God's Gift



Davina McCall (original host)

Claudia Winkleman


Announcer: Stuart Hall


Granada for ITV, 3 January 1996 to 3 April 1998 (75 episodes in 2 series)


Four Lads (yes, the capital L is justified) who really fancy themselves try to persuade an audience of randy, drunken women (or, sometimes, gay men) that they really want to, you know, do it with them.

A succession of rounds sees the men show off their (limited) talents in several different areas while Stuart Hall maniacally eggs them on, dreaming of his own Romeo days, long, long ago. The women vote as to which Lad is the winner, who then picks a lady of his choice (or a Mystery Date behind a curtain) for a night out on the town.

Like Man O Man, but designed to be shown after the 9pm watershed, so anything really does go. About four or five hours after the 9pm watershed, actually.


Reader Charlie Davidson observes, "Added amusement could be derived from spotting the very definitely male (bearded, booted) floor manager who they dressed as a woman (blonde wig, floral dress) so that no-one would notice him herding the all-female audience around the studio."

The late Bruce Gyngell was managing director of Yorkshire TV and Tyne Tees TV at the time of broadcast. He hated God's Gift so much that he axed it from his schedules. Other adult programmes that were chopped by Gyngell included that self-explanatory series The Good Sex Guide.

Paddy McGuinness was a contestant on the show in 1997. Ironically, he went on to host his own dating show, Take Me Out.

The show unexpectedly hit the headlines in October 2008 after it became apparent that not only had convicted murderer Anthony Morley appeared as a contestant on a 1996 edition, but his victim Damian Oldfield had been in the crowd on that occasion. The rest of the series would become unrepeatable after announcer Stuart Hall was convicted of indecent assault.

Web links

Wikipedia entry


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