Hong Kong Telegame 1977:
TVB 10th Anniversary Special

Entrants 1977: Great Britain (GB) • Hong Kong (HK) 

Presenters / Commentators:
Ivan Ho and William Lee (HK)

Scoregirls:
Loletta Chu (Miss Hong Kong 1977)
Dorothy Yu
Liza Holdroyd

Referees: Lawrence Kung Wah-kit and Thomson Chan Tam-sun

Production Team
Tommy Ho, Grace Hung, Peter Lam, Billy Lau, Joh'anna Lau,
Leo Lee, Johnny Liu, Paul Tse and Johnny Wong

Programme Advisor and Oldham Team Manager: Cecil Korer
Variety Group Manager: Debbie Ng
Deputy Production Manager: Gilbert Waung
Producer: Kendrick Fung

Produced by HK-TVB

HK

TVB 10th Anniversary Telegame 1977

Hong Kong Special

Event Staged: Saturday 18th November 1977
Venue: Merchant Navy Sports Club, near Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Transmissions (Local Timings):
TVB Jade (HK-Cantonese):
Saturday 18th November 1977, c.8.00pm (Live)
TVB Pearl (HK-English):
Saturday 18th November 1977, c.8.00pm (Live)
Not transmitted in Great Britain

Teams: Oldham (GB) v. Caroline Hill Football Club (HK)

Team Members:
Oldham (GB) -
Cecil Korer (Team Manager), Derek Smallwood (Team Captain), Sheila Antrobus, Frank Collinson, Nadia Duda, Tony Edwards, Eric Fitzsimmons, Barry Gordon, Syd Jolley and Tony Nanyn;
Caroline Hill (HK) - Veronica Chan (Team Captain), David Breen, Lam Shaun Cheuk, Poon Tsui Chun, Georgina Gay, Tse Lai Ha, Yiu Wai Hung, Wong Chin Kin, Eddie Loyden, Bernie Poole, Allen Venables.

Original Team Sheet (PDF)
Kindly donated by Oldham team member Sheila Antrobus

Games: The Adventure of Monkey, Superman, Cinderella, Praying for the Rain, The Brave Warriors, Cowboys and Red Indians, Feeding the Cat and The Story of a Silkworm.

Original Games Breakdown (PDF)
Kindly donated by Oldham team member Sheila Antrobus

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 GB • Oldham
 HK • Caroline Hill Football Club

-
-

Memories of the Hong Kong Special

Talking about this event in December 2010, Cecil Korer told JSFnetGB: "I think I upset the Hong Kong producers a little because I pointed out that we should have had a preview of the games to allow the British team some idea of the type of games designed. In the UK, the two Alans - Walsh and Wright - supplied the competing teams with games formats. If, for example, there was a roller skate game, then the town would know they needed a competent roller skater - the same if games involved swimmers. To compound matters, it transpired that the team from Hong Kong had been rehearsing on the actual games for over a week before we arrived." The Oldham team didn't even arrive in Hong Kong until 1.00pm on Thursday 17th November 1977 (two days before the event) and spent the remainder of that day on publicity duties. They finally got to rehearse the games on the Friday morning between 9.00am and 1.00pm. Considering these handicaps, Oldham's victory proved all the more impressive. Janet Nanyn commented in the Oldham Evening Chronicle report: "Everyone hoped they would win, but I do know they were worried about only having a couple of days to practice the games."

 

 

Additional Information

 

 

This little-known competition was staged to mark the 10th Anniversary of Hong Kong television station HK-TVB, which ran the Cantonese language channel Jade and the English language channel Pearl. Hong Kong TV producers had become aware of the craze sweeping Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the USA for what they referred to as 'telegames' - namely It's A Knockout, Jeux Sans Frontières and the likes of Almost Anything Goes. The telegames were still a very new concept in Hong Kong and audiences had been subtly introduced to the form through a programme called Enjoy Yourself Tonight, in which audiences were invited to take an active part in competitive fun and games. TVB decided that in celebrating its tenth year, the time was ripe to formally introduce It's A Knockout to Hong Kong audiences. To this end, they had sent members of the production team to Europe to 'fact find' and to meet with BBC It's A Knockout producer, Cecil Korer and representatives of Oldham Council. Korer had recommended the involvement of the Oldham team as they were 1977 British Champions and arranged for the representatives to see recordings of Oldham's 1977 domestic victory and International Final appearance.

 

 

Despite Cecil Korer's involvement, this production was not a BBC co-production and was never transmitted on British television. Korer had investigated the possibility of a BBC broadcast for the programme, but was told that there was no space available in the schedules for its transmission. The initiative on the British side was ultimately led by Cecil Korer and Oldham Council.

 

 

Following the Oldham team's victory, British competitor Tony Nanyn sent a telegram to his wife Janet, revealing the good news. She in turn contacted the Oldham Evening Chronicle, the town's local newspaper, which ran a story entitled 'Knockout' Squad's Hong Kong Success (which can be viewed in our Newspapers section). In the report, Oldham's Deputy Mayor, Councillor Geoffrey Webb proudly proclaimed: "I am always very pleased to hear of Oldham winning in any field. There was some criticism before the team went about Oldham Council backing them financially for the trip, but by helping them to make the trip, by underwriting their expenses, Oldham will have secured publicity in the Far East".

 

 

The schedule for the Oldham team's stay in Hong Kong was broken down like this:
 

Tuesday 15th November 1977

1.05pm - Cecil Korer arrives at Kai-Tak Airport, Hong Kong. Met by HK-TVB staff.

2.00pm - Cecil Korer checks-in at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui.

3.00pm - Producer, Kendrick Fung meets with Cecil Korer.

Wednesday 16th November 1977

All Day - Production meeting - Kendrick Fung/Cecil Korer.

Thursday 17th November 1977

9.00am - Kendrick Fung/Cecil Korer inspect Merchant Navy Sports Club venue.

1.00pm - Oldham team arrive at Kai-Tak Airport. Met by 'Audio Tours & Travel'.

2.00pm - Oldham team checks-in at Hyatt Regency Hotel.

2.30pm - Press Conference in the hotel's Nine Dragons Ballroom.

3.30pm - Team departs hotel to visit the recording venue.

6.00pm - Team return to the hotel.

7.45pm - Dinner in hotel's Hugo's Private Function Room with Caroline Hill team.

9.30pm - Depart hotel for TVB station - 15 minutes journey.

10.00pm - Live appearance on Enjoy Yourself Tonight programme.

10.30pm - Depart TVB station for hotel.

Friday 18th November 1977

8.00am - Breakfast at Hyatt Regency Hotel.

8.45am - Depart hotel for Merchant Navy Sports Club.

9.00am - Rehearsals at Merchant Navy Sports Club.

1.00pm - Lunch at Hyatt Regency Hotel.

2.00pm - Oldham team free for rest of the day.

3.00pm - Production meeting - Cecil Korer and Kendrick Fung (until 5.00pm).

Saturday 19th November 1977

After breakfast, the Oldham team had the whole morning and afternoon free.

6.30pm - Depart hotel for Merchant Navy Sports Club for live transmission.

11.00pm - Arrive back at Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Sunday 20th November 1977

8.00am - Breakfast at Hyatt Regency Hotel.

9.00am - Oldham team on sightseeing tour with HKTA or Audio Tours.

3.00pm - Oldham team free for shopping.

7.15pm - Depart hotel for farewell dinner.

8.00pm - Farewell dinner at a floating restaurant.

Monday 21st November 1977

After breakfast, the Oldham team had the morning free for shopping.

1.00pm - Luggage pick-up at hotel.

1.25pm - Depart hotel for Kai-Tak Airport.

2.00pm - Arrive at Kai-Tak Airport for checking-in.

3.25pm - Flight departure for Singapore (SQ-007).

 

As can be seen, the Oldham team had a busy schedule leading up to the live programme on the Saturday night, starting almost the moment they arrived on Hong Kong soil. Amusingly, the schedule document was headed "Programme for the Oldham Team from London".
 

Original Schedule Document (PDF) Kindly donated by Oldham team member Sheila Antrobus

 

 

The team to represent Hong Kong in this competition had been selected via an elimination competition held on Saturday 12th November 1977. Three leading Hong Kong football teams contested this event - Caroline Hill, Tung Sing and Seiko - with the former coming out as winners. It is unclear whether this preliminary event was televised or not. It is highly likely that the producers used the same games and props in both this and the Oldham contest, and that this is what Cecil Korer had been upset about.
 

 

The referees for this event were well known on the local sports scene. Thomson Chan Tam-sun was at the time a FIFA referee, respected in Hong Kong and internationally. He had officiated at Olympic and World Cup qualifying football matches and at a series of friendly matches in mainland China between Morocco, Iran and China. Chan had qualified as a 'class three' referee in 1970 and had risen through the ranks in a remarkably short period of time. Meanwhile, Lawrence Kung Wah-kit was a former football player who had been selected to represent Hong Kong on many occasions. He had retired from playing in 1975 and had been voted Best Hong Kong Footballer on many occasions during his career.
 

 

Every team member received a welcome pack from Hong Kong Television Broadcasts Limited (HK-TVB) and included in the pack was this message from Producer, Kendrick Fung: "The launching of the Telegame on our 10th Anniversary Special follows months of research and hard work. The preparation is not without pain. Our researchers have even been to Europe - the origin of Telegame - to study the 'what' and 'how' of the sport that swept the world. The Telegames we designed have to satisfy many different requirements. They have to extort strength, speed and co-operation from the participants and at the same time bring fun and entertainment to the spectators. They cannot be too strenuous as to cause frustration and yet not too relaxed to dwindle excitement. They should be unique enough to tickle the fancy and yet simple enough to be instantly understood. And besides these, there are other things to be taken into consideration. For example, the physique of the participants, the time involved, the feasibility of the games, the safety measures, the costumes, the props and a hundred and one things to be catered to. Fortunately, all the problems are solved and we hope to bring you all a very colourful evening."
 

Original Welcome Pack (PDF) Kindly donated by Oldham team member Sheila Antrobus

 

 

Several games appear to have been heavily redesigned and simplified when compared to the Games Breakdown Plan (see PDF in 'Games') with a fairy coach made from a pumpkin in the 'Cinderella' game being represented on the night by a giant inflatable ball. The idea to play this game in fairytale costumes also appears to have been jettisoned, as players wore standard kit. The designs for 'Praying for the Rain' were quite heavily revised also.
 

 

Many thanks to Oldham team member Sheila Antrobus for her great kindness in sharing all the documents and photographs of the Hong Kong event on this and the 1977 Introduction page.
 

Made in Colour • This programme may exist in Hong Kong 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