Sticky Moments



Julian Clary


Russell Churnley (musician) and Hugh Jelly (played by Philip Herbert)


Wonderdog Productions for Channel 4, 17 October 1989 to 19 December 1990


Brilliant game show satire. Julian Clary hosted and co-wrote the material with Paul Merton (lately of Have I Got News for You fame).

This had two incarnations, Sticky Moments and Sticky Moments On Tour where they would apparently be somewhere in the world (with appropriate backdrops and audience hats). For this synopsis we concentrate on the On Tour version because it was better.

The set-up

Six contestants, previously chosen by Julian from the crowd waiting outside, were brought on stage by "the lovely Hugh" (who also kept score and did not, for example, read them off a card that seemed a bit too far away). They would each chat to Julian about the things they wrote on the form they had filled out (which would be on the back of a fish or something) and he would make an light-hearted insulting camp comment about them. Usually about what they were wearing. Russell (at the piano) would also be insulted at about this point.

Julian Clary, in one of his less outrageous numbers

The first round would be The Travel Game where the contestants would be asked questions about the location they were apparently in. This isn't a show for prudes, as each question would be loaded with innuendo. We'd give an example of one of the questions, but sadly no big ones come into my mind.

The second round would be an action round where the contestants would be asked to do something. In China, they would pretend to be a Dragon "with extra points for authentic Dragon noises". In Germany they would play "Musical sunbeds" etc.

After the break, Julian would give out marks to the contestants totally subjectively. He will punish people with low marks for any reasons that take his fancy. Wearing a stupid shirt? Don't expect to get very far because at the end of this round, the two people with the lowest marks are out of the game and take their own "Fanny the Wonderdog" statuette with them.

Quizzical looks

The four players that were left would now do a quiz. These were some of the funniest rounds of the show, "The M Game" for example was great:

Q: "What M lives in Italy and accounts for over 30% of the world's crime?" A: "The Mafia?" Q: "No I'm sorry it was the Milk Marketing Board, no marks for you I'm afraid!"


Q: "What M melts in your mouth and not in your hand?" A: "M and Ms?" Q: "No, Mel Gibson, sorry!"

Other quizzes included True or False:

Julian: "Angus's sheepskin coat lacks any sort of taste." Angus: "False!" Julian: "Oh I don't think so!"

In Bang my Gong, contestants had to avoid any sort of innuendo when answering loaded questions. If Julian spotted an innuendo slipping out, Julian would bang his gong and they would get no points. Top stuff.

Sometimes at this point there would be another action round such as celebrity spotting.

Tie me paintbrush down, sport

Then there would be an Arty round where they would be required to paint something. When they were in Australia, they all dressed up as "Their most famous person" (Rolf Harris) and they were required to paint a picture, a day at the farm, using as bigger brush as possible and they would have until "I get bored". They would then be marked, sometimes out of ten, sometimes out of as many as he feels like but generally, the worse it is, the more the audience cheer (because they like the outsiders) and the more marks he'll give them generally.

Sometimes they'll be asked to make something (Concorde in one particular episode) and they'll be tested and asked about their design. Basically, the more the contestant gets into the show and aren't scared to make a fool of themselves, the better they do.

Julian Clary on the set of Sticky Moments - note the tree made of sticky buns

Alas, poor Kciroy, I knew him backwards

After this round another two people go out. Leaving two people remaining. They would go through to the toughest test yet, the Sticky Moments School of Acting where they would act out a rewritten scene from a play or programme with as much double entendre as possible, but it was worth no marks. In fact, all the marks gathered so far were worthless because to decide the overall winner the final round, Sticky Moments, was played.

Contestants were each given a bowl of sticky food (popcorn, prawn crackers whatever) and had to buzz in for a question. When they get one correct they can take as huge a bite out of their food as they liked because it was the one who had the least food left on their plates at the end who was the overall winner. These questions would have some sort of connection to all things sticky involved, again innuendo to the fore. Behind them was a clock make out of a cardboard cut-out of the Sun with a haddock going around it. When time was up it would suddenly explode. "Oh, that means there's only one more question left!" It's arbitrary, however, because rather than time anything, it always seems to explode when there is indeed only one more question left.

The person who Julian decides has the least food left on the plate is the winner. They win a statuette, a bottle of wine, a weird crown and bouquet of flowers, the loser gets a smaller bottle of wine, a statuette and a flower or two. That's it.

End on a high C

To end the show, Julian sings a song, sometimes involving Fanny the Wonderdog, sometimes without but always in his own who-cares-about-the-tune-or-the-words style. And that's it. In the credits we see the two finalists get lifts home from various methods of transport, the better one going to the winner of course.

And that's it! It's show that is fondly remembered because few shows have managed to be as laugh-out-loud funny as this one. Admittedly it was a one joke show but who cares? It was a hell of a joke.


There was a live edition of Sticky Moments leading up to the New Year once. Audience heckling was at a high and the winner won a trip to New York, a higher calibre prize than anything else they've given away.

In the very first episode, a woman called Barbara replaced Hugh and the winner also won a pair of overalls "because he's our Overall Winner".


Host, Julian Clary.
And here he is again.


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