Mel And Sue’s Generation Game, 2018
The Generation Game had ended in 2002 after ITV’s Pop Idol winning the ratings and Jim Davidson quitting as host after seven at the helm.
Attempting to revive
The BBC were keen to revive the show and plans began to bring it back. Initially it was hoped that Paul O’Grady would host and two pilot episodes were made. However neither O’Grady or the production team were happy with the result and therefore the episodes were not broadcast and Paul O’Grady decided it wasn’t for him.
A new idea
Three years later, in 2005, Graham Norton hosted a celebrity version of the show entitled ‘Generation Fame’ many thought this was the start of a new version but only one episode was screened. The celebrity idea was picked up again in 2011 as another one off when Vernon Kay hosted a version as part of a charity marathon of game shows for Comic Relief.
Not giving up
On April 2014 the BBC announced that Miranda Hart was in “early talks” to revive the show. Things were looking good when later that year a pilot was filmed. Sadly it was another one that didn’t make it when in August 2015 it was announced that the project was “very much on hold” due to Hart wanting to concentrate on her acting and writing career. Back to the drawing board.
Just three years later, on 11th May 2017, it was reported that comedians Mel and Sue were to host a reboot for the BBC as part of a package for not switching channels when the BBC lost The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4. On 23rd July 2017, it was confirmed that Mel and Sue would host a revival of The Generation Game.
The plan was to film a series four episodes. However, on 7th February 2018, only two episodes instead of the planned four were confirmed, with the BBC saying “During the production process it’s not unusual for a new series to change length as the format evolves”. The writing was on the wall. The two episodes did finally materialise screened over the Easter Weekend, 2018. Sadly they were panned by the critics and once again The Generation Game disappeared.
Like previous versions two generations of a family were the contestants. They competed in favourite classic games from previous series. As in previous series contestants are marked by an expert, but in Mel and Sue’s version a celebrity panel also cast comment.
The winning couple get the chance of winning prizes from the conveyor belt.
This felt more of an over the top tribute to the original rather than a re-boot.
Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins
Original Transmission Dates: 16th and 17th April 2018