You Should be So Lucky!



Colin Bennett as "Vince Purity"


BBC1, 19 February 1986 to 11 February 1987 (12 episodes in 2 series)


OK; brace yourself for this one, for truth surely is stranger than Quizzlestick.

A man kidnaps a load of schoolkids and for his amusement makes them play a giant game of snakes and ladders. Bonus moves were awarded for the team partners completing a game or variety-style task correctly, measured via a clapometer.

All the kids were of the 1980s uppity stage school variety, and as such being captured by a horrid old man is probably about right for them.

About halfway through, Vince would utter the phrase "break a leg!" and whichever team hit their buzzer first would get to do their big dance routine, and at the end the kids would do individual turns, with the winner getting a bit longer for theirs. Even now, we give an involuntary shudder at the dread words "I'm going to do a monologue".

Key moments

This bizarre and surely unscripted close-out from Ver Purity: "As you see all these young professionals, bear in mind you'll see 'em all in theatres near you shortly in a couple of years time, we've got a marvellous heritage of theatre in this country, will you do me a favour, will you go and see some of it, eh, you won't be disappointed, it's all out there live every evening, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Ray Cooney, you won't be disappointed, it could change your life, will you do that for me, eh? And here's something else... (drum roll, cut to closing theme tune, naturally sung by V. Purity, Esq.)" Presumably the autocue simply said "Rant a bit. Go off on one." At approximately 85 words in 20 seconds and possibly as many as two breaths, it was inspired ranting. O, for the halcyon days when Children's BBC felt secure enough to recommend 19th century Norwegian dramatists to its pre-teen audience, even if only from the mouth of as creepy a host character as might be imagined before the watershed.


"Break a leg!"

"Bran barrel! Bran barrel!"


Colin Bennett

Theme music

Mike McNaught


Musical accompaniment from Jock & the Rhythm Boys, dancing by Vince Purity's four "Purettes".

Web links

Opening titles from the BBC Motion Graphics Archive


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