The Grand Knockout Tournament, 1987
The Grand Knockout Tournament, also known as It’s A royal Knockout was a one off charity event following the format seen on It’s A Knockout.
It was devised by HRH Prince Edward who following his departure from the Royal Marines had been keen to develop a career in TV and theatre.
The event was staged at Alton Towers on the lakeside lawn. However as it used it’s own specially created set the setting was not so recognisable.
The event became more famous for it’s press conference. Immediately after the event, Prince Edward asked the assembled journalists, “Well, what did you think?” The journalists, unbeknown to Prince Edward, hadn’t seen the event as they had remained in the press tent, separate from the celebrities and members of the Royal Family who had taken part, and apparently unhappy at such an arrangement. The response was nervous laughter. This lead Prince Edward to storm out of the press conference, sarcastically thanking the journalists for their enthusiasm.
Whilst never confirmed. Reportedly the Queen disapproved of the event and all of her courtiers had advised against it. Neither she, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince and Princess of Wales agreed to take part.
However, Prince Edward persevered and the project went to completion, raising over £1 million for the respective charities.
The event was staged on 15th June 1987 and given live coverage on BBC Radio 1’s Steve Wright In The Afternoon as part of the Radio 1 Roadshow.
Lead by their Royal Highnesses Prince Edward, Princess Royal and Duke and Duchess of York (who were team leaders only and did not compete) four celebrity teams compete in a selection of bizarre games in order to win money for their respective charities.
HRH Prince Edward
HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal
HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York
HRH Sarah, Duchess of York
Originally Transmitted: 19th June 1987