All Time Top 30 Hosts

They're the best hosts ever - or at least they should be - you voted for them!

We're afraid we despicably cheated this time round. Seeing the results the last list threw up, we decided that to focus your attention we only wanted your top fives rather than your top tens. Yes, yes, we know, but we think you'll agree it's for the best, and we think you'll agree this is a much tighter list than the last chart in 2002.


30 - Hugo Myatt

A New Entry at number 30, and you really couldn't imagine anyone else hosting Knightmare, could you? Seemingly happy enough with the role of Treguard he (along with Mark Knight) reprised his original role in the recent Knightmare VR remake that was piloted in the Summer of 2004. Also featured in an episode of Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow as one of their nostalgic guests in a cage. Last spotted in the film Snuff-Movie, a horror worth seven out of ten, according to the IMDB.

29 - Stephen Fry

New Entry. Better known for other things of course, namely A Bit Of Fry and Laurie and Twinings tea adverts (well, adverts generally really), the votes here come from his role as the eloquent and intelligent QI Master-in-Chief and keeping Alan Davies under control. He has famously vowed never to go on Have I Got News for You again unless they reinstate Angus Deayton as host.

28 - Bamber Gascoigne

We've checked and double checked, but the legendary Bamber is in fact a New Entry. We of course all know him for hosting University Challenge on and off for the best part of thirty years. And Connoisseur of course. These days can normally be found presenting prizes to winners of high-level quiz shows and writing massive amounts of words for reference works.

27 - Michael Barrymore

UP 23 places from the last chart in 2002, which was taken just after his personal problems kicked in. The last four years he's been performing in New Zealand. A shock choice to go into Celebrity Big Brother, he was adored by his fans and finished as the runner-up. Peter Bazalgette is apparently finding a format for him - he could well go up in our next poll in four years' time.

26 - Michael Underwood

New Entry. We feel it would be wrong to label him as a "rising star" of children's television since he's been in the business since he was about four. He certainly has a bit of a stranglehold on on CITV's more interesting gameshows, whether that be Eliminator or indeed Jungle Run - it can't be a mere coincidence that the latter has gone from good to really great under his reign. He's the only person on this list to have been a contestant on The Crystal Maze.

25 - Roy Walker

DOWN 11, Walker has rather been out of the public eye since the last chart. The repeats of Catchphrase certainly rate quite well for Challenge, but clearly not quite well enough for people to put him in their best hosts lists.

24 - Pat Sharp

DOWN 6. We wonder for how much longer the DJ can capitalise on his Fun House hosting status, since we reckon everyone who grew up with it must have finished being a student by now. Still, you wouldn't want anyone else hosting it if it was bought back, would you?

23 - Anneka Rice

DOWN 13 places which is possibly not too surprising given that she's been pretty much completely out of the public eye since the last chart.

22 - Les Dennis

DOWN 6 places. The last few years have been a bit of a bumpy ride for Les - relationship troubles, breaking down in the Big Brother house - but he appears to be putting it behind him and throwing himself into performing. If the papers are to be believed, was originally asked if he wanted to host Deal or No Deal but turned it down. Eh-errrr.

21 - Alex Lovell

New Entry. Blonde beauty who has been amiably and professionally co-hosting Brainteaser on Channel 5 since 2002. And - wow, we hadn't noticed this - she's the voiceover on Deal or No Deal. So there we are. Lovell-y!

20 - Graham Norton

New Entry. We're imagining this is for his work on "guilty pleasure" Strictly Dance Fever more than, say, his work on Carnal Knowledge. It seems as though the BBC aren't quite sure what to do with him now they have him, but he recently hosted a one-off celebrity edition of The Generation Game called The Generation Fame (brilliant). We're probably due another version, although we didn't think the pilot was very good personally.

19 - Carol Vorderman

The Vord At The Board is a New Entry this year. As well as her 24 years co-hosting Countdown, she's the UK's Official sponsor of Sudoku, the puzzle craze that swept the nation in 2005, which has led to several puzzly style shows on SKY with her at the helm.

18 - Dermot O'Leary

The unflappable live beast that is Dermot O'Leary is a New Entry. He finds himself as the undisputed king of the reality shows seeing as they play to his strengths as a live host with years of practice - the one he's most famous for is Big Brother's Little Brother, which despite rather lacking the ideas it once had is still the king of reality spin-off magazine shows. He hosted and produced Born to Win which didn't really take off, but never mind.

17 - Matthew Kelly

He's UP 2 positions from the last chart. A man who takes other people's shows and then ends up making them his own actually doesn't appear on television very much these days and is rather celebrated as an award-winning stage actor.

16 - Gordon Burns

DOWN 8 places. A bit like with Pat Sharp and Fun House, you wouldn't want anyone else hosting a The Krypton Factor remake would you? These days found reading the news for the BBC in the Northwest, which is a return to his journalistic roots of sorts.

15 - Nicholas Parsons

UP 12 places! We're not quite sure what to say about Parsons, he's kept a rather low profile over the last few years but keeps churning out episodes of Just a Minute for Radio Four and appearing on clip shows talking about Sale of the Century, which we suspect is the reason he's here - those two repeated episodes on Challenge have worked out quite well for him, it seems.

14 - Jeremy Paxman

Paxo is a New Entry, interestingly enough. He's been asking the questions on University Challenge for over ten years now - it is perhaps interesting to note that he's done well on this chart given University Challenge's rather poor showing in the game show chart which suggests his forceful personality stands him in good stead.

13 - Davina McCall

Another faller, DOWN 6 places. Despite what other people say, we think her and Big Brother are fairly symbiotic. However, criticisms suggesting that she's rather turning into a parody of herself aren't totally unfair. Fun to watch, though. We mustn't forget that she was also far and away the best host of The Vault, although we'd suspect she leaves He's Having a Baby off the CV.

12 - Anne Robinson

Out of the top ten, DOWN 7 places for BBC 2's ice queen. This probably isn't too surprising seeing as the "wow!" factor of the show disappeared some time ago, nonetheless The Weakest Link still rather commands the afternoon timeslot, even if its forays into the primetime world are less than successful these days. In recent years she's bought her "nasty" persona into the world of satire, What's the Problem? With Anne Robinson (although many wags leave out the question mark) which rather fell flat on their face. Her stints as host of Test the Nation have been rather more successful, however.

11 - Paul Daniels

UP THREE places which is well deserved since we think he's completely underrated in the gameshow hosting stakes - he was always the best host of Wipeout despite what everyone at TV Cream thinks. His best asset was his quick thinking silliness, turning quite staid games into something a bit more special and entertaining.

10 - Phillip Schofield

DOWN 1 place which we think is a bit of a surprise in honesty - a master of show-must-go-on live television (hosting Test the Nation and Dancing on Ice), he also hosted easily the best lottery show in Winning Lines for many a year. As well as games, Phillip inherited This Morning from John Leslie, where he's seen every morning with Fern Britton hosting commendably, even when there are knives involved.

9 - Glenn Hugill

UP 9 places which to be honest baffles us slightly - he's not actually hosted anything since The Mole. And then we slap our foreheads - of course, Mechanoids! Hugill is currently too busy being The Most Important Game Show Person In Television to be hosting anything. Certainly he's been involved behind the scenes in some cracking shows during the last year - the better-than-you-were-expecting Playing it Straight, critical lunchtime hit Cash Cab and some show named Deal or No Deal. We wonder how many of these votes come from hosting The Mole and how many come from him being Glenn Hugill. We'll have a much clearer indication in the next poll in 2010 we think.

8 - Bob Holness

DOWN 2 places which is certainly incongrous with how Blockbusters performed in the game show chart. Still, for a 1980s host he rates well. One of the original 007s, Bob is best known for the immortal student catchphrase "Can I have a P please, Bob"? Blockbusters hasn't been quite same under Michael Aspel or Lisa Tarbuck on the various other channels it's popped up on. Since the last poll, he's been usurped from Call My Bluff by Fiona Bruce.

7 - Richard Whiteley

UP 28 places. It would be in bad taste to refer to the Kurt Cobain effect [Er, you just did - Ed] - if he finished 35th after twenty years of hosting, we severely doubt he sufficiently "improved" if you like over the last four years to finish in the top ten. Still, here he is, much loved and much missed.

6 - Chris Tarrant

DOWN 4 places. Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is almost ten years old now. Can you quite believe that? Lots of people we know found Tarrant rather irritating beforehand, but the first episode certainly sorted them out. We secretly preferred him on Everybody's Equal, though.

5 - Richard O'Brien

DOWN 1 place. The man who made The Crystal Maze his own. An unlikely choice for a game show host really but then The Crystal Maze was quite an unconventional choice for a game show. But like many unconventional things it turned out to be inspired. Not scared to tell off the contestants one minute for not being very good and then having a laugh with them the next minute and then talking to camera to fill up some dead air and finally getting his harmonica out and playing the same tune every week for many people Richard WAS The Crystal Maze. In particular we like his asides to the camera while the games are playing detailing the fictional ongoing soap of Mumsey, Ralph and Dwayne. At this point, we should give a nod to Sandra Caron who played Mumsey to full humourous effect.

4 - Ant and Dec

New Entry. The lads who cut their teeth on Friends Like These have come a long way in the last four years. Despite Slap Bang, they finally got the formula right in the form of Saturday Night Takeaway. They've even turned their hand to producing new shows, such as the All Star Cup.

3 - Noel Edmonds

New Entry. That's interesting isn't it? Responsible for one of the biggest and best Saturday night shows in history, a decade plus stint as host of Telly Addicts and various other non-gameshowy things wasn't nearly enough to make the top fifty, let alone the top thirty last time round despite such luminaries such as Sophie Raworth and Kaye Adams making the top thirty last time.

It just goes to show the value of a breakout hit - there was a vast quantity of clear water between the top three here and Ant and Dec. Auditioned for the role of Countdown host which went to Des Lynam, television-ruiner Peter Bazalgette talked him into doing Deal or No Deal which we suspect he hasn't regretted, seeing as he's single-handedly proven there's a very sizable audience to broadcast to at that time of day. Welcome back Noel!

2 - Bob Monkhouse

UP 1 place. We'd like to think this is because you seem to appreciate his talent more as you get older - certainly at least one person on the team has completely reassessed Bob's Full House since watching an episode recently and disliking it twenty years previous.

It seemed that Monkhouse worked in comedy since the beginning of time and was best known in television for his game show exploits having hosted everything from Bob's Full House to Wipeout via Celebrity Squares, Family Fortunes, and The 64,000 Dollar Question. Bob always seemed to fit in some sort of ownership to his shows (there's always a "Bob's Button" or a "Monkhouse Minute") we noticed. And we think Daniels was a better host of Wipeout but still, you can't argue with his legacy.

1 - Bruce Forsyth

Non-mover! A sprightly entertainer whose jokingly caustic relationships with the contestants, assistants and audience appeal to all ages. No matter what the current state of television, Brucie always seems to find somewhere to fit in. If anything, he's on better form these days than he has been in the past. His shows always seem to be simple mainstream ones, although he arguably branched out successfully hosting You Bet! for two years. He's forgotten about the ITV mess-up of The Price is Right moving to a graveyard slot, and taken the reins of Strictly Come Dancing with aplomb. For the second time running, Bruce Forsyth is voted by you as the Best UK Game Show Host... Ever!

Bubbling under

They're good, but they leave with nothing...

31 - NE Shane Richie
32 - NE Magnus Magnusson
33 - Non-mover Jim Bowen
34 - NE Robert Robinson
35 - Down 7 Dale Winton
36 - Up 4 Eamonn Holmes
37 - NE Neil Buchanan
38 - NE Terry Wogan
39 - NE Dominic Wood
40 - NE Gabby Logan
41 - Down 12 Les Dawson
42 - NE Lily Savage
43 - NE Peter Simon
44 - NE Louise Noel (Show Me the Money)
45 - NE Chris Jarvis
46 - NE Andrew Castle (Perseverance)
47 - NE Leslie Crowther
48 - Down 24 Angus Deayton
49 - NE Tony Livesey (Traitor)
50 - NE Craig Stevens (Brainteaser)


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