The Terry and Gaby Show
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|The Terry and Gaby Show|
|Created by||Chris Evans|
|No. of episodes||200|
|Original release||2 June 2003 – 26 March 2004|
The Terry and Gaby Show was a daytime television show broadcast on Five on weekday mornings between June 2003 and April 2004, produced by Chris Evans' company UMTV. It was hosted by Terry Wogan and Gaby Roslin.
The opening titles featured Gaby dressed up like a movie star driven to the studio in a limo and walking on red carpet to the door. Meanwhile, Terry, carrying a briefcase, rode a rickety old bicycle across London and parked it outside the back door before quietly entering the building through said back door.
The show was not well known for the guests who appeared on it, but rather for its many bloopers or double entendres (such as the instance when a number of various sized tennis balls were located around the studio to mark that year's Wimbledon tournament, and when introducing Pat Cash as a guest Gaby announced "And I'm sure you can guess from the size of those balls who's coming up next!")
The early episodes tried to capture the atmosphere of Terry's BBC Radio 2 breakfast show. They even had a butler for Terry, named Bulstrode, who in reality was one of the show's producers, usually there to serve him drinks (of the alcoholic kind).
Roving reporter Danny McCall (a former Brookside actor) featured in a section called "Live Loot". From Monday to Thursday, he would go to a certain location in the UK and go to someone's house trying to get them to sell something to him. He had £100 each day to bribe them with. The first person he visited on the first show was future regular Danny Baker. On Friday, the four items collected over the week would be given away to viewers.
The show also featured a daily competition called "Kids in Headphones" in which a child of primary school age was shown with a pair of headphones on, singing along to a tune playing in the headphones. Viewers had to identify the tune to win a prize, with winners drawn at the end of the show. In later episodes, winners were put into a draw to win a television and a selection of DVDs, which gave rise to a crude running gag from Gaby about the size of the television. ("42 inches! Oh boy!")
A regular on the show was Johnny Ball. At the beginning of each show from Monday to Thursday, he would take down three questions sent in by viewers and go off to research the answers. At the end of the show, he would come back and answer them. The third question always involved a rather more long-winded answer, explained using props.
In the autumn of 2003, Ball took a holiday, and was replaced by Danny Baker. The following Monday, Johnny returned, but on Tuesday Baker returned to take up the role permanently. He proceeded to make the slot his own, even adding a catchphrase ("And now back to my friends!"). He would answer three or four questions, and try and perform a silly trick or other gimmick instead of the prop answer that Johnny Ball did. In later episodes, if he ran out of time, he would put back questions to be answered on future shows. However, there was one question he kept putting back, forgetting to answer it the next day, and on every subsequent day; "What is the world's most potent aphrodisiac?"
One of the most memorable moments of the show's short history came when Baker placed a piece of soap in a microwave oven. Although an oven glove had been provided for protection, Baker failed to use it, resulting in him burning his hand when he took the plate out of the microwave to the great amusement of the audience, before removing the glass plate from the microwave which promptly shattered on the floor. The clip is a well-known out-take.
The show's ratings failed to match those of This Morning, despite several tweaks to the format. The show also drew criticism for seemingly having someone other than the two hosts of the title presenting the show every other week. Embarrassingly, the show's highest ratings of all came when Terry was not present, and Jimmy Tarbuck was hosting alongside Gaby. When Gaby was unavailable, she was usually replaced by Jenny Powell. The show was called "Terry & Gaby", but because of this guest host situation, it also became:
- Les & Gaby (Les Dennis)
- Lionel & Gaby (Lionel Blair)
- Jimmy & Gaby (Jimmy Tarbuck)
- Terry & Jenny (Jenny Powell – several times)
- Terry & Linda (Linda Barker)
- Donny & Gaby (Donny Osmond – on Children in Need day)
- Danny & Gaby (Danny Baker – that week had no questions since Danny was too busy hosting to answer them)
- Richard & Gaby (Richard Whiteley – who kept getting the phone-in number wrong)
The low ratings finally led to the show being axed after 200 episodes. Another notable point, however, is that the only time the show ever made the news, was after its 199th episode, on which Anne Robinson was a guest. This was supposedly her first television appearance since her much talked-about alleged facelift. Many observers noticed how different she looked from more recent programmes, and suggested that she'd had cosmetic surgery, which she denied. The next day, on the morning of the final episode, the story was all over the newspapers, some of them displaying "before and after" pictures of Anne on the front page, ensuring that at least the show didn't go out with a total whimper.
The last episode of The Terry & Gaby Show was broadcast on 26 March 2004. Hailed as yet another television flop by Chris Evans' production company UMTV, Evans himself had the last word. The last show ended with a shot of Evans standing at a market stall (called "Chris's Fruit & Veg"), eating an apple, and then turning to the camera, saying "F*** it, we had a go, didn't we?". This is a joke on the fact that when the show launched, Chris said he would return to running a fruit & veg stall if the program failed.