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As been said so many time Ant and dec have ripped alot of ideas of olt


Then it was back again in the autumn with Noel saying everything was fine now and the new series (with another new producer) was better than ever, but by that point it was a totally toxic brand and they almost certainly shouldn't have done that series.


If the 1998-99 series had never happened, though, we would never have had Richard Whiteley's Gotcha... Wink Wink Wink


That was the back to basic gotcha, unlike most of the others from that series that just felt there were pushing it, this very simple and work well.
simpfeld156 posts since 25 Jun 2003
I think it was just before the cancelled episode, when Noel refused to do it, that I stopped watching it.

TIMO they tried to over elaborate on the NTV, with them getting one person in a cinema, on the cinema screen. We also had the grab a grand thing replaced with someone finding the location of a phone box, using the code to get into it, and being locked in. Which was a good idea, but it restricted it to just those in that area.


I always thought the cinema one was pretty neat. To cut into the middle of a film with live TV was, as I remember, well executed.

I did always wonder how a 4:3 SD picture that was cropped to a letterbox must have looked projected on a cinema screen. I'd have thought it would have given the game away but maybe only to people who are on this forum.

Can't find it on YouTube would like to see if it still holds up.

As I remember Noel had his back to the camera. And there was an actress who says "we need Dave Smith (or whatever his name was)", "but where can we find this man". Noel then turns to the camera and says "he's in seat M8 down there". Or something like that.. I think that's pretty good!
Steve Williams2,653 posts since 1 Aug 2008
It's interesting how Noel fell out of favour with BBC TV after House Party crashed because Christmas Presents didn't return after 1999 either, and when it returned in 2007 it was on Sky instead. You'd think as an annual show it wouldn't suffer from people getting bored with the format and trying to revamp it every 5 minutes.


I think by that point the relationship between Noel and the Beeb had broken down - I actually remember being quite surprised that Christmas Presents appeared in 1999 when it was now his only show on the Beeb. Just after House Party was axed he did do another series for the Beeb in the summer of 1999, The World Of The Secret Camera, which was a compilation of funny clips from around the world - I remember Noel promoted it as being the ultimate survey of the genre - but it didn't do very well and I think the general reaction from the public was "Hasn't he gone yet?".

The reason people including myself side with noel over those "producer" and "Director" is because he stood up and said yes there a problem,


Well, maybe, but why make it so public? It's like when Chris Evans did that big rant on his show about how much he hated Trevor Dann and slagging off a newspaper story about him - all very interesting to people who knew who they were, but of absolutely no interest to anyone else. I don't want to hear internal arguments dragged out into the public. If the presenter of the show is saying it's rubbish, why watch?

Noel also had way more power than the producers, he was the face of the show. And it's easy to say Noel was the only one doing anything but that's because he was the only one blabbing to the papers. We only ever get one side of the story. What if Noel was the problem himself? It's like when Paul O'Grady shoots his mouth off on telly about something he doesn't like, whoever he's slagging off never gets the right of reply.

I always thought the cinema one was pretty neat. To cut into the middle of a film with live TV was, as I remember, well executed.

I did always wonder how a 4:3 SD picture that was cropped to a letterbox must have looked projected on a cinema screen. I'd have thought it would have given the game away but maybe only to people who are on this forum.

Can't find it on YouTube would like to see if it still holds up.

As I remember Noel had his back to the camera. And there was an actress who says "we need Dave Smith (or whatever his name was)", "but where can we find this man". Noel then turns to the camera and says "he's in seat M8 down there". Or something like that.. I think that's pretty good!


I remember reading that they had planned the interruption to sync with thirteen different moments in the film, and they'd actually reached the thirteenth before they were able to do it. It was very clever, but there were times around then when they seemed a bit in love with the logistics of the thing and the actual victim ended up as a complete spare part and by the time they'd explained and done the hit, that was the end of it.

It reminds me of William Phillips in Broadcast talking about the short-lived flop ITV hidden camera show Red Handed - where the gimmick was that instead of having a presenter there would be a camera in the control room and we'd see the crew making decisions over what would happen next - and saying "like too much light entertainment, it thinks the audience cares about its machinations".
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Inspector Sands13,386 posts since 25 Aug 2004
The problem that NHP and any similar programme has is that they eat ideas. A lot of the things can only be done once or twice as they're stunts or practical jokes, and the regular items get tired quickly unless there's a few tweaks, but they often ruin the basic idea. NTV is a good example of this, anyone else remember how incredible it was in the first episode? In fact watching the second episode the other day he comments on the reaction to it.

It's also very difficult to find a successful new item, I thin it was on Saturday Roadshow where they went through loads of quiz based studio games, none of which really worked.

By going on too long they basically ruined all the good ideas and struggled to find new stuff.
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Charlie Wells3,754 posts since 26 Nov 2003 Moderator
Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
I think Ant & Dec had the right idea with Saturday Night Takeaway. In 2009 seven years into the show's original run it was clear things were getting stale & tired, so 'they' announced the show was going to be rested for a few years. It meant that when it was brought back in 2013 some old features (e.g. Grab the ads - which had resorted to featuring a dozen celebs) could be forgotten about and the show felt fresh again.

This is something that should have been done with NHP before the final series. In hindsight instead of walking out during series 7 Noel would have been better to announce he was 'resting' the show. I think it's safe to say after the walkout in series 7 the show's days were number. It's somewhat amazing series 8 was commissioned, maybe he had another year left in his contract with the BBC.

I seem to recall in TV interviews (possibly for 'The Fight for Saturday Night') Noel had said about the budget getting cut, and men in suits getting more involved. Meanwhile someone else noted that prior to the walkout when the show was struggling Noel hadn't been that physically involved with the show's preparation/ideas. Their opinion was that if he (Noel) felt the show was struggling/declining he should have been getting more involved, as his name was in the show's title.

(Edited - corrected Ant & Dec feature 'Grab the Ads')
Last edited by Charlie Wells on 8 January 2018 2:54pm
"Listen, we've all got something to bring to this conversation, but from now on what I think you should bring is silence." - Rimmer
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Inspector Sands13,386 posts since 25 Aug 2004
As been said so many time Ant and dec have ripped alot of ideas of olt

It's not so much the ideas or individual items but the format. Though Saturday Night Takeaway owes just as much to Don't Forget Your Toothbrush as it does to House Party.
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buster1,732 posts since 15 Mar 2006
London London
Although the quality of the show had been declining for some time, it wasn't the freefall that some have suggested. I actually found the 96-97 run quite refreshing as they ditched some of the tired older stuff, brought in some new features and got a larger studio that they clearly were wanting in the previous run. Whilst way past its best it was, in terms of what actually made it to air (and excluding the awful US specials), still an OK-watch right up to Christmas 97.

I think the real debacle was in the production side, as Noel indicated on that Kirsty Young interview, in amongst Guy's departure and some questionable content that had to be binned (including the soap that was the big selling point of series 7 and some Gotchas just not being funny enough) they ended up with all the programmes after Christmas just being empty of content. The RT billing on Genome for the show that didn't go out sounds dire - "it's Blobby's birthday but will anyone remember?" http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/schedules/bbcone/london/1998-01-03

There was clearly some disagreement over the new set for the start of the 97-8 run as it barely resembled a house at the start of the run, but by the time it came back after Christmas had been supplemented by all sorts of ye olde timbers and bits of furniture to try and look the part.

It was really notable when they came back how different the series was. The live Gotcha compilation actually got a pretty decent lineup of celebs (including DLT!) to come back and introduce their Gotchas, which you might not have expected given what had happened the previous week. But it was the rest of the series which felt like a different programme - all of the scene setting Crinkley Bottom stuff at the top of the show went in favour of Noel just reading out random jokes, they filled the set with actors in party hats as if it was an actual house party and started using chart music in the background instead of the theme tune. They introduced some major new features to fill the gaps like Panel Beaters (a guess the odd one out with inevitable gunging at the end) and a sketch "in the village" (so the pub, the dentist, a shop etc) which always had Bradley Walsh and Leslie Grantham appearing in character. These worked fairly well but overall it was clear quite how much of the show had to be rethought after Noel's walkout.

The production team did change almost entirely over the summer before the final run though - an intriguing short Guardian article here on the fate of the previous producer...
https://www.theguardian.com/uk/1999/apr/23/2
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TROGGLES1,151 posts since 3 Sep 2005
London London
Noel had it bang on in the interview. He refused to work with Paul Jackson & others after the usual Machiavellian manoeuvres by senior BBC Management. It is a cultural thing, unfortunately. It was a similar attitude which caused the fuss at Top Gear which got completely out of hand largely caused by Danny Cohen using the situation to position himself for D.G. Some BBC managers have long memories and sharp knives they like to use on long nights (usually in the back).
..."at the first sign of danger my pussy's hairs stand on end" Betty Slocombe 27/05/1975
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Andrew13,475 posts since 27 Mar 2001
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
The problem that NHP and any similar programme has is that they eat ideas. A lot of the things can only be done once or twice as they're stunts or practical jokes, and the regular items get tired quickly unless there's a few tweaks, but they often ruin the basic idea. NTV is a good example of this, anyone else remember how incredible it was in the first episode? In fact watching the second episode the other day he comments on the reaction to it.

Well indeed, and also it's worth remembering NHP was on about 25 weeks a year.

So when people say that they ruined Grab a Grand, in reality it had been done about 75 times by then.

These days people say they are getting bored of a Saturday Night Takeaway feature that occurs just 3-4 times per year!

Of course certain items did get too big, and there was too much reliance on Mr Blobby and gunge , when they started gunging the whole audience and every feature often resulted in a gunging it needed to go back to basics, but when you've been big, you can't go back to the small old days again.
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623058
As been said so many time Ant and dec have ripped alot of ideas of olt
It's not so much the ideas or individual items but the format. Though Saturday Night Takeaway owes just as much to Don't Forget Your Toothbrush as it does to House Party.

Plus Fully booked from the 90s.

As reference for this thread, here is the segment on Noel walking out from the BBC Four documentary The Fight for Saturday Night :


Did he walk out twice? because there a year between his first walk out and the series getting axed. MY Alarm bells would have been going off like no one business against doing S8 in the current format. There had 30 weeks to come up with new idea etc yet there just complete overhauled the house, the studio brought back and kept my little friend and had sofa soccer, but it never solved the underlying problems.

Although the quality of the show had been declining for some time, it wasn't the freefall that some have suggested. I actually found the 96-97 run quite refreshing as they ditched some of the tired older stuff, brought in some new features and got a larger studio that they clearly were wanting in the previous run. Whilst way past its best it was, in terms of what actually made it to air (and excluding the awful US specials), still an OK-watch right up to Christmas 97.


The other problem was there were never able to find a simple format to work the full series, Were not talking about NTV or Gotchas were talking about a nice simple 5-7min filler. I remember stupid idea was guess the real mr Blobby? I like Mr blobby but as it been said there just cut to him because there had nothing else to do. I think noel got rid of Blobby in S8 to force the production team to come up with proper ideas.


I think the real debacle was in the production side, as Noel indicated on that Kirsty Young interview, in amongst Guy's departure and some questionable content that had to be binned (including the soap that was the big selling point of series 7 and some Gotchas just not being funny enough) they ended up with all the programmes after Christmas just being empty of content. The RT billing on Genome for the show that didn't go out sounds dire - "it's Blobby's birthday but will anyone remember?" http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/schedules/bbcone/london/1998-01-03]


Some of the earlier gotchas plans could have been reused, like the police car stopping the celeb but why not do it in a hotel where an employee runs off with some money. The plots stupid but the whole point was to get a reaction from the celeb.


There was clearly some disagreement over the new set for the start of the 97-8 run as it barely resembled a house at the start of the run, but by the time it came back after Christmas had been supplemented by all sorts of ye olde timbers and bits of furniture to try and look the part. ]


I just dont understand how the house get give the green light, it was glashly

Noel had it bang on in the interview. He refused to work with Paul Jackson & others after the usual Machiavellian manoeuvres by senior BBC Management. It is a cultural thing, unfortunately. It was a similar attitude which caused the fuss at Top Gear which got completely out of hand largely caused by Danny Cohen using the situation to position himself for D.G. Some BBC managers have long memories and sharp knives they like to use on long nights (usually in the back).


I dont blame him.
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