The Saturday Show (BBC TV series)
|The Saturday Show|
|Starring||Dani Behr (2001-2002)
Joe Mace (2001-2002)
Dave Chapman (2001-2002)
Damian Farrell (2001-2002)
Fearne Cotton (2002-2003)
Simon Grant (2002-2005)
Angellica Bell (2004-2005)
Jake Humphrey (2004-2005)
Emilia Coxe (2005)
Sophie McDonnell (2005)
Ortis Deley (2005)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Original channel||BBC One|
|Original release||22 September 2001 – 3 September 2005|
The Saturday Show was a BBC children's show that aired on Saturday mornings. First aired in September in 2001, it replaced the popular show Live & Kicking. It contained a mix of audience participation, cartoons, games and gunge. The initial presenters were Dani Behr and Joe Mace, who were replaced in 2002 and by Fearne Cotton and Simon Grant. In 2004, Cotton left and Grant was joined by Angellica Bell and Jake Humphrey, who made up the final team of presenters until the program finished in September 2005.
In 2001, it was announced that "Live & Kicking" would be axed after eight series, and instead, a brand new show fronted by Dani Behr and Joe Mace would be aired. It would be a radical departure from standard and conventional Saturday Morning TV. The new show was billed to be tough competition for SMTV. The show was confined to the studio, which was designed in an unconventional format - it was based on tiered seating and three stages at the bottom: one with a presenters' couch, one for performances and one for The Saturday Show house band, Stamford Amp. The show included a series of different karaokes, including Sugababes week. This allowed the children to sing along to the official instrumentals. The show also featured a puppet duo, "Tiny and Mr Duke" performed by Dave Chapman and Damian Farrell. Stamford Amp also had a top 40 hit single in the UK with "Anything For You". In February 2002, with the CBBC Channel having just launched, Nihal and Sarra Elgan were presenting The Saturday Show Extra, which ran parallel to the main program. It had a new studio and new graphics. The new set consisted of a couch underneath a balcony. There was a stage on the other side of the studio, in standard SM:TV convention. The re-launch also saw more audience participation at home.
In July 2002, Joe Mace chose to not renew his contract, and Behr left the show with him. The Saturday Show was about to be axed but the much younger and child-friendlier pairing of Fearne Cotton and Simon Grant agreed to take the slot.
Tiny and Mr Duke remained on the show with the new presenters, until Dave Chapman and Damian Farrell left the show in December 2002.
2002 to 2004
The show was rebranded to "The All New Saturday Show" from September 2002. At the start of the show, the presenters acted in a manner focussed on a younger audience, with the content and the behaviour of the presenters maturing as the morning progressed, in order to accommodate a teenage audience. With the new show, the Top Of The Pops spin-off series "TOTP Saturday" was born. The original concept was a 45-minute version of The Friday Night Show with that weeks Number One single played half way through. Also, a new feature called Singles Out dominated part of the show and became part of the format for the 2003 series. However, in May 2003, the show began Celebrity Fastermind which began to dominate the first hour of the show. Since then, the show began to drop its opening titles and got stuck in a format of games, gunge and celebrities. Finally in September 2003, Dick and Dom in da Bungalow was to premiere on BBC1. Overall, the new show was a ratings success, taking over SMTV Live for many weeks. Extra was moved to 12pm on the CBBC Channel, but was eventually dropped.
After a successful run, the show returned in April 2004 with another new look. Angelica Bell and Jake Humphrey joined Simon Grant to attempt to save the show. The show was once again not set in a traditional studio. The audience sat on couches whereas the presenters had nowhere to sit, instead being on their feet for the majority of the show. With only 90 minutes to air, the show began at 8:30am, finishing at 10am followed by The Mysti Show. Many features were aired in this series - the finale to the show was Gunge GBH.
2004 to End
Now a celebrity-free environment, the BBC revamped the show, hoping to make it more interactive. Throughout the morning, the audience would take part in games such as Scary Buckets, Stick and Twist and Blushing Roulette, amongst others. This series saw a continuous run of out-of-studio reporters such as Ortis and Sophie McDonnell introduced, with McDonnell filling in for Bell on occasion. The show also featured a sketch called Dr Loo, a parody of Doctor Who. The series as a whole was not a success and was axed in 2005. Realising that they would not be on the air at Christmas, the last episode, aired on 3 September, was a "Christmas special".
One newer feature of the show was Gunge GBH (GBH standing for Grant, Bell or Humphrey), during which a child was given the chance to gunge a presenter. A segment of the 2005 summer run of The Saturday Show, it started the previous year as just "Gunge Grant" when presenter Simon Grant went head to head with a child in a quiz. Both contestants sat in adjacent gunge tanks and were asked questions sent in by viewers. Question master Jake Humphrey asked each player a question in turn (before which they were given the option to play or pass the question to the other player). Each player had five lives and for each life lost their tank was "topped up" with gunge by Bell. The first contestant to lose all five of their lives was "gunged". If the child won they would also take home prizes but if they lost would instead take home an "I've Been Gunged On The Saturday Show" certificate.
The format was changed the following year allowing all three presenters to rotate turns in the tank. The input of gunge was now controlled by "The God of Gunge." Initially the rules were that if a presenter lost they would remain in the tank the following week, but this was eventually changed to the child choosing which presenter they wished to play against, and subsequently changed again to the drawing of straws. Another change to the game occurred towards the end of the series when the previous five lives became three. Jake Humphrey particularly disliked going in the tank and usually tried to find an excuse not to be gunged - this tended to fail, and he had to play the game.