Fun House (UK game show)

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Fun House
UKfunhouse.JPG
Opening title
Genre Children's
Created by Bob Synes
Presented by Pat Sharp
Narrated by Gary King
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 11
No. of episodes 146
Production
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) STV Productions
(Scottish Television)
Broadcast
Original channel ITV Network (CITV)
Picture format 4:3
Original run 24 February 1989 (1989-02-24) – 29 December 1999 (1999-12-29)
Chronology
Related shows Fun House (US version)

Fun House is a British children's game show produced by Scottish Television and based on the American show, that aired on CITV from 24 February 1989 to 29 December 1999. It usually aired on Fridays (with the exception of Series 4, which aired on Wednesdays and Series 5 & 6, which aired on Thursdays). It was hosted by Pat Sharp, who was also aided by twin cheerleaders, Melanie Grant supporting the red team and Martina Grant supporting the yellow team. The announcer was Gary King. The theme tune was composed by David Pringle and Bob Heatlie.

Format[edit]

Each episode featured 2 teams each consisting of a boy and girl representing schools from around the UK. There were 3 rounds in each episode.

Round 1 (3 Messy Games)[edit]

The opening games in the UK version of Fun House were not referred to as stunts, but Messy Games. The games typically used gunge rather than food. From Series 1 to 7 the contestants were usually barefoot when playing the messy games, this was discontinued from Series 8 until the show's end. One game would feature the boys from each team, another the girls and the remaining game was a team game involving all four contestants. (Although occasionally in later series, there were shows that had 3 team games). The order of the games varied from episode to episode. One of the games was dubbed a "key game", in which the losers of the game earned points relative to their score at the end of the stunt. (Or in series 6, the runners up would receive 10 points regardless of their score at the end of the stunt). The three messy games in the programme were changed every episode. As with the US version of the show, each of the messy games had a question round afterward, in which the team that got the answer to the question right would win another 25 points.

Round 2 (The Fun Kart Grand Prix)[edit]

1989 - 1994[edit]

There were three laps in the Grand Prix, (2 in Series 1 & 2). The first lap was where the first team member collected up their relevant "10" tokens, each time they collect up a "10" token, they win 10 points. The second lap was where the second team member collected up the "25" tokens. The final lap was a "power lap" in which the first team member that went round the course first had to finish the race to pick up 25 extra points. (No power lap in Series 1 & 2) Tokens dropped on the floor by the contestants were not counted. Each time the go karts came round to lap, the driver was swapped with the other team member. The points would be added up by Pat Sharp collecting the tokens from the team members and dropping them into a red/yellow box (the colour of the box depending on which team's points he is adding up). He added up the points in his head while dropping them in, and the results would be shown on the little LED screen on the team's podium.

1995[edit]

In early 1995, there were 3 laps in the grand prix. The 10 and 25 point tokens were replaced with silver tokens with a blue stripe in the middle and these were worth 25 points each. The first lap was for the first team member and they collected a maximum of 4 of these tokens. The second and third laps was for the second team member where they collected a maximum of 4 on the second lap and whatever was left on the third lap. There was no driver changeover between the 2nd and 3rd lap. There were a maximum of 10 silver tokens to collect in the three laps and the winning team would receive 50 points. The points would be added up by Pat Sharp collecting the tokens from the team members and dropping them into a box on either side of the desk. He added up the points in his head while dropping them in, and the results would be shown on the little LED screen on the team's podium. The format was changed back to the original format in late 1995 with the 10 and 25 point tokens, but they collected the 25 point tokens on the first lap and the 10 point tokens on the second lap. The third lap was a speed lap and the winning team received 25 points.

1996 - 1997[edit]

In 1996, the tokens were replaced with buttons/plungers placed around both sides of the track and in addition, the track now has starting lights at the starting line along with a plunger to give Pat Sharp and the audience a five-second countdown before starting the race for the teams. The first lap was where the first team member had to hit their relevant "10" buttons in order to win ten points for each time they press one. The buttons would not retract ("spring out"), so once it is pressed in, the contestant cannot cheat by pressing it in again. The second lap was where the second team member hit the "25" buttons for twenty-five points. The final lap was where the first team member had to speed up and win the race and also pick up "25" extra points. The buttons were connected to a computer (one computer per team) which would add up the total scores as the team members hit the buttons. The results would be shown on a set of lights when Pat Sharp hit the button on top of the team's podium. There would be two columns of lights on both sets of lights. One was for "10" buttons pressed and one was for "25" buttons pressed. As before, the points would be shown on the LED screens on the team member's podium. Also as before, the team member driving the go-kart changed every time a lap was completed.

1998 - 1999[edit]

In 1998, the buttons were replaced with wheels. There were four metal wires hanging above the track with all four steering wheels attached. There are four steering wheels for each team (valued at 25 points) bringing the maximum total points to 100. The first lap was a "power up" lap, The second lap was for the second team member to collect their first 2 wheels, The third lap was for the first team member to collect the second 2 wheels, The fourth lap was another power-up lap where the second team member has to win the race and collect an extra "50" points, (25 in 1999). Wheels dropped on the floor were not counted and neither were wheels collected on the first and final laps. As before, the team member driving the go kart changed as the go kart came round to lap. The points for collecting the steering wheels were added up by an off-screen member of the production crew and the results of each team were then programmed into the relevant computers. The results were shown on the lights, as before, by Pat Sharp hitting the button on top of the team's podium. the results, as usual were then shown in numbers on the LED screen on the team's podium.

Round 3 (The Fun House)[edit]

In the UK version of the show, to actually win the power prize, they not only had to grab the tag, they also had to answer one question (often multi-parted) correctly within 10 seconds. Also, the only prizes in the Fun House were non-monetary because of a law in Europe stating that children cannot win money on game shows. The Fun House itself was completely different from the US version. In that version the Fun House itself was actually designed like a house, whereas in the UK version it was designed like a Funhouse ride that is often found at fairgrounds.

Fun House designs[edit]

1989 - 1991[edit]

Much smaller but more colourful than later ones. It is almost entirely different from later versions.

1993 - 1994[edit]

Much larger than the previous version and had a recurring theme of a bully (an inflatable figurine of such a person) in the Fun House, this included the inflatable bully at the back that was the same size as the Fun House.

1995 - 1997[edit]

The bully element has been removed from the show and the space previously occupied by the large bully figure at the back incorporated some flashing coloured lights and fake 'windows' to emphasise the 'house feel'. This was accompanied by colourful flashing studio lamps whereas the final run in previous series simply had the same studio lighting level that had been present throughout the entire episode.

1998[edit]

The Fun House has been completely re-built, but much based on the 1993-1997 version (although the big leap has changed from another tube slide to some giant steps). This included the Fun House being coloured of only red and yellow, instead of the multi-coloured Fun House used previously. The front entrance area has been completely re-designed. This included the removal of the "Fun House" logo hanging above the entrance and the removal of the two car-wash style spirals, being replaced by two stacks (one at either side) with blocks on top, each one having a Fun House logo on it. Also, this Fun House seems larger than the previous incarnations, and certain parts of it have been completely re-designed (the Snake Pit, for example, instead of simply being a multicoloured box with springy snakes inside, is now a more traditional snake basket.) Also, when Pat Sharp introduces the Fun House at the start of each episode, from now on, there are more explosions and firework bangs in the Fun House rather than simply two spark machines either side of the Fun House entrance logo. These "improved" explosions also included a few smoke machines to give a better impression of the special effects and along with sound effects throughout the teams 'run' through the fun-house added to the 'wackyness' and atmosphere. Also, a wall of stacked boxes was added at the entrance of the fun house after Gary King announced the episode's prizes, and the 1st player would plow through the wall to start the round when Pat said go.

1999[edit]

The final version was a slight re-designing of the Fun House. This included a change to the Big Leap from a tall fireman's pole leading to the giant steps to a zip-line seat built to carry the player from the top of the Fun House to the bottom ball pool.

Fun House obstacles[edit]

This list is incomplete. Help Wikipedia by expanding it

  • Wild slide - A very steep and fast tube slide (Series 4-11)
  • Sneaky slip 'n' slide - Another tube slide opposite the wild slide but less steep and fast. (Series 4-9)
  • Skelter Belter - A helter-skelter like slide which leads to the bottom ball pool of the Fun House (Series 4-7)
  • The flying fox - A zip line which went from one end of the fun house to the other (Series 4-11)
  • The ball run - A long ball pit at the back of the fun house (Series 4-11)
  • firemans pole - A long pole similar to a firemans pole to slide down from the top of the fun house to the bottom. (Series 4-11)
  • Crawl tube - A big plastic tube to crawl through. (Renamed the Tumbling Tube) (Series 4-11)
  • Balloon Tunnel - A tunnel filled with balloons (Series 1-11)
  • Monster Maze - An area at the front of the fun house filled with monsters (Series 4-9)
  • The bob sleigh - A bob sleigh which goes down a large slide from the top of the fun house which leads to the sneaky slip 'n' slide. (Series 4-11)
  • The danger net - A net bridge which leads to the wild slide. (Series 4-11)
  • Hole in the wall - A wall with holes in, the tag hides behind one of the holes (Series 5 only)
  • The Crazy Cuckoo - A giant birdhouse with a green bird puppet inside (Series 6 only)
  • Cartwheel Flower - A machine room with cartwheels shaped just like a flower (Series 6 only)
  • Angular triangular - A box with two triangle-shaped spinning shelves inside (Series 8 only)
  • The turning twister - A box, oppose to Angular Triangular, with spinning circles (Series 8 only)
  • Connections Wall - A wall with snakes inside, and the player had to make the right connection to that snake in order to grab the tag (Series 6 only)
  • Magic curtain - A foam rubber curtain which you could walk through (Series 8 only)
  • The trash cans - 3 rubbish bins filled with rubbish, the tag is hidden inside one of them. (Series 5 only)
  • The bully - A giant head of a bully with giant teeth, you have to punch his teeth to get the tag. (Series 5 only)
  • The tall tower - Very large tower with a ladder to climb up (Series 10-11)
  • Snakes in a box - A box filled with snakes. (Series 9-11)
  • Jungle Jump - The fireman's pole in the 7th series that just jungle like tree leaves on it (Series 7 only)
  • The A frame - A climbing frame in the shape of a capital A (Series 9-11)
  • The sunken well - 4 long narrow tubes with ropes inside, the tag is attached to one of them (Series 10-11)
  • The climbing net - A net to climb up (Renamed the Net Ladder in earlier versions) (Series 4-11)
  • The big leap - A big firemans pole (Series 10 only)
  • Stone faces - Hawaiian like stones with holes in their mouths, and the player had to punch out the right hole of that stone face to grab the tag (Series 7 only)
  • The giant steps - A giant staircase (Series 8-11)
  • Gong crazy! - A large box with a polystyrene gong at the front, smash it open to get the tag. (Series 9 only)
  • Pullovers - An closet like area full of long sleeved Clothes with a tag hidden in one of the sleeves of that cloth (Series 7 only)
  • Hungry Burgers - An area with 2 cheeseburgers, and one of the burgers has the tag hidden somewhere in its patty (Series 7 only)
  • The big drop - A zip-line seat built to carry the player from the top of the Fun House to the bottom ball pool (Series 11 only)

Transmissions[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1
24 February 1989
26 May 1989
13
2
23 February 1990
25 May 1990
13
3
4 January 1991
5 April 1991
13
4
6 January 1993
31 March 1993
13
5
6 January 1994
24 March 1994
12
6
5 January 1995
30 March 1995
13
7
8 September 1995
15 December 1995
15
8
13 September 1996
6 December 1996
13
9
12 September 1997
12 December 1997
14
10
25 September 1998
18 December 1998
13
11
22 September 1999
29 December 1999
14[1][2]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Transmissions list at BFI website". BFI. 2013-09-03. 
  2. ^ "itv christmas tv guide". google. 2013-09-04.