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The Big Fat Quiz of the 80s

8/10
Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
13 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This edition of the show that plays out like a pub quiz was part of the series of programmes for the 30th anniversary of Channel 4, but this one was not about the channel programmes like before, it was the first part of three shows based on the popular decades that brought about many talked about events in the 1980's, the 1990's and the 2000's, and this was a great show to watch and have fun with. Hosted by Jimmy Carr, with celebrity panellists in three teams, the players were The Adam and Joe Show's Adam Buxton, Micky Flanagan, Jason Manford, Stephen Mangan, Jonathan Ross and Countdown's Carol Vorderman (the first woman to appear on Channel 4 on November 2nd 1982), this quiz decade the 1980's with all sorts of questions to answer about the ten years about headlines, sport, toys and games, music, lifestyle (fads, fashions, technology and toys), television, movies and people. These questions are asked as they are, with video and sound clips, with pictures (including Say What You See), and by celebrity and mystery guests on screen or in the studio, so it really does feel like a proper quiz that you can take part in. Events in the 1980's that were questioned and joked about included: Margaret Thatcher being the first female Prime Minister, the miners' strike, Madonna, Back to the Future, Michael Jackson having his hair catch fire while filming a Pepsi advert, Pacman, the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, fax machines, gay Sir Elton John marrying a woman, the Chernobyl disaster, the Live Aid concert in 13 July 1985, the Cold War and the missile defence system by Ronald Reagan nicknamed "Star Wars", the Cold war warning cartoon When the Wind Blows, David Hasselhoff singing "Looking for Freedom" while the Berlin Wall was brought down, the Hurricane that hit the South Coast in 1987 and Michael Fish on BBC Weather famously saying there wouldn't be one, the Ozone layer crisis and the public warned to get rid of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbon) cans of deodorant and hairspray, cassette tapes, BMX (British Motor Cross), the "Hand of God" handball goal at the World Cup 1986, the aerobics videos from Jane Fonda that introduced catchphrases "feel the burn", "no pain no gain" and "go for the burn", the Winter Olympics gold medal winning skating performance of Bolero by Torvill & Dean, John McEnroe famously shouting "you cannot be serious" at Wimbledon in 1981, Dungeons & Dragons, Bananarama, Kate Bush, DJ Mike Reid taking "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood off Radio 1, Roland Rat who was also in the charts with "Rat Rapping", Beastie Boys sparking a crime wave where people steal VW car badges, the song "Agadoo" by Black Lace who created a dance craze, the song "Thriller" by Michael Jackson, the music video for "Take On Me" by a-ha, Woolworths, MFI, Our Price, Super Mario Bros., the Sinclair C5 battery electric vehicle invented by Sir Clive Sinclair, yuppies, the CD (Compact Disc) and the televised test covering it with honey and coffee to show its indestructibility, The Society for the Preservation of the Real Thing campaigning for Coca-Cola, break dancing, soap opera EastEnders starting in 1985, The A-Team with Mr T as B.A. Baracus, The Young Ones, Treasure Hunt with Anneka Rice, Going Live! with Philip Schofield and Gordon the Gopher, Jim'll Fix It, Grange Hill, Inspector Morse, Blind Date, Press Gang, Boys from the Blackstuff, 'Allo 'Allo, Bullseye, Jeremy Beadle, the "Who Shot J.R.?" (Kristin Shepard did it) and Bobby in the shower/"it was all a dream" story lines in Dallas, Neighbours, the launch of MTV, the films Crocodile Dundee, Labyrinth and The Goonies, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a live bat thinking it was a toy, The Brat Pack of teen movies (Rob Lowe, Emilio Esteves, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald),"Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid being the biggest selling single of the decade, EastEnders when Dirty Den hands Angie the divorce papers on Christmas Day being the highest rating TV show of the decade with 30 million viewers and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial being the biggest box office film of the decade. Other celebrity and special mystery guests in the show included the children of Mitchell Brook Primary School in Neasden who act out well known news stories, Olympic silver medallist Kriss Akabusi, Bunty Bailey who starred in the "Take On Me" music video, Anne Charleston aka Madge Bishop from Neighbours , John Craven who reads news related to lyrics from a song of the decade, Charles Dance who reads passages from a celebrity autobiography of the decade (The Krankies - Janette and Ian Tough), Michael Fish, Samantha 'Sam' Fox who became famous as a topless Page 3 model and for her song "Touch Me (I Want Your Body", Gregory's Girl star Clare Grogan, Nik Kershaw, singer Sonia, Hi-de-Hi!'s Su Pollard and The Proclaimers (Charlie and Craig Reid). The jokes and the questions are what make this show so much fun, they chose the right celebrity panellists, and it also works as a funny way to reminisce on the years good and bad for a great channel, a great comedy quiz show. Very good!

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