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The Generation Game

“Nice to see you, to see you… nice!” The Generation Game remains one of the most iconic British game shows ever produced. Launched in 1971, with comedian Bruce Forsyth as the larger-than-life presenter, the show saw four teams of two people each - from different generations of the same family - competing to win prizes.

Bruce Forsythe

The format of the show basically poked gentle fun at the contestants, as they tried to copy professionals who had strange jobs, leading to some hilarious results. The contestants played for points, with the person collecting most points being declared the winner.

 

National Institution

Largely thanks to its host's comic presenting skills, the show became a national institution, turning a simple format into a comedy classic where the contestants were left laughing, even if they failed their tasks miserably! Its familiar theme song would blast out from TV sets in many a British home in the '70s, as families all over the country sat down to watch the crazy capers on the BBC.

Bruce always introduced the contestants by saying, "Let's meet the eight who are going to generate!" at the start of each show and after each game, he quipped, "Good game, good game!"

The contestants didn't mind making fools of themselves and had to be game for a laugh. Taking part in a variety of wacky activities, from plate spinning to posing as Del Boy characters and acting out a market trading scene, these usually produced hilarious results as it invariably went wrong!

Bruce was always accompanied by a glamorous hostess - the first of whom was Anthea Redfern - who would bring the contestants on to the stage and hand out the prizes. He would always say to her, "Give us a twirl," so she could show off her beautiful dress.

 

Conveyor Belt

At the end of the show, the winning contestants were introduced to the conveyor belt. A long line of prizes would pass by and a contestant would be charged with remembering as many items as possible – anything they remembered was theirs to take home. There was always a cuddly toy, which you could almost guarantee the contestant would remember above anything else on the conveyor belt. Bruce would utter his famous catchphrase, "Didn't they do well?" whether the contestant had or not.

Bruce Forsyth hosted the show until 1977 and then fellow comedian Larry Grayson took over in 1978. He had a different presenting style, making the most of his famous catchphrase, "Shut that door!" Ably assisted by glamorous hostess, Isla St Clair, Larry tried out many of the games himself and always put on a comedy act that he had no idea what he was doing - which the viewers loved!

The BBC shocked everyone when they ended the show in 1982. Larry quit and an attempt to persuade comedian Jimmy Tarbuck to take over failed.

 

Forsyth Returns

The Generation Game was revived in 1990, when original host Bruce Forsyth enjoyed a successful comeback until 1994. The show continued with comic Jim Davidson as host from 1995 until 2001. By this time, the show had been "modernised" - which didn't always go down too well with viewers.

There was plenty of "gunge" thrown over contestants' heads and more emphasis was put on everyone making complete fools of themselves. The gentle humour of the '70s had gone and there were more appearances by celebrity guests. Gradually, viewing figures declined and when the Generation Game was thrashed in the ratings by Pop Idol, it spelled the beginning of the end, with the final show being aired in April 2002.

 

It's Back!

In a surprise move announced in July 2017, the BBC revealed it was resurrecting The Generation Game, after the BBC said it was the television show viewers most wanted to see again. This time around, it will be hosted by former Great British Bake Off hosts Mel and Sue.

This time, the contestants will start the show in the studio audience, finding out which game they are to play only when the hosts announce them. The famous conveyor belt will return, with a panel of celebrity judges scoring the contestants to decide who will play for the prizes. The launch date has yet to be announced.

Conveyor belt

There will never be another conveyor belt as famous as the one used on the Generation Game! However, Coruba's range of conveyor belting products is guaranteed to help your business run smoothly, moving and transporting goods in many industries, including product handling and packing – helping to maintain the goods' quality and reduce operational costs. Please contact us for information on our range of conveyor belt products.



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