It's A Celebrity Knockout 1975
British Domestic Series

Presenters: Stuart Hall and Eddie Waring
Referee: Arthur Ellis

Scoregirls: Marilyn Ward, Karen Apted and Rena Edwards

Production Team Alan Wright and Paul Loosley
Engineering Manager: Geoff Lomas
Sound: John Drake

Designer: Stuart Furber
Producer:
Barney Colehan
Director:
Geoff Wilson
A BBC North West Production

GB

It's A Celebrity Knockout 1975

Summer Special

Event Staged: Sunday 22nd June 1975, 5.00pm
Venue: Fulham F.C. Football Ground (Craven Cottage), Fulham,
Greater London, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 11th July 1975, 8.00-9.00pm

The Lord's Taverners Knockout Trophy presented by: Dame Vera Lynn, DBE

Free Gift from JSFnetGB!
Download the Original Souvenir Programme from this event (PDF)

Kindly donated by Neil Storer

Teams: Celebrities v. The Lord's Taverners

Team Members included:
Celebrities - Raymond Baxter (Team Captain), Eddie Capelli, Judith Chalmers, Linda Cunningham, Neil Durden-Smith, Sally Geeson, Alan Lerwill, Mick McManus, Richard Meade, Ann Moore, Christopher Ralston, John Snagge, Bob Wilson, Kenneth Wolstenholme and Frank Worthington;

The Lord’s Taverners - James Ellis (Team Captain), Robin Askwith, Michael Barratt, David Barry, Graeme Garden, Bob Grant, Gerald Harper, Anita Harris, Vicki Harris (Miss England 1975), Frazer Hines, George Layton, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Robin Nedwell, Nicholas Parsons, Bill Pertwee, Cardew Robinson, Ed Stewart and Meriel Tufnell.

Games (Official Titles): Ski Race, Chef's Race, Parcel Wagon, Tramp Football, Doll Throwing, Cricket? (played but cut from TV version), Football Dribble and Balloon Burst;

Marathon: Waiters' Slide.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 MAR 8
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
C 2 2 0 0 2 0 0 6 0
LT 0 0 4 2 0 2 2 3 2
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
C 2 4 4 4 6 6 6 12 12
LT 0 0 4 6 6 8 10 13 15

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd

 The Lord's Taverners
 
Celebrities

15
12

The Games in Detail

Game 4 - Tramp Football

The fourth game - 'Tramp Football' as named in the souvenir programme - consisted of a goalkeeper on a large trampoline who had to protect his goal. The goal itself was irregularly sized, being square and much taller than a standard Football League goal. The idea of the game was for a team member to kick the balls into the net, with a rival team member acting as goalkeeper. Goals that were scored counted only if the ball had gone above the level of the trampoline; shots that dribbled under it were discounted. The game was played in two rounds, with Leicester City footballer Frank Worthington shooting for the Celebrities. He did well, scoring 20 goals against first actor Robin Nedwell and then disc jockey Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart before the limit time of 2 minutes was up. The second round saw Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson on the trampoline, stopping shots from the Lord's Taverners. When their shooter Ed Stewart met with little success, with Wilson keeping out most shots, the Taverners resorted to desperate tactics -- sometimes called 'cheating'. After 14 seconds, Robin Nedwell joined Ed Stewart so that two Taverners players were shooting for goal. Even with two players shooting, Wilson was keeping the score down and after 50 seconds with only 3 goals having been scored, the whole team (and some of Wilson's own team, including Frank Worthington!) came on and started firing shots at him simultaneously! Wilson gamely tried to stop them, but despite his best efforts, he couldn't help but let in 19 balls as they rained in from all angles for well over a minute. Referee Arthur Ellis must literally have been having babies, trying to count the goals scored amid this pandemonium. After the time limit had expired, Ellis announced with a big smile that "the score - and we're playing it serious, of course - The Lord's Taverners 22, Celebrities 20". He had counted the lot, despite the Taverners' flagrant disregard of the rule book! 


Game 6 - Cricket?

The sixth game - 'Cricket?' as named in the souvenir programme - is a lost game of It's A Knockout in that it was played at the venue, the team that won it - The Lord's Taverners - received two points that brought the score to 8-6 in their favour, but it was edited completely from the finished programme! No reference is made to the game in the programme as broadcast, but the score miraculously jumps from 6-6 to 8-6 to the Taverners without any explanation. The decision to remove a whole game from the programme suggests that this event overran to such a degree that it was impossible to edit small portions of the material to fit the transmission slot.

Additional Information

The It’s a Celebrity Knockout events were quite unique but nevertheless confusing. Very few team members wore coloured shirts to distinguish them from each other - except in 1976 and 1980. Despite this, some competitors seemed to have received the memo about team colours as Celebrities Sally Geeson and Frank Worthinton wore horizontally striped red and white T-shirts while Robin Nedwell and Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart of The Lord's Taverners wore similar shirts but in blue and white. In some cases in the celebrity, team members ‘swapped’ sides in the middle of games or deliberately sabotaged the endeavours of their opponents to hinder their progress, which in itself led to quite amusing situations. Even Arthur Ellis, normally a stickler for the rules, allowed them to bend considerably - and even break - in It's A Celebrity Knockout. As the shows were staged for charity, the merriment, humour and outright anarchy made for the perfect summer evening entertainment as familiar television faces let their hair down and showed their funny sides.

The Lord's Taverners are a charitable association of cricketing actors, sports people and other personalities, and were celebrating their Silver Jubilee Year in 1975.

The following celebrities were scheduled to appear and were listed in the Souvenir Programme for this event, but did not actually feature: Kenneth Barrington, Johnny Blythe, Frank Bough, Bernard Cribbins, Alf Gover, Brian Johnston, Malcolm McFee, Monty Modlyn, Robert Powell, John Snagge and Kent Walton. Their replacements were: rugby players Eddie Capelli and Christopher Ralston (for the Celebrities), actors Robin Askwith, David Barry, Graeme Garden and Frazer Hines, and non-celebrity competitors.

Prior to the recording of the programme, spectators were warmed up from 4.00pm by the Sankofa Dance Troupe from Ghana, who presented authentic drumming and dance routines from different regions of the African country. The crowd were then treated to the recording of the programme itself from 5.00pm.

According to a local press report of the time in the Chelsea Gazette, the result at the end of the contest was Lord's Taverners 10 - Celebrities 13. The report went on to describe how members of the Lord's Taverners team then held referee Arthur Ellis ‘hostage’ whilst their colleagues changed the scores to show 13-13. The piece further revealed that as the competition was solely for charity, this score was allowed to stand, with the result being that both teams shared the trophy. However, it can clearly be seen that this information, for reasons unknown, had been completely fabricated or somehow miscommunicated as the result of the competition was 15-12 to the Lord's Taverners. Perhaps they were told by a mischievous celebrity?

This competition was sponsored by The Evening News, one of two London-based evening newspapers in print at the time of this event. It would later lose its identity when it was incorporated with its local rival The Evening Standard in 1980.

When this event was being recorded on Sunday 22nd June 1975, the intention was to transmit the programme on Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 1975, and this was the date stated in the official souvenir programme. However, a decision was later taken to bring the transmission forward by six weeks, meaning that the programme aired on Friday 11th July 1975, exactly one week after the final Domestic Heat of the year.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

JSFnetGB Series Guide pages researched by
Alan Hayes, David Hamilton, Neil Storer, Christos Moustakas, Philippe Minet,
Sébastien Dias, Ischa Bijl, Paul Leaver and JSFnet Websites