Friday, 9 September 2011

Cult Icons: The Golden Shot (1967 - 1975)

My absolute second favourite game show ever. The GOLDEN SHOT, fronted by the suave and sophisticated Bob Monkhouse, was a program like no other around at the time. To describe it is nigh impossible so here's a copy and paste from its page on wikkipedia:

"The show involved a crossbow attached to a television camera guided by a member of the public shooting a bolt at an exploding target embedded in an apple positioned on a topical backdrop. In the first round, the crossbow was operated by a blindfolded cameraman receiving instructions from a contestant, by telephone ("Up, up, up, left a bit, down a bit, left a bit, FIRE!"). In later rounds, the contestants operated the crossbow themselves. Contestants who successfully negotiated seven (later four) rounds of targets won a reasonable prize; those who missed got a negligible prize.

Bernie, the bolt!

The show's catchphrase became "Bernie, the bolt!" (originally "Heinz, the bolt!" Heinz had been brought over from Germany when the show was imported) – The instruction from the host to the armourer that the crossbow bolt should be loaded. Three people acted as "Bernie the Bolt" on the show – Alan Bailey, Derek Young, and Johnny Baker (a film unit grip). There was an element of mystery associated with the crossbow loaders, as they were not introduced by name and said nothing."

What a fantastic show when you were just a kid. I loved it. The tension waiting for the crossbow to fire was palpable and when  the bolt cut the treasure chest wire in the grand final round and released all the gold coins to spill on the floor was brilliant.


The show also gave me a major crush on the assistant, Anne Aston, who's job it was to check out where the bolts had hit the targets and total up the scores. That she wasn't exactly the brain of Britain made all this much funnier than it sounds and always ended up with dear old, much missed, Bob looking at the camera and giving a sigh. Brilliant fun. Bloody hell, 1975 seems a lifetime ago..

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