Sunday, 20 November 2011

A trip on the Euro-visions express... Part One

Thanks to my brother whilst watching a programme  called 'Na Sowas!' presented by German's Noel Edmonds with him tonight, he wondered about the all the programme formats which have from foreign climbs to this country and what ones we have given to the Europeans. The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing are two nowadays as well as The Weakest Link, but there have been plenty more which have come over as friendly visitors to our shores.

"An ooh and a la-la as well.."

So we start out by going from the UK to France first of all for a programme which ventured forth in 1982 and has just announced a new presenter. Des chiffres et des lettres as it know in France came to Britain when Marcel Stellman, a Belgian record executive took the format to Yorkshire Television and thus 'Twice-Nightly Whiteley' was born. The show started in 1965, but the familar format came into being in 1972 . With the length of the round being 45 seconds rather then Countdown's 30 seconds and duels such as contestants having to complete mental arithmetic calculations in their heads plus rounds where contestants have to find nouns and proper nouns in ten letters. The appeal of the programme comes from it simplicity and the nature perusing the mental aspect of the game, being returned in over seven territories worldwide mainly in Europe.

With The Apprentice's Nick Hewer taking over from Jeff Stelling in January, its yet to be seen if the programme can stay at the peak of its popularity. But with Nick Hewer being the fourth host since Whiteley's untimely death, it has stayed the course since 2005 and with its 30th anniversary coming up in November next year, the loyal viewers will be there as usual.

From France, we move to The Nederlands now. Those who know me will know where we are going with this, Een van de acht or translated 'One out of the eight' started off on VARA Television in 1969 when Theo Uittenbogaard came up with the format, but Mies Bouwman came up the idea of a conveyor belt though this came from a German television show and wanted to incorporated into the show. Through this came the late Bill Cotton Jr. travelling to Holland seeing the format and with ITV's domination of the television ratings at the start of the early 70's thought that the format with tweaks would be good for Bruce Forsyth to present which he did until 1978 when Larry Grayson took over, but such is these formats it wasn't only the UK which took on the programme. Germany had Am laufenden Band presented by Rudi Carell which was also a direct decendent of the programme, similar to the South African, Swedish versions as well. Mainly bringing  on the members of the public and letting them compete in games to find out who would go through to the conveyor belt at the end of the programme. A simple format, maybe but always entertaining. There's something to be said, of the unique appeal to the public of seeing themselves on the screen and thinking that if the contestants can do it, so the people at home could do it better.

Dutch Courage...

Onto Spain as we find a pumpkin and a bin to put it in... Un, dos, tres... responda otra vez was the Spanish version of 3-2-1 and hence it came from there to Kirstall Road in 1978, but the original programme started in 1972 and ending in 2004 not before versions in Portugal, Germany and The Netherlands were broadcast.
Die Verflixte Sieben presented again by Rudi Carell was the German version of the show, taking on the variety aspect of the show theming very edition. As such the Dutch version incorporating the Dutch National Lottery within it meaning that it became more reason to watch the programme. Ruperta the Pumpkin in the Spanish version fills the role of Dusty Bin as such as being the show's own mascot but also as a red herring for the contestants to avoid, this is a device which serves as a role for being able to make the mascot seeming innocuous and innocent. But with its sting in the tale, causing the contestants to be cautious on their approach on what to reject as a clue. With each aspect testing the contestants with games, their knowledge being tested and also the ability to decifer the clues as well. Its puts something into the show which is seemingly lost, the element of surprise as well.

"One, Two, Three... Respond please..."

As we pull into the station for now, we have been through France to the UK, back to Holland and onto Spain... Next time, we move onto Deutschland betting on going through the place where shows go to where they are judged from across Europe with ultimate prize on show...

No comments:

Post a Comment