Alison Holloway


Granada for ITV, 29 June to 31 August 1989 (10 episodes in 1 series)


You need to get your eyes tested. Actually, we're just kidding, but good eyesight and a good sense of perception and perspective were needed to do well in this show.

Alison Holloway, a kind of female Gordon Burns, challenged two couples in each show to try and guess what things are but... funny.

This show was basically a televised version of those "guess what this thing is we're showing you from an obscure angle" quizzes you tend to get in the more highbrow newspaper glossy supplements and puzzle magazines - and also Ask the Family, although thankfully rather more technologically-advanced than that show (not that that was difficult). There were a surprising amount of different ways they would hide things, few of which, I'm afraid to say, come to mind currently. One variation was 'Animal Crackers', which would involve guessing the animal that was being slowly revealed by the camera. Another was a round called 'Where In The World?' in which the camera would be taking the contestants on an animated road, with signposts popping up regularly, giving initially obscure but increasingly easy directions/clues to the place concerned. Another one we can remember was 'Squeeze', which lived up to its name, as the pictures were initially squeezed into almost impossible-to-identify images, although of course they did gradually become clearer as the contestants' time ticked away. Rather disappointingly, instead of asking the contestants to hit their buzzer to stop the computer on a certain subject, Holloway would only ever ask the computer to select one - and it seemed that she usually knew which one it would be in advance, as she could frequently be seen picking out the relevant card before the computer stopped. Something of an opportunity missed there, wethinks.

The end game was quite clever, though. Four cameramen were shooting four different objects in EXTREME CLOSE-UP. One member of the team had to guess what those four objects were within a minute. The clever thing was, the other player was directing the cameramen Golden Shot style to try and give them the best view of the object. They won £2000 if they got all four. (One of the hardest items to spot proved to be a lollipop (no, not the type you eat, but the 'Stop Children' version), which was the main reason why the couple concerned failed to win the cash, while one of the easiest proved to be a real live rabbit). All losing contestants went away with cameras, however - presumably the ones Granada had left over from the Sue Robbie-era Connections.

Not a bad show overall - it was certainly very watchable and good-natured, and Holloway was a decent hostess, if a bit cheeky to the contestants at times, especially in relation to their more outlandish guesses. It seemed worthy of at least one further series, but presumably did not get sufficient ratings to achieve this.


"...As I ask the computer to select our first Perception!"

(Just before the end game): "That sound easy? Well, here's the twist - we want one of you to go backstage and become director!"


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