniel Bettridge
BBC Radio 2's Simon Mayo will host a new series of 'Blockbusters'. The DJ will star in a revival of the classic quiz show - whose original host Bob Holness died last month at the age of 83 - on Challenge TV and has assured viewers he has no plans to change the format of the programme, which aired on ITV from 1983 to 1994. He told The Sun newspaper: 'No one needs to worry, it will be exactly the same - same set, same board, same theme tune although slightly updated. 'The prizes will probably be the same too although you won't win a dictionary, you win an e-reader. 'The spirit of the show will be »
BBC Radio 2's Simon Mayo will host a new series of 'Blockbusters'. The DJ will star in a revival of the classic quiz show - whose original host Bob Holness died last month at the age of 83 - on Challenge TV and has assured viewers he has no plans to change the format of the programme, which aired on ITV from 1983 to 1994. He told The Sun newspaper: "No one needs to worry, it will be exactly the same - same set, same board, same theme tune although slightly updated. "The prizes will probably be the same too although »
Produced by Thames and filmed at Sky’s new production facility Sky Studios, Blockbusters will return to our screens later this spring.
The move comes just a few weeks after the sad death of Bob Holness, the long running host who was synonymous with the UK favourite program that actually debuted in the Us in 1980, but enjoyed its best run between 1983 and 1994 in this country. Less notable hosts Michael Aspel and Liza Tarbuck have hosted revived versions of Blockbusters in the years since Holness left.
“Blockbusters is the ultimate cult TV quiz, and we think that Simon Mayo is the perfect host to bring it back to our screens,” commented Barbara Gibbon, director of Challenge TV. “We hope that it will be popular not only with those »
- Matt Holmes
Simon Mayo has signed up to host Challenge's upcoming revival of the classic gameshow Blockbusters. News of the show's return to television emerged last month, shortly after the death of original host Bob Holness. Mayo has now landed the job of host. The Radio 2 presenter claimed that he only agreed to the role because the "spirit of the show will be exactly the same". "No-one needs to worry," he said. "It will be exactly the same - same set, same board, the same theme tune, (more) »
- By Catriona Wightman
Cult gameshow Blockbusters is to be revived later this year, according to a report. The Sun claims that the classic format, previously hosted by the late Bob Holness, has been given a 40-episode order by TalkBack Thames. BSkyB-owned channel Challenge TV, which is currently broadcasting old episodes of the programme, will air the batch of new editions. While no presenter has yet been announced, it has already been revealed that the revamp will feature over-18s instead (more) »
- By Paul Millar
Modest quizmaster who achieved cult status at the helm of Blockbusters
Before television and radio quizmasters became increasingly raucous, clever-clever and sarcastic, Bob Holness, who has died aged 83, saw the role as that of a rewarder of knowledge rather than the ringmaster of a hysterical circus. Indeed, one of the worst mistakes one could make with Holness was to refer to any of the many quizzes he conducted as gameshows. In his unostentatious clothes, he resembled a jovial and thoughtful golfing companion rather than a smirking media man, and he always made a point of sympathising with contestants who lost.
Blockbusters, the TV quiz for 16- to 18-year-old contestants but aimed at a much wider audience, consolidated Holness's popularity and also gained him cult status. In the programme, he posed questions, the answers to which began with a letter of the alphabet that had been chosen by contestants from a honeycomb grid. »
- Dennis Barker
Former Blockbusters contestants like me feel enormous warmth towards the man we giggled to request an E or P from
Although it was nearly 20 years ago my wonderful experience as a contestant on Blockbusters in 1993, has never dulled in the memory. It was the closing years of the show and I remember being delighted by how nice and friendly Bob Holness was. He will be sorely missed following the announcement of his death today. He was natural, relaxed and sociable, not just on-screen but off-camera too.
I was genuinely surprised when he chose to sit with us contestants while eating lunch in the studio canteen, chatting away happily with people a third of his age. Before the show, Bob joined all of the contestants on stage in doing the Blockbusters theme tune "hand dance", which made us laugh. Still, I can't help but do the dance when I hear that music. »
- Alison Munson
Veteran British TV presenter Bob Holness has died at the age of 83.
The broadcaster, best known as host of hit quiz show Blockbusters, had been in ill health in recent years after suffering a major stroke in 2002, and he died in his sleep at a nursing home in the early hours of Friday morning.
He spent almost 60 years presenting radio and TV shows in the U.K. but is best remembered for hosting highbrow student quiz series Blockbusters from 1983 to 1994.
He was also the subject of a famous urban myth when he was falsely rumoured to have played the saxophone solo on Gerry Rafferty's hit Baker Street.
Holness leaves a wife, Mary, three children and seven grandchildren. »
Bob Holness will forever be remembered by more than one generation of Brits as the face and the voice of Blockbusters, one of the finest gameshows of its era. Following the news of his sad death today at the age of 83, we've been going through YouTube to remind ourselves of some of Mr Holness's finest moments, both on Blockbusters and elsewhere, to celebrate his life. The first ever Blockbusters episode
People didn't know it back in 1983, but that first airing of the classic proto-electropop theme and imposing backdrop was to become a part of our lives for a decade to come. Bob tells us what it's all about. Bob meets Zig and Zag
- By Mayer Nissim
ITV quizshow's presenter had broadcasting career spanning almost 60 years
Holness, who presented ITV quiz Blockbusters for 11 years from the early 1980s, "died peacefully in his sleep early this morning" according to a statement released by his family on Friday.
Holness, who suffered a number of strokes and has been in a nursing home, leaves his wife Mary, three children and seven grandchildren.
During a long and varied TV and radio broadcasting career, Holness also presented gameshows including Call My Bluff and Raise the Roof and worked for Radio 1, Radio 2, the World Service and Lbc.
Holness was born in South Africa but his family moved to the UK when he was a child. He returned to the country of his birth and began his broadcasting career there in the 1950s as a radio presenter. »
- Jason Deans
Blockbusters presenter Bob Holness has died at the age of 83. Holness passed away on Friday morning (January 6) peacefully in his sleep, according to his family. The TV icon, who has previously suffered from a series of strokes, was living in a nursing home. > Bob Holness: Best on-screen moments - video Born Robert Wentworth John Holness in Natal, South Africa, Holness moved to the UK with his family as a child, before briefly returning to South Africa to work for a printing company. He began his distinguished broadcasting career in 1955, the same year he also married his wife Mary. Bob and Mary returned to the UK together in 1961, where his career blossomed. Holness landed his first job with the BBC on Late Night Extra and worked for Radio 1 and 2 with broadcasters including Terry Wogan and Michael Parkinson. His impressive radio credits included (more) »
- By Alex Fletcher
'Blockbusters' host Bob Holness has died. The quiz show presenter - most famous for fronting the ITV quiz show from 1983 to 1994 - passed away today (06.01.12) aged 83. A statement from his family revealed he "died peacefully in his sleep early this morning." Bob - born Robert Wentworth John Holness - enjoyed a showbiz career spanning more than 60 years, starting as a radio presenter in 1995. In 1956, he was the voice of spy James Bond in a radio production of Ian Fleming's novel 'Moonraker'. Bob's television career began in 1961 when he became the host of the game show »
15 items from 2012
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