Dame Edna’s Neighbourhood Watch – 1992
Dame Edna’s Neighbourhood Watch. Possibly the most outrageous game show you’ll ever see.
Superstar housewife Dame Edna hosted this “intrusive” game show that peeped into real people’s homes – literally !
Devised by Dame Edna’s alter ego Barry Humphries and Ian Davidson, the series was produced by London Weekend Television for ITV.
Despite it’s highly amusing subject matter the show was short lived, running for only two series of six episodes each.
There were some great prizes on offer including a Ferrari, jewellery and a box of chocolates with all the soft-centres removed, as well as work-out sessions with Edna’s own ‘personal trainer’, the hunky Roberto Bulges [pronounced “Bul-JESS”].
The show was clearly a set up (the wife seems to take it quite reasonably), but outragously funny.
Filmed before a live all female audience and also featuring Edna’s mute and frumpy bridesmaid Madge. Three members of the “all-female, invitation-only audience” are randomly chosen to play a quiz game for fabulous prizes, by means of “heat-seeking gladiolus.”
Once selected the lucky three contestants would be sent off to be “made up and microphoned” by Sister [nurse] Vedgegood, while Dame Edna explained the show to the remaining audience: a camera crew has been dispatched to the home of one of the three “randomly selected” contestants, and the quiz to follow will be about the contents of their house.
Once the three contestants return to their buzzers, the quiz begins. Initially the questions are easy, showing famous residences, such as the White House, or Buckingham Palace, with Dame Edna asking the question “Who lives here?”, but the third question would show pictures from the remote camera crew. Two of the contestants are now unable to answer as they don’t recognise the house, but the third one, after recognizing her own home, would be dragged up by Edna and turned into “a consultant”.
Now the fun begins: accompanied by a camera crew Madge enters the contestant’s home and begins to rifle through their things. Discoveries – such as discarded underwear, nude photographs, hidden liquor supplies, and lovers’ trysts–would provoke shrieks of hilarity from the studio audience and red-faced embarrassment from the unfortunate contestant.
The remaining two contestants are then quizzed about what they have just seen in order to amass points to win prizes.
In true Dame Edna style, neither contestant would get nearly enough points to collect anything except the chocolates.
However, the consultant and her husband (who had of course provided access to the house in the first place) would be given a fancy, all-expenses paid vacation (in the first series, they are also presented with a bouquet of gladiolus and a commemorative plate bearing a cartoon-like drawing of Dame Edna).
Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage
Emily Perry as Madge Alsop
Created By: Barry Humphries and Ian Davidson
Produced By: London Weekend Television
Original Transmission Dates: 19th September 1992 – 23rd October 1993