Call My Bluff

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This article is about the UK game show. For the US game show, see Call My Bluff (U.S. game show). For the dice game, see Liar's dice.
Call My Bluff
Genre Panel show
Presented by Robin Ray (1965–66)
Joe Melia (1966–67)
Peter Wheeler (1967–68)
Robert Robinson (1969–88, 1994)
Bob Holness (1996–2003)
Fiona Bruce (2003–05)
Angus Deayton (2011)
Starring Team captains
Frank Muir (1965–66, 1969–88 & 1994)
Robert Morley (1965–66)
Alan Melville (1966–67)
Michael Flanders (1966–67)
Drusilla Beyfus (1967–68)
Kenneth Horne (1967–68)
Patrick Campbell (1969–80)
Arthur Marshall (1980–88)
Joanna Lumley (1994)
Alan Coren (1996–2005)
Sandi Toksvig (1996–2003)
Rod Liddle (2003–05)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 25 (BBC2)
?? (BBC1)
No. of episodes 542 (BBC2)
469 (BBC1)
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Release
Original network BBC2 (17 October 1965 – 16 April 1994)
BBC1 (13 May 1996 – 17 July 2005)
Original release 17 October 1965 (1965-10-17) – 17 July 2005 (2005-07-17)
Chronology
Related shows Call My Bluff (U.S. version)

Call My Bluff is a long-running British game show between two teams of three celebrity contestants. The point of the game is for the teams to take it in turn to provide three definitions of an obscure word, only one of which is correct. The other team then has to guess which is the correct definition, the other two being "bluffs". It was brought back to BBC TV by producer Richard L. Lewis.

Examples of words used in Call My Bluff, taken from a book published in connection with the show in 1972, are Queach, Strongle, Ablewhacket, Hickboo, Jargoon, Zurf, Morepork, and Jirble. "Queach", for instance, was defined as "a malicious caricature", "a cross between a quince and a peach", or "a mini-jungle of mixed vegetation". The first and second of those particular definitions are bluffs.

The theme music for the show was Ciccolino by Norrie Paramor.[1]

Broadcast history[edit]

Call My Bluff originally aired on BBC2 from 17 October 1965 to 22 December 1988. The original host was Robin Ray, later succeeded by Robert Robinson (from 1967).

Robert Morley and Frank Muir captained the teams. Morley was later succeeded by Patrick Campbell, and Arthur Marshall took over upon Campbell's death.

Various celebrities also stood in as team captains, including Kenneth Horne, Kenneth Williams and Alan Melville.

The original series finished after Marshall's death, although a general change in the tone and atmosphere of broadcasting at the time may also have affected its temporary demise.

The show was resurrected in 1996 after an eight-year rest (apart from one special edition on 16 April 1994 for BBC Two's thirtieth birthday, which still featured Robert Robinson, but this time with Joanna Lumley as a team captain opposite Frank Muir), now as a daytime series on BBC1. It began airing on 13 May 1996 with Alan Coren and Sandi Toksvig as the team captains and Bob Holness replacing Robinson as chairman.

In 2003, Toksvig was replaced by the journalist Rod Liddle, and newsreader Fiona Bruce took the chair. The series finished again on 17 July 2005.

Call My Bluff returned for a special during the BBC's 24 Hour Panel People in aid for Comic Relief 2011, with Alex Horne, Roisin Conaty, Russell Tovey, Tim Key, Sarah Cawood and David Walliams participating. The host was Angus Deayton.

Transmissions[edit]

BBC2[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 17 October 1965[2] 29 June 1966[3] 37[3]
2 2 October 1966[4] 14 April 1967[5] 26[5]
3 1 October 1967[6] 7 July 1968[7] 39[7]
4 24 April 1969[8] 28 May 1970[9] 59[9]
5 14 September 1970[10] 25 January 1971[11] 20[11]
6 14 June 1971[12] 7 February 1972[13] 34[13]
7 13 November 1972[14] 7 May 1973[15] 26[15]
8 3 September 1973[16] 28 January 1974[17] 22[17]
9 30 September 1974[18] 24 March 1975[19] 26[19]
10 29 April 1976[20] 12 August 1976[21] 16[21]
11 29 April 1977[22] 12 August 1977[23] 16[23]
12 22 March 1978[24] 2 August 1978[25] 18[25]
13 2 January 1979[26] 15 May 1979[27] 20[27]
14 13 January 1980[28] 30 March 1980[29] 12[29]
15 3 July 1980[30] 4 September 1980[31] 10[31]
16 13 February 1981[32] 26 July 1981[33] 20[33]
17 28 January 1982[34] 17 June 1982[35] 20[35]
18 11 April 1983[36] 4 September 1983[37] 20[37]
19 23 January 1984[38] 20 August 1984[39] 29[39]
20 19 October 1984[40] 21 December 1984[41] 10[41]
21 29 October 1985[42] 31 December 1985[43] 10[43]
22 8 January 1987[44] 28 May 1987[45] 20[45]
23 10 September 1987[46] 10 December 1987[47] 14[47]
24 14 April 1988[48] 16 June 1988[49] 9[49]
25 26 October 1988[50] 22 December 1988[51] 8[51]
One-off 16 April 1994[52] 1[52]

Almost every single one of the first 263 episodes from Series 1–8 have been wiped from the BBC archives. The episodes that survived in the archives are Episode 3 of Series 2, Episodes 5 & 38 of Series 4, Episodes 3–4 of Series 5 and Episodes 15–16 of Series 8.[53]

BBC1[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 13 May 1996[54] 31 May 1996[55] 14[55]
2 2 September 1996[56] 10 January 1997[57] 80[57]
3 1 April 1997[58] 18 July 1997[59] 60[59]

Book[edit]

International versions[edit]

Country Local Name Host Network Year Aired
 Australia Would You Believe? Peter Lazar Australian Broadcasting Company 1970–1974
 Denmark Fup eller Fakta Otto Leisner
Erling Bundgaard
Zita Boye-Møller
Danmarks Radio 1966–1991
 Finland Kuutamοlla Santeri Kinnunen MTV3 2001–2004
 United States Call My Bluff Bill Leyden NBC March 29 – September 24, 1965

References in other works[edit]

Smith: "Skankarific's not a word!"
Casey: "It means terrifically skankified, it was on Call My Bluff"
  • An episode of the early-'80s LWT sketch-comedy series End of Part One parodied the show as Scrape My Barrel, where panelists had to figure out the meaning of the word working class.
  • In the "Europe" episode of QI (series E), a segment was featured entitled "Call My Euro Bluff", featuring stories about laws in the EU. The panel then had to decide whether each story was true or a "bløff" (Stephen Fry pronounced it "blerff").
  • The show (and in particular its host, Robert Robinson) was the subject of a sketch by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in the second series of A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf" Call My Bluff is mentioned as one of the games hosted in the game station.
  • In May 2014 the quirks of the show were lampooned by Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse in BBC Two's satirical Harry and Paul's Story of the Twos, where the show was given the name "Speech Impediment" and the word chosen for the panel was paedophile.[60]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 17 October 1965". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 29 June 1966". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 2 October 1966". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 14 April 1967". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 1 October 1967". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 7 July 1968". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 24 April 1969". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 28 May 1970". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 14 September 1970". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 25 January 1971". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 14 June 1971". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 7 February 1972". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 13 November 1972". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 7 May 1973". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 3 September 1973". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 28 January 1974". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 30 September 1974". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  19. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 24 March 1975". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 29 April 1976". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 12 August 1976". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 29 April 1977". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 12 August 1977". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 22 March 1978". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 2 August 1978". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 2 January 1979". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 15 May 1979". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  28. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 13 January 1980". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  29. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 30 March 1980". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  30. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 3 July 1980". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  31. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 4 September 1980". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  32. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 13 February 1981". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  33. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 26 July 1981". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  34. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 28 January 1982". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  35. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 17 June 1982". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  36. ^ "Evening Times". Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  37. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 4 September 1983". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  38. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 23 January 1984". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  39. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 21 December 1984". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  40. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 19 October 1984". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  41. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 21 December 1984". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  42. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 29 October 1985". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  43. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 31 December 1985". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  44. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 8 January 1987". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  45. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 28 May 1987". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  46. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 10 September 1987". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  47. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 10 December 1987". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  48. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 14 April 1988". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  49. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 16 June 1988". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  50. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 26 October 1988". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  51. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 22 December 1988". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  52. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC Two England - 16 April 1994". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  53. ^ "Lost UK TV Shows Search Engine". Lostshows.com. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  54. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC One London - 13 May 1996". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  55. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC One London - 31 May 1996". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  56. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC One London - 2 September 1996". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  57. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC One London - 10 January 1997". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  58. ^ "Call My Bluff - BBC One London - 1 April 1997". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  59. ^ a b "Call My Bluff - BBC One London - 18 July 1997". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  60. ^ [2]

External links[edit]