|Index||2 reviews in total|
Celebrity Squares was a UK version of the U.S. game show Hollywood
The concept was rather boring in my opinion like that other quiz show
Blankety Blank but it was the host that provided the entertainment.
There were two contestants who would play a version of noughts and crosses on a huge game board. On each square was a celebrity. Bob Monkhouse would ask the celebrities a question and the contestants would have to guess if the answer given by the celebrity was right or wrong. If they were right then the contestant would win either an X or O on that particular square.
Well, that was the format. Nothing exciting but the great Bob Monkhouse saved the day as usual. Bob Monkhouse is believed to know more jokes than anyone else in the world and watching this show I can believe it.
The show was cancelled in 1979 but returned in 1993 for a few years. If you see any repeats on Sky or Cable TV, then watch it to catch all of Bob Monkhouse's jokes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"What is the day every comedian dreads?", asked Ronnie Corbett in one
of his famous 'chair' routines in 'The Two Ronnies'. "Its the day he
gets his call-up papers to appear on 'Celebrity Squares!".
Like the other I.M.D.B. reviewer, I watched 'Celebrity Squares' mainly because of Bob Monkhouse. There was something about the man, he could take any game show format - no matter how inane - and make it work. He was quick-witted and slick. This was his first game show since 'The Golden Shot' ( he had been made to stand down after being suspected of accepting bribes - an allegation that was later proved untrue ), and was made by the same station - A.T.V.
Based on the hit U.S. show 'Hollywood Squares', it had nine celebrities seated in boxes on a vertical grid. Bob would ask one a question, and the contestant had to decide whether to agree or disagree with their answer. If they were right, either an 'O' or 'X' would appear on the box, and the first to get a line was the winner.
Vincent Price ( sans moustache ) was appearing in a play in London's West End at the time it began and graciously found time to fit in a few early editions. It felt strange seeing the guy who had frightened me numerous times on late night television seated alongside the likes of Leslie Crowther and Willie Rushton. Other celebrities to appear over the years included Diana Dors, Michele Dotrice, Dr.Magnus Pyke ( the legendary arm-waving boffin of 'Don't Ask Me' ), Hinge & Bracket, Pat Coombs, Charlie Drake ( this was before Equity blacklisted him for hiring a non-union member to appear in one of his shows ), Norman Wisdom ( one of his questions was 'what is a bidet?' ), Arthur Mullard ( whose pronunciation of 'haemoglobin' came out sounding like 'I'm a goblin'! ), Jenny Lee-Wright ( from 'The Benny Hill Show' ), Little & Large, Rod Hull & Emu ( was there a show in the '70's these two were not on? ) and Val Doonican. Yootha Joyce's appearance was especially sad, the actress passed away a short time after it was recorded.
Kenny Everett supplied the breathless voice-over at the beginning of each show: "Its Bob and The Big Box Game!". It was a job clearly unworthy of someone of his talents; fortunately, three years later he landed his own series on Thames and the rest is history.
There was a charity element to 'Squares' - Bob read out letters from viewers in dire need of financial help, and - this may sound extraordinary now - often broke down in tears as he did so. It was not fake emotion either, he was genuinely upset.
'Squares' went the reverse route taken by 'The Golden Shot' - starting out on Sunday tea-times, before shifting to a regular Saturday evening slot. It ran from 1975-79, and returned briefly in the 1990's as a Noel Gay ( a top Australian T.V. producer, also responsible for 'Going For Gold' with Henry Kelly ) production. The new intake of celebrities included Kim Hartman ( 'Helga' off 'Allo, Allo' ), travel writer Tony Hawks, impressionist Hilary O'Neil, Bradley Walsh, 'Red Dwarf' funny girl Hattie Hayridge, Jon Pertwee ( in one of his very last T.V. appearances ), and dear old Willie Rushton, who ( along with Bob ) was the only survivor from the old show.
In between the original and its revival was a rip-off - the dreadful 'Punchlines', hosted by Lennie Bennett. Bennett was no Monkhouse, and the show featured the likes of Irish singer Rose-Marie, comic Fogswell Flax, dancer Judy Gridley, and brash American comedienne Bryan Joan Elliott, of whom I had never heard before ( nor since ).
While 'Celebrity Squares' was unmitigated crap, it was made partially watchable by the great, much-missed Bob.
|Plot summary||Ratings||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|