Nickelodeon GUTS



Mike O'Malley


Moira Quirk


Nickelodeon, 1990s


Not strictly a British game show, but it was shown on Nickelodeon, and there were several episodes which featured UK contestants, plus an international spin-off series involving contestants from other countries, including the UK, called Global GUTS. It also had a British female referee. Yes, this was the Greg Rusedski of game shows.

Mike O'Malley was a typical loud, crazy host of action gameshows. But, to its credit, this was one with some innovative games in it. It evidently wanted to be Gladiators but with games involving a scaled-down running track, and set in a water tank (something the Gladiators revival on both sides of the Atlantic would later use) and such like it was significantly different. Three contestants of mixed sex played in the Extreme Arena in four events. These events were quite varied, with around 50 different events being used over the course of the show's run. In each event, the contestant who came first would score 300 points, with 200 points for second place, and 100 points for third.

The final round was Aggro Crag, where contestants tried to run to the top of an artificial mountain, lighting up beacons, referred to as 'actuators' along the way. While they were doing it, there would be artificial snow and plastic boulders showering upon them. The first player to reach the top scored 725 points, the second 550 points, and last player 375 points. Points could be deducted however for infractions such as crossing onto another player's part of the mountain, or missing or hitting an incorrect actuator. After this event, the scores would be tallied, and gold, silver, and bronze medals handed out accordingly. After a while they wanted the last challenge to be a little, well, more challenging so they changed the Aggro Crag into the Mega Crag, before finally becoming the Super Aggro Crag.

It was quite good. And not a stomach in sight.

Key moments

Mike O'Malley regularly going over the top with his commentary.


Host Mike O'Malley would later go on to receive a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, for his portrayal of Burt Hummel in the American comedy/drama Glee.

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