Gaby Roslin


BBC One, 20 October 1999


Broadcast pilot from the factory of David Young's department when he was head of formats at the Beeb. Essentially he was given a bunch of money to film a pilot, but - canny lad that he was - he filmed four for the same money. One of the others was Love Bites, a dire relationship game show hosted by Lily Savage, but that was balanced by the more successful Friends Like These which came from the same session. As Victor Lewis-Smith described it in the Evening Standard: "The preview tape for this show arrived in a box marked "Summer pilots", and in TV terms that's the equivalent of a tag on a toe in the mortuary."

Anyway, this one-off involved people making a series of guesswork choices. One of the contestant selection games asked the studio audience to phone a certain number with their mobile but - oh, ho! - the final digit was missing and you had to guess what it was.

In other game, Gaby goes into the audience to surprise two superfans. Then ABC front man Martin Fry (you know, The Look of Love and all that) is wheeled out to do a turn on the mike. But - lorks! - so is tribute singer Andy Fleming. Can they tell the real apart from the fake when a different song is sung?

Other speculations included:

  • Would a group of Cossacks dancing in Somerfield increase the sales of Russian products?
  • Would anyone recognise the "star" of Airport, Jeremy Spake, as he sat in the park?
  • Would ten bald men in a roller coaster lose their wigs in the wind?
  • Would a little girl still be able to ride her bicycle in the middle of a road if her stabilisers were removed?
  • How far can a cannon fire a fridge into the air?
  • Would a pig eat a sandwich made by Antony Worrall-Thompson? (It's not known whether there was pork in it.)
  • The penultimate round involved a balloon was puffed up with more and more air, until it reached bursting point. This game later appeared in Your Kids are in Charge.

The final consisted of the winning couple being told to sit back-to-back and both were given a ball with TRUE on one half and FALSE on the other. They had to answer TRUE/FALSE to statements read out by Roslin by orienting their balls so that TRUE or FALSE was uppermost. Both players must all the questions right, but if there was a disagreement in the response (e.g. one said TRUE, the other said FALSE), they were told about this and given one more chance to straighten themselves out. However, they had to do all this without conferring.

The prize was a holiday, which they won incidentally (as they always do on pilots).

Key moments

In the manner of Don't Forget Your Toothbrush or even Remote Control if you like, the audience sang "Bye Bye Love" whenever someone speculated incorrectly. What would Lord Reith say?


"Who wants to Speculate?" - although whether a one-off show can be said to establish a catchphrase is debateable


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