Mad for It



Mike McClean and Youlanda (original hosts)

Mike McClean, Danielle Nicholls and Nigel Mitchell


Carlton Television for ITV, 1998 to 2000


The brothers Gallagher have a lot to answer for. But first, a tirade on the world of the children's gameshow...

Why, oh why, oh why does any children's gameshow these days have to include: (a) Gunge, and (b) Some wacky, ker-ay-zee presenters? Apparently, it would appear today's children are easily pleased and need nothing but humiliation and shallowness. Three exceptions to the rule:

  • Knightmare - a brilliant non-patronising adventure gameshow.

So what was Mad for It's excuse? Because yes, it had mad presenters, Mike McClean, who probably moonlights as Steve Coogan in his spare time, and Youlanda, a Nickelodeon presenter. And yes, it had gunge - all the losers in the show were rounded up and put in the Dungeon of Gunge where they were splattered at the end of the show.

Youlanda and Mike - quite obviously Mad for It.

But what of the games? Well, there was:

  • Stars Up Their Noses - People get a 30-second slot to show off their particular talent and the winner was chosen by the Bedheads, a group of kids filmed live in their bedroom. Opportunity Knocks it isn't. Winners got vouchers to spend in the popular hardware chain MFI. Do you see what they did there? Another game also involved the Bedheads, usually involving running round the house to do things, followed by a custard pie when they inevitably lost.
  • That's My Pet - trying to guess which pet is yours amongst similar looking things. That will be a random guess, then.
  • How Far Will You Go? - Three people played horrible games, such as filling up a bucket of horse manure with your hands and finding shower caps and putting it on your head in lard. I'm sure Paul Ross and the Endurance UK team were quaking in their boots with that little lot!
  • How Far by Car? - Dull phone-in where people attempted to guess how far it is from the Mad for It studios in Nottingham to wherever the Bedheads were, without going over.

If you're a half-hour show which aims to really catch the youth of today, there's no time for wit when you're Mad for It!


Singer Katie Melua made her TV debut on the talent contest segment, "Stars Up Their Noses". She sang "Without You", and won. So no second-to-a-singing-dog embarassment there - she didn't even get gunged!


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