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Whenever someone said the word Crackerjack, everyone had to shout it
out... Crackerjack!!... it was the rule.
It's hard to believe how much we loved this as kids, but we did.
They had inane games where everyone won a Crackerjack pencil... (Crackerjack!!). Can you credit it...? the prize was actually a pencil. Well, those things must be worth a bob or two now...
Best thing was the mad stand up routine with Peter Glaze and Leslie Crowther at the beginning, characterised by the stupidity of one and countless double takes by the other.
It was like a big party. At five to five on a Friday we were always glued to Crackerjack... (Crackerjack!!)
4.55pm on a Friday evening, and kids up and down the UK were shouting at
their screen, "Crackerjack". Anyone who is between 25 ad 55 will remember
It was a comedy show for kids, with the comedy initially coming from the likes of Leslie Crowther and Ronnie Corbett in the 50's, and ending with Stu Francis and the Krankies, with gunge and less than subtle gags, all the way up to 1984.
By then, it had become a little out-dated and so, it was time to say goodbye to a much-loved children's programme.
On Channel 4's 'The 100 Greatest Kids T.V. Shows', some twerp I've never heard of said he "couldn't understand how 'Crackerjack!' ever got a commission, seeing how it was a poor quality version of 'Seaside Special'". I couldn't understand how he had seen these shows as he looked too young to remember either. For millions of children, 'Crackerjack!' was the television highlight of the week, coming as it did on the last day of school. Many presenters, including Elaine Paige, Leslie Crowther, Ronnie Corbett, and Michael Aspel, went on to become big stars ( my favourite, however, was Don Maclean ). And who can forget dear old Peter Glaze with his owl-like glasses, podgy shape, and habit of exclaiming 'Doh!' every time he was made to look foolish? The show had quizzes, a regular pop group slot, and comedy sketches where the cast sang pop songs with the lyrics rewritten to fit the situation. 'Crackerjack!' probably wouldn't work today, but its memory should be treasured.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My earliest recollections of this programme were of stuffy, square
Eamon Andrews attempting to be 'good with kids'. Somehow it never
seemed quite right.
I didn't like him and I didn't really like the show, but I watched it anyway, because everyone did. It was a really good show after all. Players like Leslie Crowther seemed just too funny for their own good. The whole thing had a typically patronising BBC flavour to it. 'We know best what kids want' seemed to be the by-line.
The bit I enjoyed the most was a game sequence called (I think) 'Double or Drop'. Here, three kids played off against each other, answering questions and winning prizes. If they got a question wrong, they got a cabbage. As the questions mounted so did the number of prizes, until they could scarcely hold them all. And if they dropped anything - they got a cabbage. It was a knockout contest. When you got 3 cabbages you were out. The one who survived got some special prize, though I can't remember what that was.
It's a measure of the ephemeral nature of modern culture that what was once a television institution, is now scarcely even remembered.
'Crackerjack' pencil, 'Blue Peter' badge; how the world has moved on. Later, we had 'Multi-Coloured Swap-Shop, and 'TisWas'. Both were equally popular in their time. And both have likewise passed into history.
I was a contestant on Crackerjack in the early 70's when Michael Aspel was the presenter. Peter Glaze was still there although he was pretty old by then. It was made on a Thursday at Shepherds Bush studios at about six thirty but we were all made to shout, "it's Friday, it's five to five, and it's CRACKERJACK" The guests on the show in the next dressing room to us were a very young Status Quo, who sang their new hit, "ice in the sun" but backstage in the dressing room were helping us to unscrew the bulbs round the makeup mirrors and toss them out the window onto our schoolmates who were in a queue waiting up to get in to the studio below..!! I went away with the coveted Crackerjack pencil which by the way are incredibly rare today as unlike the Blue Peter Badge,were only given to contestants on the show. Of course, I can't find it now but ...I will eventually.. The weirdest thing of all was watching myself on telly at home the next day.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
personally I did not really like this show during the Ed Stewart years which was when i first started watching it. As a kid I found his presenting style to be a bit odd. I also remember that during the Stewart tenure when the 3 kids were on the pedestal answering questions for some reason amongst the prizes they would have to hold up would be cabbages. Never understood that bit about the cabbages. In my opinion the show's best years were with Stu Francis. For one thing the outlook of the show became more up to date and looked fresher and as a presenter, Francis built up a mini cult status, assisted in main by the use of catchphrases (usually always preceded with the word 'Ooh') they were 'I Could Crush A Grape', 'Jump Off A Doll's House' and 'Wrestle an Action Man'. If i was ever to watch this again I would only go to the Stu Franics era. For me it is kind of like selecting a favourite Bond or Doctor Who.
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