Master P and his mates took themselves off to Blackpool for a day on the Pleasure Beach on Saturday and had an enjoyable time, but not the outcome. The poor lad woke up in the night being sick etc and was laid low all day Sunday and hasn’t properly recovered yet.
We weren’t sure if it was a combination of the freezing weather and a dodgy kebab or one of the winter vomitting viruses that do the rounds. I got my answer this morning. I woke at about 5pm feeling odd and made my way to the loo and was promptly very sick. I went back to bed and foolishly drank some water that made a return journey at around 9am.
I won’t go into the gory details, just say that I think I’m on the mend, though I haven’t eaten anything all day.
The upshot was that found myself plonked on the sofa in front of the telly, something I don’t often except if there’s game of footie on. Now you’d think with all the channels on cable, I could have found something to stop me feeling sorry for myself. Not really.
I watched Hereford United beat Stevenage 2-0 from Sunday to go second in the Conference and then channel hopped and ended up watching Challenge TV. The two progarmmes that followed each other couldn’t have been more different in terms of what you had to do to win — Who wants to be a Millionaire and Bullseye.
The contestant had got up to £250k with two lifelines left. Then came the £500,000 question: “Aulus Cornelius was famous for his work in which field of science: 1) Anatomy; 2) Space exploration; 3) Astronomy or; 4) Astro physics?”
The bloke’s first guess was anatomy on the grounds that the name sounded like we were talking ancient rather than modern science. But not wanting to risk £218k, he phoned a friend who thought long and hard and said “anatomy” but he wasn’t 100% sure, so the bloke asks the audience and over 60% voted for anatomy.
By now the illness is forgotten and I’m shouting at the screen: “It’s astronomy. Take the gamble FFS!” You see I’m always right, up to the point Chris Tarrant says, “Oh, I’m sorry, you’ve just lost…” Anyway, the bloke bottled it and of course we were all right, Aulus was a famous ancient anatomist, although they didn’t give his other last name of Celsus.
My point is, how often do you get chance to win half a million? Okay, so it might be different when you get there, but £32k is no kick in the teeth, while half a mill would be life-changing.
As I said, this was followed by Bullseye, and what a contrast. You must know how it works, but there are three pairs of contestants, one answering questions, the other throwing darts for money and prizes.
Admittedly the questions are easy, like can you spell ‘variety’, although none of them knew that Caron Keating’s mum was Gloria Hunniford or that amen means so be it. To cut a long story short, the ‘winning’ couple didn’t do very well throwing for prizes and ended up with just a child’s ride-on robot.
They then get to decide whether to gamble their prizes and go for Bully’s special prize. This involves each contestant throwing three darts each at a conventional dartboard, needing to score 101 or more to win. They didn’t, managing a heartbreaking 97.
There followed Jim’s famous catchphrase, “Look at what you could have won.” It turned out to be not a bad one — two weeks in Australia. Usually it was something like a caravan or a speedboat, must haves for any working class dart throwers.
The point being, throwing darts in front of a live audience and knowing that it is being broadcast to millions, and that one error is going to cost you dear, must be incredibly hard, and their reward? £365 in cash, £173 for their favourite charity, a beer tankard and a wine goblet and two Bully dolls and darts. Hardly millionaire territory?
Okay, so it was 1988 and getting people to phone premium rate numbers to fund large prizes was a thing of the future, but come on, £365 — between two of them. How desperate must they have had to be to enter?
And that’s my rare rant on television over for the time being. And I’ve only had to dash away from the keyboard twice while writing it.