Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

TV Shows Were Pick of the Bunch; Prize Telly Was a Far Cry from Todays Lot

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

TV Shows Were Pick of the Bunch; Prize Telly Was a Far Cry from Todays Lot

Article excerpt

BECAUSE of high-profile reality shows such as XFactor, Britains Got Talent, Big Brother and so on, which I admit are not game shows, I am getting that nostalgic feeling for the old quiz shows, hosted by the likes of Michael Miles and Hughie Green which I think are now viewed as having a sort of innocence.

It was 55 years ago this week that the first quiz show where you could actually win money or a prize was aired on TV and it was Michael Miles with his Take Your Pick.

Michael was a New Zealander and news broadcaster who came in at the birth of Independent Television, it opened the same year, and brought this popular quiz show to our screens.

Like Double Your Money it had run for a few years on Radio Luxem-bourg and both proved big hits on our TV screens.

Mind you, just like today, there were many moral judgments passed on how these shows affected the nation, contestants winning prizes such as a washing machine or even, in the years that followed, a brand new car.

At the time many people thought it vulgar TV with the quiz show host creating many a hilarious situation, mostly at the expense of the contestant, who on Take Your Pick, came from the audience.

This show would start with the Yes-No interlude with Michael Miles trying to catch you out and make you say yes. Alec Dane would be ready with his gong.

Hello, Michael Miles would say to the contestant, are you ready to start . Yes , came the answer GONG.

It was so easy to make you say Yes.

The next step, for those that survived, was confronting them with a number of boxes. You were asked three straight questions and if you got them right you selected one of 13 boxes. Three of them contained a booby prize and box 13 contained a mystery prize, there was a treasure chest of cash and last, but not least tonight star prize such as a washing machine or a threepiece suite which brought a massive Oooooh from the audience (I wonder if they spelt it like that on the studio message board?) Then Michael Miles, like a fast talking salesman, would try and talk the contestant into taking cash instead of opening the box. He might start with a 1 or 2 and gradually increase it towards 10 or even 20, if he saw you wavering and 20 was certainly tempting in 1955. …

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