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Friday Fiver: Weirdest ever TV gameshows

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Is there something in the water at the BBC and ITV at the moment? Just when you think TV can't get any stranger (Dale Winton's Hole in the Wall was supposed to be the nadir, wasn't it?), along comes Saturday night teatime nonsense Don't Scare the Hare and Sing If You Can. Not since the days of Mr Blobby and Ice Warriors have weekends been filled with such peculiar antics. To mark the return of 'wacky' to Saturday evenings, here's a list of Tube Talk's favourite weird gameshows.

Big Break
It ran for 14 series between 1991 and 2002 and was a regular ratings hit in the mid-'90s. But did anyone ever sit down and think about what a ridiculous concept Big Break actually was? Jim Davidson and John Virgo doing a quiz based around snooker - we'd love to have been in the boardroom when that was pitched to the BBC. The only thing more bizarre was Jimmy Tarbuck's Full Swing - the golfing follow-up that failed to capture audiences in the same numbers. It must have been the lack of Virgo.



Takeshi's Castle
Keeping students happy for nearly a decade, this Challenge TV favourite is probably Japan's finest ever export. A near impossible show to actually win, it centred on ridiculous and mucky challenges set by General Lee. Based on the idea of a live action Super Mario, watching hundreds of contestants getting squashed, squelched and falling over never gets tiresome.



Pets Win Prizes
Initially hosted by Danny Baker, before Dale 'Morning Shoppers' Winton took over, Pets Win Prizes was just as ridiculous as it sounds. The programme actually involved contestants competing with their various pets. If anyone tells you TV was "better in the old days", just mention this. Winton is king of the daft gameshows with Touch the Truck, Supermarket Sweep and the sadly axed Hole in the Wall to his name.



Scavengers
It's 1994. Gladiators is off air for the summer. ITV have a big hole to fill in the schedules. John Leslie is looking for work. The result is one of the worst/most hilarious TV gameshows of all time - Scavengers. Need an explanation of the concept? Well, this was the show's guffaw-inducing intro, "The time - the future. The place - deep space. Aboard the mother ship Scavenger the shuttlecraft Vulture prepares for take-off. At the helm, Commander John Leslie." You get the idea.



Man O Man
Somewhere in between God's Gift and Take Me Out in the grubby gameshow scale, there was Man O Man. Chris Tarrant may be known as the Quiz King thanks to Millionaire, but along with bore-fest The Colour of Money, he's had a few stinkers like this to his name down the years. Featuring a gaggle of rowdy women heckling idiotic men, before they were pushed in a pool one-by-one, it was dumb, stupid and utterly ridiculous primetime telly.

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