Little Monsters


Jayne Sharp


Princess Productions for Sky One, 2003


Compellingly terrible kid/adult humiliation reversal show. It's Bart Simpson meets Gladiators!

Five enfant terribles have turned an empty warehouse on the Thames bank into a makeshift den. Somehow they appear to have come into some money and five adults enter their horrible little world to claim £1,000 for themselves. Four of them will lose and end up walking the plank into the Themes. The winner will get the chance to enter the "Nightmare Playground" and win the cash.

Each game is usually messy, disgusting, brutal or a combination of the three. Each game has been "thought up by the kids", meanwhile host Jayne Sharp acts as a sort of go-between between the adults and kids (interestingly she gets no abuse and all the contestants are male). Examples of games include:

  • Carrying trays of food from one side of the plot of land to the other whilst the kids have a button which produces electric shocks they can press at will.
  • An elimination sack race but with several fire hoses turned on to the contestants at full blast.
  • A game where the kids catapult paint filled balloons in the air and the winner of the game is the one who gets the most messy.

The scoring system is quite good. The outright winner of a game scores 10. The outright loser scores 0. The Monsters can decide on their whim as what what points to give to the people in between, and if the adults can somehow get on the kids' good side they will mark accordingly.

Between games all the adults are kept in a cage. The kids can take one out and punish him at any time.

Adults with the lowest scores are made to walk the plank after games two, four and five. The scores are wiped clean for the final two for the head to head. The winner gets to 'do' the Nightmare Playground, a five stage obstacle course inside the warehouse. Along the way are ten bags of cash, the more they grab the more they win. All the while the kids are doing their best to put them off.

At the end of the course the winner has to make one final decision. If they're right they can keep all the cash, if they're wrong they get a headache and must relinquish half the winnings. There are two doors, red and blue. One is bricked up (actually it's wooden but never mind), the other leads to freedom. Take a run up and hope for the best.

Despite ourselves, it was quite a fun show to watch. It also makes a great case for corporal punishment.


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