Anneka Rice


Dave the soundman (Dave Chapman)


as Holiday of a Lifetime: Mentorn for BBC1, 2 September 1992 (Pilot)

6 June to 11 July 1993 (Series: 6 episodes in 1 series)


Anneka Rice, along with her soundman sidekick Dave (and probably somebody called Graham, no doubt), would fly two couples to a mystery exotic location. Each couple would pack as if they were staying for a fortnight because for one team, that's exactly what happened. Sadly, the losers were sent on the next plane home - but not before they've had some enjoyable days playing the games around the location (a bug that was fixed for BBC Choice's reincarnation of this idea, Come Fly with Me).

Going nowhere fast

At the beginning of the show (with a bit of elision), we'd see the teams jet out with no idea where they were going, just waiting for Anneka and Co in their mystery destination which was then revealed to the players surprise, shock, and sometimes delight.

What then followed was a bizarre mixture of travel show and game show which was, in places, entertaining. The show was split into six rounds, five challenges and the inevitable quickfire it-all-rests-on-this quiz. The challenges were all themed to the location which throughout the programme we as viewers would be told about.

Challenger, Anneka

For example, in Egypt, one challenge involved a camel race across the desert to the Great Pyramid where they had to try to find the King's Chamber (without getting lost inside). Of course, none of the contestants had ever ridden a camel before and they certainly wouldn't have known the layout of the Great Pyramid...

Another round was a straight canoe race across the flowing river of The Nile, and another round involved attempting to buy things and haggle prices at an Egyptian market - very The Great Antiques Hunt, except Passport came first.


There were the occasional uninspiring challenges which, although obviously a challenge, weren't that interesting to watch. This is because many of the games were made up on the spot once the production team had reached their film location. The name of the monument escapes me, but it's in South America (probably Chichen Itza in, um, Mexico, actually - Ed.) and was a huge temple with four sides, each one with 90/91 steps, something to do with the days of the year and the seasons. Anyway, contestants had to work out which step represented the Autumn and Spring Equinox and place a marker on the step and then race to the top. Whereas running up steps might work in Gladiators were the atmosphere allows it, in an empty Aztec field, it didn't quite work somehow.

There were five points available for each challenge (as shown on Dave's clapperboard after each game) and in the final make-or-break round, one member of each couple took part in a two-point per question free-for-all, the questions all based on what they had come across during the competition.

The winners had the pleasure of staying in a top hotel for a fortnight at that location, the losers probably divorced.


The pilot show which was deemed a success was called Holiday of a Lifetime and the format was exactly the same.

Before you ask, no - Dave Chapman the sound recordist is not the same fellow as this Dave Chapman.


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