Charles Collingwood (scorer, 1994-6)
Maria McErlane (voiceover, 1997-8)
BBC1, 3 September 1985 to 23 December 1996 (180 episodes in 12 series + 24 specials)
as Champion Telly Addicts: 9 January to 27 February 1995 (8 episodes in 1 series)
BBC Birmingham in association with Unique Television for BBC One, 29 December 1997 to 29 July 1998 (16 episodes in 1 series + 1 special)
Reasonably enjoyable romp through the world of television, with particular interest to fans of 'Hoofer-doofers'.
Two teams saw a clip of a programme and were then asked three questions on it, some observational, some just requiring a general knowledge of the programme. For a couple of years this was the whole show but then they decided to add stuff to it. They added a general knowledge TV round (called the 'Channel-Hopping Round' in certain series), requiring people to Sing the Sig, among other things, a historical Guess the year round, and On the Box where the catch was that the questions were written by the opposing team. Aah. Another memorable round, which sadly lasted only one series, was 'Titles and Tunes', in which each team was shown one programme's title sequence with another programme's theme tune - one example was the titles from 'The Russ Abbott Show' accompanied by the 'Two Ronnies' theme tune.
The final round was In the Spotlight. There were 12 questions in 60 seconds (three per contestant) which is a fair pace, which inevitably led to hilarious situations where they ran out of time before they even got to the final contestant in the line.
But the final series changed tack completely. Gone were the sweaters and sofas, Telly Addicts tried its hand at being The Crystal Maze. Whole new rounds and lots of pointless running around (of which Noel is very fond) meant the show died of a heart-attack and didn't get another series, which is almost a shame.
One of the best bits was the Stairway of the Stars endgame where there would be lots of steps, each one with three or four celeb names on it. Noel would start reading out clues to one of the stars on the next step up and when they think they know who it is the players stand on that name. If they are correct they can stay there but if they are wrong then an alarm sounds and they go back to the original step. If they made it to the top then they won a holiday, if they failed then they just won a TV.
The first and second series employed a "winner stays on" system. In the first series on the (we think) second edition, the Payne family came on, won... and then just kept on winning, week after week after week. On the last programme of the first series, when they were crowned undefeated champions, they presented Noel with a large jar of sweets, labelled as pills "to make the Paynes go away"!
Two amusing moments occurred as a result of the rather rude 'time's up' honk at the end of the Spotlight round in one series. One contestant, on hearing the honk, asked Noel, "Was that you?" (Nice one!) Another contestant said, "That wasn't me," at the end of his Spotlight round and Noel responded, "Well actually, it was, in a way, because it's indicating that your time's up."
On one edition, a contestant was asked to 'Sing the Sig' to 'Fame'. He came out with, "Fame! - I'm gonna live forever!" and Noel called out to the adjudicator to confirm whether he was correct. A female voice responded, "A bit more, please," at which point Noel (rather controversially) said, "It's a woman - they're tough, you know!" (The contestant did manage to sing enough of the tune to gain the points, with a bit of help from the rest of his family).
The actor Charles Collingwood (best known for his role in 'The Archers' - and later to become a frequent and popular guest on the late-90's and early-2000's series of Call My Bluff) appeared during several of the mid-1990's series as scorer, always dressed in a dinner jacket and usually, for some bizarre reason, appearing in black and white rather than colour footage. He was always doing something wacky whenever Noel went to him for the scores, such as reading horror stories (and ending up under his desk in a state of fright) or trying to keep fit (and ending up collapsed on the desk with exhaustion). On one occasion, he even entered the studio in an attempt to host the show, only to be abruptly despatched to the scorer's box by Noel (a shame really, as Charles may well have proved refreshingly different as a host). Either way, Charles was so miffed by Noel's actions that he acted sulky and uncooperative throughout the show, until the latter finally relented and allowed Charles to join him and the families at the end.
The current 'Radio Times' film editor, Andrew Collins, appeared as a contestant on several early-1990's editions of the show, along with his parents and sister.
Oh, and let's not forget Noel's taste (or should we say lack of it?) in jumpers and cardigans!
Until 1993, the show featured family teams; from 1994, teams were linked by family or friendship. The 1998 series did not follow a tournament format.
|1996||Press Gang / Persuaders (finalists)|
Champion Telly Addicts
Brown / Rossiter (finalists)
Our records don't show the results of the 1995 Champion Telly Addicts series, or the 1996 series. Can you help us?
"Let's go...On The Box!"
"Let's go - channel-hopping!" (part of the first round in certain series).
"Charles - the scores, please!" and, quite often, "Charles - what are you doing?!"
"Watch out for Nobby!" (This only occurred during one of the mid-90's series, Nobby being a computerised TV, who would appear during one of the clips and viewers were invited to phone in and say were they had seen him in the hope of winning a prize).
"Look at this - name him!" or, "Look at this - who's behind the disguise?"
(Charles): "Good evening, Mr Edmonds!"
Composed by George Fenton, whose original score also had an alternate version with Xylophone in the orchestration, which was used in Christmas Specials in the 80's and early 90's.
Telly Addicts moved around the early evening schedules. Series 1 and 2 went out at 7pm on Tuesday. Series 3 in 1987 moved to Saturday teatime at about 5.45, helping to fill the place vacated by The Late Late Breakfast Show. Back to Tuesday at 7 for series four, then Monday nights at 8pm for series five to seven - Eastenders had yet to colonise this space. 1992's eighth series moved back to Tuesday at 7, the five subsequent series went out on Monday at 7pm.
There were two Telly Addicts board games produced, both published by Waddingtons.