Alistair Divall


Announcer: David Hopewell


HTV West in association with Reg Grundy Productions, 1989-92


Music game which was produced from the Australian format juggernaut we call the Grundy-o-matic. Two teams of over-excitable, now middle-aged, '60s mods battled it out to be the first to identify popular song tunes, seemingly "played" by a 1978 Korg XJ-1000 on its last legs. Correct answers gained one note of the first nine notes of a song, followed by an opportunity to guess what the song is. Although at first you only had one actual note to listen to, there was a follow-the-bouncing-ball effort which helped you with the rhythm too.

Keynotes was famous for its crass scoring system of £30, £60 and £120 prize for guessing the first, second and third round song. Unless neither team could guess the third round tune, the first two rounds didn't mean jack. The original series had the three rounds scored as £50, £100 and £200

The end game was as good as they come, however. The winning team could double or treble their winnings, depending how many rounds they win by identifying nine tunes in 30 seconds, each correct answer earning a note for the main tune. Very tense, and superbly infuriating when they'd fail to identify daft songs like Nellie the Elephant from nearly all the notes.

Seems rather coy these days, but it was nice to have a 9.25am show that had a budget more than £247.61 (yes, Crosswits, we mean you).

Key moments

The "scrum down" action each team would do every time they tried to guess the main tune.

Every answer the contestants gave following the formula "Is it (X), Alistair?"

That clock in the desk used for the end game that would keep popping up and down.


The music was arranged by Keith Chegwin, working under a pseudonym.

At the end of one show, during a time when Britain was in something of an economic crisis having just dropped out of the ERM, the host delivered this immortal line: "I'm Alistair Divall: remember that name because it never 'divall-ues' the pound!"


Based on a Reg Grundy format from Australia which debuted in 1964.


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