Ted Robbins as The Governor
Announcer: Steven Ryde
Lee Barnett as Jeremy Gimbert
Dave Chapman as Peter Nokio
Ian Kirkby as Mr Burgess
Melvin Odoom as Melvin
BBC One, 22 September 2006 to 20 June 2008 (28 episodes in 2 series)
CBBC, 10 September 2010 to 16 December 2011 (30 episodes in 2 series)
as The Slammer Returns: CBBC, 11 October 2013 to present
OK, so you thought the synopsis for You Should be So Lucky! is odd - wellll, you haven't heard anything yet.
Mastermind's official warm-up man Ted Robbins plays the role of a Governor of a showbiz prison where the incarcerated variety acts have to perform in front of the Parole Board of 50 children who then decide which of the four acts gets released from the Nick.
Various prison officers ask the children for their opinions of the performances in a Dixon of Dock Green style. The kids all seem to have some kind of clipboard even if they're just saying "Brilliant!", "Amazing!" etc.
Despite the bizarre concept, the acts are great to watch and the production values are very solid with a cleverly matched set and lighting scheme that makes the whole thing horribly plausible. The weird scoring on the clapometer is perhaps something to tweak (why 107.4?) but overall this deserved a long spell on BBC One.
"If you can't sing, dance or rhyme, don't do the crime".
Andy Blythe and Marten Joustra
The Slammer was voted Best Entertainment Programme at the 2007 Children's BAFTA awards.