Best of Friends
Guest presenters (2008: Themed editions) see Trivia below.
Talent TV for CBBC, 7 to 31 March 2004 (15 episodes in 1 series)
Talent TV for BBC One, 6 January 2005 to 21 February 2007 (35 episodes in 2 series + 1 special)
Talent TV for CBBC, 8 January to 13 August 2008 (40 episodes in 2 series)
as Best of Friends Africa, 4 to 8 July 2005 (5 episodes in 1 series)
Very much one for the kids. Five children who are, yes, Best of Friends, take part in three challenges. Two or three do each challenge while the others are taken off for "a treat". The tasks are generally mildly unpleasant but not physically demanding. To take one show as an example, the three challenges were:
- Pick out the letters of your name from a vat of cold no-trade-name alphabet pasta shapes, then eat them.
- Transfer ten cockroaches from one container to another.
- Eat some (cooked) chicken's foot.
While the treats were:
- Go and see a movie, having the whole cinema to themselves
- Mess about in a recording studio
- Play an as-yet unreleased computer game
In the latest series, the tasks have become a bit more imaginative, which is all to the good - although with more of a "game" element to them, some of them actually look like more fun than the corresponding treats, which seems to defeat the point somewhat.
In each round, the kids can either volunteer to do the task, or leave the choice up to The Unlucky Dip - each child gets a sweet, sucks it, and if their tongue turns blue, they do the challenge. The presenters also have to go through the rigmarole with the sweets to decide which will supervise (and also do) the task and which the treat. Success in a task means that only two kids have to do the next task instead of three. The final treat is some big exciting thing, and the kids doing the task also get to do the treat if they succeed. For the final round only, all five can do the task (if they all agree) and pass or fail as a group, so that either everyone gets to have the treat, or none of them do.
There's a bit of an unsubtle goody-two-shoes, value-of-friendship "message" thing going on here which is a bit annoying, but then we cynical grown-ups aren't the target audience. It still feels more like it should be an insert into some kind of Live & Kicking-style umbrella format rather than a show in its own right, but it seems to go down well enough with those it's meant for, anyway.
When the teams lose the final challenge, which commonly results in a sequence of one of the hosts enjoying the last treat by themselves over the end credits. Although occasionally, we do get to see the team blaming each other!
Format by Jonathan Wolfson from a concept by Mark Robson.
In 2008, series 5 consisted of themed episodes, with hosts as follows:
- Sport - Iwan Thomas and Darren Campbell
- Music - Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes
- Activities - Iwan Thomas and Zoe Salmon
- Food - Gemma Hunt and Ortis
- Performance - Sam and Mark again
Rani was credited by her married name of Rani Price for series 4.