Paul Dooner, Ian Royce & Gemma Cooney
L!VE TV, 1997-99, 2003-06
Browse the Stunts and Dares category enough and you just might find yourself asking What price dignity? This show attempts to estimate the going rate.
L!VE TV brought the end of the pier to the nation's cable TV boxes via the country's second-tier shopping centres as two cackling sprites accost up-for-anything members of the public about their day's business and invite them to make monkeys of themselves for small cash prizes. A member of the public - sometimes two friends - will have a stunt described to them and then will be invited to perform this stunt in return for a shiny pound sterling. Inevitably they will refuse and the ante will go up, and up, and up, until they accept. It's a bit like watching half an episode of Resistance, but the half without the cash ceiling. (Health and safety regulations prohibit individual ukgameshows.com staff from watching too many shows of the genus wudja cudja.) Presumably if the M o t P is not prepared to perform within the show's budget, the segment is scrapped and the presenters move on.
The stunts are much of a muchness. Most of the male ones involve some degree of stripping, either down to a punter's skivvies or involving bizarre costume, possibly even a little body paint. A running theme is for a challenged punter to have to run up to members of the public and say something, or act something, theoretically embarrassing. Several stunts involve mild messiness: a motp declaring he is a little teapot and having cold tea poured over him, that sort of thing. Races between two friends offer occasional variety, for instance a race to eat butterscotch mousse out of the contestants' own shoes; the loser of the contest will usually encounter a pie or somesuch. One stunt even had someone declaring that they got "really plastered" last night and inviting shoppers to pull plasters off their body.
Each stunt is edited down to occupy around two minutes of your life, often interspersed with shots of spectators looking variously amused, mystified, repelled or oblivious, which is not even long enough for the motpies to get name checks. Repeat until the gap in your schedule is filled or until News Bunny contracts myxomatosis. The show was evidently produced on a capelli d'angelo-thin shoestring budget, but probably exceeded Stash on a cost-per-minute basis only by virtue of requiring offline editing and some cash for music clearance.
So what was the going rate for dignity among self-selecting mad ferrets in the space year 1999? Usually about fourteen pounds, apparently.
It's just plausible that all the stuntfolk were, in fact, actors, but hiring them would probably have been too expensive. (Paul Dooner confirms: "not a big budget....no actors.") The logical progression from this would be a show where people pay to have footage of them performing their own stunts televised, but that probably wouldn't be a game show and so we wouldn't have to care. Hurrah!
In one unusually charming and benign stunt, two nine-pound punters ran around singing the "Hawaii 5-0" theme, wearing very vaguely Hawaiian gear, running up to shoppers otherwise unconnected the show and said Book 'em, Danno!, only for the punter playing Danno to hand out a book. It is not known whether or not the show's budget stretched to letting people actually keep the thus-awarded books.
In 2007, the series was given a repeat run by My Channel, where L!VE TV shows went to die, every 75 minutes. Thankfully, infomercials have now taken its place.