Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Boggenstrovia 4th Bit of Christmas... Hulk do sudoku?

In television land for a long time there have been Christmas specials, but some time the festive season pulls up a gem occasionally. After @ThatBenBaker tweeted earlier today that on the 26th of December 1983 at 4.35pm there was a Keith Harris Christmas Special including the likes of Stu 'Oooh, I could...' Francis starring with the Orville handler. Though that put me on a trail of thought, hard I know... But thanks to Charlie Brooker and his Screenwipe programme, Johnny Ball did a gameshow... Johnny Ball Games

"I really hope no-one puts this up on YouTube in 32 years time..."

What, what, what?! I hear you call, but the master of Think of a Number had families competing in Christmas 1979 for a one-off show. His brain teasers were much like the usual thing which he would do for children on his show. He even had back singers to sing the theme tune, classy! But being suited and also booted, it seems strange for Johnny to be presenting a quiz. One end of the day, he would asking questions of Big Ted and at the other asking what the square root of 56 was to children. Its almost as mad as Roy Castle doing the Generation Game... Which he did once for Bruce Forysth when he couldn't do that week's edition, so there you go!

One event which spreads itself over Christmas is The World's Strongest Man, this annual event has been viewing with the Quality Street and Nectarines for over 30 years now. From pulling trucks, lifting cars and flipping tyres. During these events the big men try themselves with feats of strength, usually Hulks of men, there actually was one in 1977 which competed. Lou Ferrigno, of course better known as the Incredible Hulk competed in the first ever one. Though coming in fourth place in the contestant competing in his first ever strongman contest would have a bit of luck attached to it, when CBS made the pilot for The Incredible Hulk, originally the jolly green giant in the pilot was Richard Kiel but when Kiel didn't seem right for the role, the producers had a problem, who was big enough to play the Hulk. First of all they went to Schwarzenegger, but his accent was a problem to understand... OK, so who do you go to next? Ferrigno was the natural choice as he like Schwarzenegger has already been a Mr Universe himself, although with some slight deafness himself, this didn't prove to be a problem to the producers.

"Anyone got a needle and thread?"

For many years until his death, this was the domain of Donny MacLeod of Pebble Mill at One fame, with his Scottishness proceeding over the commentary until his death in 1984. Never with anything ironic with his delivery, he treated the competitors with as much respect they deserved. The height of its popularity came with ex-shot putter Geoff Capes winning the event in 1983, but its place across the Christmas is set in stone nowadays with Five buying up the rights to it in the early 2000's.

And for the last little bit... Eric and Ernie promoting their show and also Superman III as well. As I bid you fairwell until Friday for more fun, fun, fun!

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