Hosted by the ubiquitous Michael Aspel, 'Star Games' was an attempt by I.T.V. to out-knockout the B.B.C.'s 'Its A Knockout'. Seven teams of celebrities competed against one another in various sports such as swimming, rowing, archery, six a side football, tug of war, and so on. Amongst the 'good sports' were Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart, Denny Laine ( of the pop group 'Wings' ) Robin Askwith, Patrick Mower, Alvin Stardust, Tom Adams, Bernard Cribbins, Gareth Hunt, Jacqueline Pearce, Paul Darrow ( the last two were from the B.B.C.'s 'Blake's 7' sci-fi drama ), ex-'Monkees' Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones, Maggie Norden ( daughter of Denis ), and Liza Goddard. Dudley Moore was fleetingly seen in one episode ( though I do not remember him participating in the games ). The winners received the much-coveted T.V. Times Trophy, with £15,000 going to charity. The show had the atmosphere of a schools' sports day, only with adults running amok instead of children.
In his autobiography, Askwith claimed Mower asked him to let his side win as a public defeat would - he claimed - damage his image as a tough-guy ( this was around the time Mower was starring in the B.B.C.'s 'Target' ). Robin rightly refused, leaving Mower fuming. When these two began joshing about on screen, you sensed that they were not kidding.
The show had its own mascot in the shape of 'Star Games Stan', a baseball cap-wearing animated character who graced the opening titles and read out the scores for the benefit of viewers. Alan Hawkshaw provided the upbeat theme tune.
It ran until 1980. A few years later, the infamous 'Royal Its A Knockout' disaster went out, and made 'Star Games' look like 'The Krypton Factor'.
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