Get Your Own Back



Dave Benson Phillips


Lisa Brockwell (2001-3)


BBC1, 26 September 1991 to 21 September 2001 (162 episodes)

CBBC Channel, 11 February 2002 to 31 March 2003 (28 episodes)


For a while in the 1990s, Dave Benson Phillips felt the need to live a double life, a Jekyll-and-Hyde existence. By day, Nice Dave Benson was an utterly trustworthy father figure on Playdays; by night, Naughty Dave Benson was and still is the most unpredictable, crazy gungemeister since Stu Francis, (with the possible exception of Noel Edmonds). Peter Simon? Get out of town!

Dave and Lisa, gungers extraordinaire

GYOB mutated through a few different formats (variable numbers of teams, selection of end games) but the principle has remained constant throughout. Two or three competing teams are composed of a child and a parent/relative/teacher/celeb who has committed some dreadful crime such as being old, singing badly or insisting upon a tidy room. A series of inflatable-dependent games follows in which the kid has to propel item A from location B to location C using implement D while their parent tries to prevent the same happening by use of implement E whilst randomly dressed up as a giant F and given miscellaneous handicap G. Points are awarded for each item A so propelled within a time limit.


At the end of the show, the child who has gained most points has earned the right to Get Their Own Back upon their parentrelativeteacherceleb by dunking them into a 2'6" deep pool of colourful gunge (total immersions usual) - and an extra shower from above followed in most cases. Most versions of the show gave p/r/t/cs the chance to pre-emptively get their own back upon the child. This was by means of answering questions that had very obvious answers beginning with a certain letter, but - and here was the rub - they could not give answers beginning with that letter, which would of course have been far too easy. (For example, a man who was not allowed to give answers beginning with 'B' was asked, "What's the opposite of 'forward?'" and he came up with the answer, "Reverse", which was duly accepted). If the adult managed to come up with 5 correct answers within the time limit, the child would be gunged from above (in true Crackerjack/Noel's House Party-style). However, "children are not permitted without an adult" so the adults inevitably got it in the end. Yay!

The more recent version of the gunk dunk

Key moments

Peter Simon appearing on every single celeb special and randomly tripping up and falling into the gunge - even if he wasn't scheduled to be a contestant!

A memorable Christmas episode where Dave himself ended up as one of the grown ups. Of course, he got gunged in the end. Peter Simon took over as presenter for this edition.

Christopher Smith, who played Robert Sugden in Emmerdale between 1989 and 2001, appeared as a contestant in 1993 (when he was eight years old) and managed to gunge the producer of Emmerdale at the time, Morag Bain.


"Pull that lever and get your own back!"

"What's the connection between you two?"

"There are some very obvious answers to these questions beginning with the letter 'F' (or whatever), but unfortunately, your answers can't begin with that letter..."

"I'll have that".

"How do you feel?"

Dave also regularly referred to the adults' forthcoming gungebath as "a drop in the plop" and probably a number of other things in addition.


Devised by Brian Marshall. Games devised by the Chatterbox Partnership.

Theme Tune

The theme appears to nick the riff from top Slade song We'll Bring the House Down. Accident or design? You decide.


The show was sent lots of (presumably unsolicited) ideas for games by children - and why not? - so formally invited ideas from viewers, inviting lucky bugg... sorry, successful designers onto the set to see their game played for real. Or, rather, as close an approximation to the submitted game as could be fashioned from the BBC budget.


The earlier version of the gunk dunk
The fairground version of the gunk dunk, by far the best, above the grown up were 3 gunge tanks (Snot, Custard and Really Awful Waste) the grown up had to answer 3 questions, (no prizes for guessing what happens when they got one wrong) and they were still dunked whether they got them right or wrong anyway!

Web links

Wikipedia entry


To correct something on this page or post an addition, please complete this form and press "Send":
If you are asking us a question, please read our contact us page and FAQ first.

Name: E-mail:   
A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in