Hold Tight



Bob Carolgees (with Spit the Dog) with Pauline Black (1982), Sue Robbie (1983-4?), Janette Beverley (1985)

Alison Holloway


ITV, 1982-87 (no game element in 1987)


Memories on this one are a bit vague... we do remember it being set at Alton Towers though (hence the title).

Two teams of schoolchildren, aged around 11, competed to answer questions, to which the answers would be letters and numbers, or anagrams of letters already picked from the rack, perhaps with addition. If they had the letters RING in front of them, the next question might be, "What do you do to corn to turn it into flour?" and they'd have to grab a D from the letter rack and rearrange the letters into "GRIND".

First to finish could advance the team captain along a three-level game board, based on Snakes and Ladders - reach a Snake or Ladder square, and the team captain got asked a question. A right answer meant go up the ladder, or not go down the snake (vice-versa for a a wrong answer).

The basic Hold Tight board

As the contest was held in the grounds of Alton Towers theme park, schools enjoyed bringing busloads of supporters for their teams. The Alton Towers facilities were used to best effect on a round which involved the teams going on the famous Corkscrew ride, having to look out for letters of a word. This and other challenges earned them moves on the Snakes and Ladders board.

The other challenges included running to a board, pick up letter tiles and slap them down on a table somewhere, perhaps to answer questions, perhaps just to make words with different questions/words being worth a different amount of spaces. Go up the ladders. Go down the snakes, first team to the top wins.

There were also pop interludes, with singers like Toyah performing to enthusiastic audiences. The final series - monickered Hold Tight!: The Altons - had no game element, it was just a music show set at Alton Towers. Randomly.


The series was bought for showing on New Zealand TV - kids there must have been bemused by some of the questions on British culture!

Original host Pauline Black was lead singer of 2 Tone group The Selecter, who'd just split up when this series went into production.

Theme music

An instrumental version of "Your" by Bad Manners. It was released on the 12" of their single "Samson and Delilah".


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