Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, 1994
Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush was an early venture for Chris Evans. It was his first major venture away from ‘The Big Breakfast”.
The show, that was written by Evans, ran for two series notching up twenty shows along the way. Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush won the Rose d’Or (generally considered the world’s most prestigious award for light entertainment) at the 1995 Montreux TV Festival, the first time a game show had ever won the top prize.
Despite it’s award and popularity the show took some getting off the ground. An initial pilot show was considered unsuccessful by executives and Evans himself. Then Channel 4 Chief Executive Michael Grade, likened the pilot to ” amateur’s hour”.
After two failed pilots, Channel 4 were reluctant to waste the money that they had spent developing the show. Executive producer Sebastian Scott left the project and Evans invited experienced game show producer William G. Stewart to develop the show.
Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush gave out two huge prizes in its short history. The first was a trip to EuroDisney – for the entire audience.
The second, the show’s last ever prize, was a Ferrari which a man won – luckily, they avoided the booby prize of a fish finger! He needed treatment for shock backstage after the show had finished. According to staff on the show, he kept asking “Is it mine? Is it really mine?!”
The show was in two parts.
A Super Fan quiz. Here a star guest competed against a ‘Super Fan” answering trivia questions to see if they knew more bout themselves than the Super Fan, against whom they were competing.
The prize was a possession of the stars that only a true fan would value. During the quiz round, usually between questions, Chris Evans would ask for the clock to be stopped, then have a brief conversation with the celebrity guest regarding the question just asked, before starting it up again for the next one.
A Game Show. Members of the audience were asked to bring a passport and a packed suitcase to the studio and to arrange to take the following week off work (unless they were unemployed or, as was pointed out, did not care if they lost their jobs).
Two members of the audience were selected to take part in the “Light Your Lemon” quiz as a team, and a postcard was drawn from those sent in by home viewers to give two more contestants.
The studio contestants were asked a maximum of nine questions, with right and wrong answers lighting a section of a giant cocktail glass or ice cream cone, respectively. If the studio contestants got five correct answers, they would “light the lemon” on the glass. However, if they missed five, they would “flash the Flake” on the cone. Then it was the turn of the home viewer, who had to answer Evans’ call within five rings. He would then ask him/her one question.
The studio contestants won a holiday to an exotic destination either by lighting the lemon, or by default if they flashed the Flake and the home viewer either missed his/her question or failed to answer Evans’ call within five rings.
If the home viewer did answer correctly, he/she won the exotic holiday and the studio contestants received one to a much less appealing destination.
The two places were chosen for their alliterative names, such as Martinique versus Margate. The studio contestants departed immediately after the show for whichever holiday they had won.
Rachel Tatton Brown (series one)
Jadene Doran (series two)
Channel: Channel 4
Written By: Chris Evans
Original Transmission Dates: 12th February 1994 – 25th February 1995