It’s A Knockout, 1966
It’s A Knockout was a comedy game show that ran for a mammoth twenty three series, over three channels. Over the four decades it aired on our screens it managed a staggering three hundred and forty one episodes.
The ideas from this show are still used in competitions today, but it’s hard to believe that It’s A Knockout was first broadcast over fifty years ago.
Adapted from the French show Intervilles, It’s A Knockout was part of an international franchise Jeux Sans Frontieres (translates as Games Without Borders). It began broadcasting on BBC1 in 1966 where it remained until 1988. ITV picked it up in 1990, before, in 1991, a Welsh version aired on S4C for four series finishing in 1994. It’s A Knockout returned to TV screens in 1999 for two series on Channel 5, before finally coming to an end in 2001.
The format has been used all round Europe and there has been an Australian version.
Teams representing a town or city compete tasks in absurd games, generally dressed in large foam rubber suits. Games were played in the home town’s park, with weather often turning grassland into mud.
The team scoring most points would advance to the next stage. Teams could double points in one round by choosing to “play their Joker”. The games were refereed by former international football referee: Arthur Ellis.
The winner of each edition was awarded an It’s a Knockout! trophy and a chance to represent the UK in Jeux Sans Frontières.
Ted Ray and Charlie Chester (1966)
Mc Donald Hobley (1967)
Katie Boyle (1968)
Eddie Waring (1969 – 1981)
Arthur Edward Ellis (referee: 1969 – 1982
Frank Bruno (referee: 1999 – 2001)
Nell McAndrew (scorekeeper: 1999 – 2001)
Mc Donald Hobley (1966)
David Vine (1967 – 1971)
Bernie Clifton (1990)
Iestyn Garlick and Nia Chiswell (1991 – 1994)
Keith Chegwin and Lucy Alexander (1999 – 2001)
Channel: BBC1, ITV, S4C and Channel 5
Created By: Guy Lux
Originally Transmitted: 7th August 1966 – 6th January 2001