It's A Knockout 1978
British Domestic Series

Presenters: Stuart Hall and Eddie Waring
Referees: Arthur Ellis and Mike Swann
(+ Debra Windass, Paul Ridyard and Terry Harland for Championship Knockout)
International Referee: Gennaro Olivieri (Championship Knockout only)

Scoregirls: Pam Nolan, Dinah May and Debra Windass
(+ Beverley Isherwood and Helene Hunt for Celebrity Knockout)

Games Deviser and Designer: Stuart Furber

Production Team
Alan Wright
Alan Walsh

Engineering Manager:
Geoff Lomas

Sound:
John Drake

Producer: Cecil Korer

Director: Paul Loosley

A BBC North West Production

GB

It's A Knockout 1978

Heat 1

Event Staged: Sunday 9th April 1978
Venue: North Parade Road Recreation Ground, Bath, Avon, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 21st April 1978, 8.00-9.00pm

Teams: Bath v. Bristol v. Minehead

Team Members (Full Squads):
Bath - Peter Foister (Team Manager/Captain), David Lease (Team Coach), Robert Anning, Neil Barnes, Catie Ball, Sue Bartlett, Terry Beckett, Paul Booton, Andras Bornemisza, Lynne Bornemisza, Gerald Brownell, Roger Chubb, Peter Coombs, Carolyne Gilbert, Ian Grammer, Diane GreenSteve Gregory, Martin Grixoni, Penny Heeley, Mark Holmes, Ming Lau, Paul Leaney, Robert Legg-Bagg, Lucinda Lord, Lyn Matson, Debbie Mills, Salvatore Sorisi, Margaret Thatcher, Vince Ware, Margaret Williams and John Young;
Minehead - Brian Hurford (Team Captain), Tom Middleton-Smith (Team Coach), Anne Bailey, Jenny Clatworthy, Susan Clatworthy, Cynthia Coles, Keith Graddon, Dawn Harbourne, Bridgeltee Harris, David Hawker, Carole Hayes, Joanne How, Jonathon Hull, Colin Makay, James Merryfield, Michael Norman, Dave Sizer, Graham Sizer, Duncan Shepherd, Nina Sweetland, Jeannette Tucker and Alan Woollam;
Bristol - Dennis Fowler (Team Medical Officer), (Team Captain), Les Bardsley (Team Physio), David Alfred, Jeremy Allen, Chris Amos, Sandra Attwell, Roger Avery, Sarah Bacon, Ken Bates, Chris Buckley, Colleen Ford, Janet Greeney, Allison Hill, John Hillier, Richard Holley, Jane Howell, Andrew Jay, Carmelita Kelly, Paul Kennedy, Phillip Knowles, Yvonne Lucas, Andrew Mackenzie, Frances Marshall, Ray Ponting, Tony Rance, Christine Setherton, Neil Summerell and Ian Willoughby.

Games: Chimps Obstacle Race, Medicine Ball Balance, Balloon Burst, Posting Letters, Caterpillar Roll, The Bumbles, Tug-of-War, Rocker Stack and Climb and Slide;
Marathon: Beat the Bell.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd

 BA • Bath
 BR Bristol
 M Minehead

30
24
18

Bath qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Verbania, Italy:
staged on Wednesday 31st May 1978

Presenters, Officials and Production Team

Scoregirl Debra Windass was a member of last year’s Beverley It’s A Knockout team, made an appearance as a mermaid mascot for the Bridlington and North Wolds team in the 1980 series, and returned to the role of scoregirl once again for Heat 2 of the 1981 series! An impressive It’s A Knockout career.

Another new scoregirl was Beverley Isherwood, who was chosen from two hundred candidates by producer Cecil Korer. Korer must have been delighted for the additional publicity when, three days after this Domestic Heat was recorded, Beverley won the 1978 Miss England beauty contest. Later the same year, she made the finals of Miss United Kingdom and, after her stint on It's A Knockout, became the "numbers girl" on the first series of Channel 4's popular game show, Countdown in 1982. Coincidentally, Countdown was commissioned by Cecil Korer, by the Head of Light Entertainment at Channel 4!

Additional Information

Due to wet weather conditions in the days leading up to the event, the wooden boards in the scoreboard had expanded with damp. When scoregirl Dinah May attempted to add six points for Bath (bringing their score to 12pts) after they had played their Joker, the boards became jammed after five points had been added and would not budge. Recording was stopped and a member of scenery staff examined the boards and returned them to their original positions. Referee Arthur Ellis read the points out again but the boards jammed once more at the same point. While further backstage staff appeared and tried to alleviate the problem by oiling and prodding the jammed area, Dinah May was in fits of laughter. A third attempt was made, but the problem persisted. It was finally decided to remove the holding bolts at the back of the scoreboard and move the offending board to its correct position (12pts). The bolts were then replaced and a shot of the correct score was then filmed. The final edited transmission inserted a brief shot of the crowd in between shots of Dinah May moving the scores to 10pts (from the original recording) and the shot of the score at 12pts. Unless you had been there, it was impossible to tell what had happened - a very clever bit of editing prompted by a desperate situation. Clips of this incident could be seen in the hastily broadcast Best of Knockout at the end of 1982.

To avoid confusion and any doubt, Bath team member Margaret Thatcher was not the Margaret Thatcher that became Britain's first female Prime Minister in 1979!

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1978

Heat 2

Event Staged: Sunday 16th April 1978
Venue: The Roodee, Chester Racecourse, Chester, Cheshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 28th April 1978, 8.00-9.00pm

Teams: Chester v. Crewe and Nantwich v. Wrexham

Games included: Climb and Slide.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd
2nd

 C+N • Crewe and Nantwich
 C Chester
 W Wrexham

26
23
23

Crewe and Nantwich qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Rochefort, Belgium:
staged on Tuesday 13th June 1978

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1978

Heat 3

Event Staged: Sunday 23rd April 1978
Venue: The Harbour Car Park, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 5th May 1978, 8.00-9.00pm

Teams: Carrickfergus v. Dungannon v. Londonderry

Games included: Chimps' Scooter Race, Climb and Slide.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd

 L • Londonderry
 D Dungannon
 C Carrickfergus

24*
24
23

Londonderry qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Grömitz, West Germany:
staged on Wednesday 28th June 1978

Additional Information

Londonderry won on a tie-breaker. This heat was previewed and reported on by Northern Ireland BBC regional news. Details in Knockout TV.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1978

Heat 4

Event Staged: Sunday 30th April 1978
Venue: Wolverhampton Stadium (aka Aldersley Stadium),
Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 12th May 1978, 8.00-9.00pm

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

Teams: Wolverhampton v. Redditch v. Sandwell

Team Members:
Wolverhampton - Peter Warden (Team Captain), Bob Munn (Assistant Coach), John Arthur, Michael Caddick, Michael Cheshire, Janette Clayton, John Dowen, Diane Edwards, Keith Gosling, Robert Hill, Andrew Howson, John Johnson, Pat Lawrence, Krystyna Liberadska, Antony Lockley, John McGavin, David Middleton, Carol Price, Dave Seddon, Pat Slyde, Debbie Smith, Nigel Walters, Keith Williams, Christine Wilkinson and David Wilkinson;

Redditch - Ken Cowie (Team Captain), Ted Roe (Team Coach), Joyce Cowie (Ladies' Team Captain), Albert Cowell, David Davies, Andrew Fisher, John Gilmore, Terry Greatbach, Roger Harris, Dennis Hill, Brian Hill, Carol Hodgkins, Les Holleron, Marlene McKeown, Tracy Minton, Lesley Pelling, Peter Ramage, John Satchwell, Terry Sefton, Bronwen Smith, Brenda Spencer and Wendy Southwell;

Sandwell - Geoff Bennett (Team Captain), Rosie Bishop (Ladies' Team Captain), Paul Butler, John Collins, Janet Dale, Sandy Dallas, Colin Dewis, Trevor Drew, Karen Dumpleton, Tony Gale, David Gillard, Judith Gowan, Mervyn Green, Ian Hamblett, Roger Hill, Hazell Humm, Patricia Jones, Ann Keighley, Paul Kelsey, Jim Lavin, Brian Lewis, Paul Lippiatt, Mick Lockwood, Steve Millard, Raymond Morris, Stan Osborne, Yvonne Painting, Lesley Pallett, Gary Payne, Peter Reynolds, Gill Shinton, Ann Smith, Amanda Thornton and Geoff Tibbetts.

Games (Official Titles): Motor Bike Race, Beat the Belt, Drum Wheels, Bumbles Ball Game, Over the Hurdles, Square Roll, Milk Crate Stack, Drum Swing and Climb and Slide;
Marathon: The Chimps.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd
3rd

 S • Sandwell
 R Redditch
 W Wolverhampton

30
25
19

Sandwell qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Zemun, Yugoslavia:
staged on Wednesday 12th July 1978

Additional Information

In the lead-in to this event, the local press reported on the Wolverhampton team: "They will be captained by 36 year old Pete Warden, the borough council's recreational development officer. Also in the line-up is Bob Munn, the 27 year old assistant stadium manager who has been helping to coach the 25-strong squad from which the final team was chosen. 'They're all in excellent shape,' Bob said today. 'We were given a list of the games by the BBC three weeks ago and have been practising hard ever since.' Winners of the tie, which is expected to attract a capacity crowd of 12,000, will go forward to the next round at Zemun, Yugoslavia on July 12th."

Anyone who was interested in going to see It's A Knockout live at Wolverhampton Stadium on Sunday 30th April 1978 could buy tickets, priced at £1.25 for a seat or 80p for adults and 40p for children in the standing areas, from the Civic Hall Booking Office, Wolverhampton Stadium and Wolverhampton Swimming Baths.

On the night of the programme's broadcast, the victorious Sandwell team gathered at the Grand Hotel, Birmingham, to watch the transmission and celebrate their win. Tony Stevens, the team's publicity officer, said that "The team won it together, so naturally they want to see it together."

Sandwell was created under the Local Government Act of 1972, and includes the towns of Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1978

Heat 5

Event Staged: Sunday 7th May 1978
Venue: Coatbridge Sports Centre, Coatbridge, Strathclyde, Scotland

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 19th May 1978, 8.00-9.00pm

Teams: Monklands v. Clydebank v. East Kilbride

Team Members included:
East Kilbride - Steven Archibald, George Bell, Aileen Calder, Bob Cunningham, Irene Flaherty, Helen Graham, Iain Jackson, Elaine Kay, Duncan Laird, Ben McKenna, Dougie Patterson, Ann Sheed, Eileen South, Brian Thomson and Jim Thomson;
Monklands - Eddie Knox.

Games included: Climb and Slide.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd
3rd

 K • East Kilbride
 M Monklands
 C Clydebank

26
26
20

East Kilbride qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Bourgoin-Jallieu, France:
staged on Wednesday 26th July 1978

Additional Information

East Kilbride won on this Domestic Heat on a tie-breaker.

Monklands was created under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, and included the towns of Airdrie and Coatbridge, but was abolished in 1996.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1978

Heat 6

Event Staged: Sunday 14th May 1978
Venue: Denbigh Sports Ground, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 26th May 1978, 8.00-9.00pm

Teams: Milton Keynes v. Hemel Hempstead v. Stevenage

Team Members included:
Stevenage -
George Jones (Team Manager), Tom Atkinson (Team Coach), Steve Mizsei (Team Captain), John Whitworth (Non-Playing Team Captain), Julie Retalic (Ladies' Captain), Fergus Alexander, Sue Boardman, Roger Costello, Placid Gonzales, Lynn Lawson, Ian Norfield, Judi Nardi, Ian Norfield, John O'Kane, Peter Omroyd, Tony Smith and Megan Taylor; Other Squad Members: Sue Curtis, June Peterson and William McKenna.

Games included: Climb and Slide and The Sack Race (Tie-breaker).

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd
3rd

 S • Stevenage
 H Hemel Hempstead
 MK • Milton Keynes

26
26
20

Stevenage qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Arosa, Switzerland:
staged on Wednesday 9th August 1978

The Venue

Bletchley, Buckinghamshire

The venue for this heat, Denbigh Sports Ground (home of Milton Keynes City F.C.) along with the Sanctuary Music Arena was bulldozed to the ground in 2004 to make way for a new retail park and sports venue. By the end of 2005, retail giants IKEA and ASDA had both opened brand new superstores on the site and in 2007, the new sports stadium was finished. It was opened as Stadium:mk and is the home to Milton Keynes Dons F.C. (formerly Wimbledon F.C.) as well as the Milton Keynes Lions basketball team.

Returning Teams and Competitors

Stevenage team member Judi Nardi was involved in three consecutive 'sack race' tie breakers. In this heat, she and Steve Mizsei won against Hemel Hempstead, while later that year, Judy and Steve lost a tie breaker to Sandwell in the Championship Knockout. Previously, as a member of the St. Albans team, Judy and Kevin Pickering had lost out to Southend-on-Sea in 1977.

Stevenage team captain, Steve Mizsei and John O'Kane had participated in the programme previously as members of the successful Luton team in 1972. Steve, along with team-mate Judi Nardi (pictured, left), was also a member of the 1977 St. Albans It's A Knockout team. All three participated again, along with Stevenage competitors Sue Boardman, Placid Gonzales, Ian Norfield and Tony Smith, as members of the 1979 St. Albans It's A Knockout and Jeux Sans Frontières teams.

Stevenage team member Tony Smith had previously run and captained the St. Albans side in 1977 (and would do so again in 1979). He also ran the BBC Demo Team for the 1977 Jeux Sans Frontières event at Windsor, and assisted the Hertsmere and Welwyn Garden City It's A Knockout teams in the 1980 and 1981 seasons, respectively. Tony's long association with the series hit new heights in 1999, when he was employed by Ronin Entertainment as Course Referee for the Channel 5 It's A Knockout in 1999 and 2000.

Additional Information

Milton Keynes is classed as a ‘new town’ and only became into being in 1967, and includes the towns of Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1978

Heat 7

Event Staged: Sunday 21st May 1978
Venue: Open-Air Swimming Pool, Cleethorpes, Humberside, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Sunday 4th June 1978, 1.55-2.55pm

Teams: Cleethorpes v. Gainsborough v. Lincoln

Team Members included:
Cleethorpes - Mike Davie (Team Manager), Sue Brockelsby, Tom Dawson, Paul Dent, Denise Halam, Dave Holmes, Julie King, Steve Moses, Anne Petherbridge, Mike Stringer, Brian Swaine, Terry Tuplin and Ken Wright.

Games included: Aquatic Climb and Slide.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd

 C • Cleethorpes
 L Lincoln
 G Gainsborough

26
25
23

Cleethorpes qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Lincoln, Great Britain:
staged on Wednesday 23rd August 1978

Additional Information

The result depended on the last game, with Cleethorpes and Lincoln both on 23, with Gainsborough on 22 going into it. The competition was played in Cleethorpes bathing pool with all the games on water. 5000 spectators packed into the pool, some waiting two hours to get in. As the mist rolled in from the sea and the rain started to fall, Cleethorpes just edged ahead. Incidentally, next day the bathing pool was still shut to the public and the local papers received complaints from the public as they were unable to use it!

This heat was broadcast on Sunday 4th June, whereas all the others had been shown on the previous six Fridays. The reason for the change in transmission was that the 1978 FIFA World Cup Finals had commenced in Argentina on Thursday 1st June, and the BBC were broadcasting the 'live' opening match between Italy and France on the evening of Friday 2nd June 1978.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

Teams Qualifying for Domestic Final

Team Colour

 Team Qualifying Heat / International Destination Position Points
B  Bath 1 I 1 30
C

 Cleethorpes

7 GB 1 26
C+N

 Crewe and Nantwich

2 B 1 26
K  East Kilbride 5 F 1 26
L

 Londonderry

3 D 1 24
SV  Sandwell 4 YU 1 30
SW  Stevenage 6 CH 1 26
 

GB

It's A Championship Knockout 1978

Domestic Final

Event Staged: Sunday 18th June 1978
Venue: Arena North, Park Hall, Charnock Richard, Lancashire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Wednesday 13th September 1978, 7.05-8.15pm
BBC1 Wales (CYM): Sunday 17th September 1978, 1.55-3.10pm

Radio Times Trophy presented by: Ken Dodd

Theme: Domestic Re-run

Teams: Bath v. Cleethorpes v. Crewe and Nantwich v. East Kilbride v.
Londonderry v. Sandwell v. Stevenage

Team Members included:
Bath - Peter Foister (Team Manager/Captain), David Lease (Team Coach), Robert Anning, Neil Barnes, Catie Ball, Sue Bartlett, Terry Beckett, Paul Booton, Andras Bornemisza, Lynne Bornemisza, Gerald Brownell, Roger Chubb, Peter Coombs, Carolyne Gilbert, Ian Grammer, Diane GreenSteve Gregory, Martin Grixoni, Penny Heeley, Mark Holmes, Ming Lau, Paul Leaney, Robert Legg-Bagg, Lucinda Lord, Lyn Matson, Debbie Mills, Salvatore Sorisi, Margaret Thatcher, Vince Ware, Margaret Williams and John Young;
East Kilbride - Steven Archibald, George Bell, Aileen Calder, Bob Cunningham, Irene Flaherty, Helen Graham, Iain Jackson, Elaine Kay, Duncan Laird, Ben McKenna, Dougie Patterson, Ann Sheed, Eileen South, Brian Thomson and Jim Thomson;
Sandwell - Geoff Bennett (Captain), Rosie Bishop (Ladies' Team Captain), Steve Millard, Raymond Morris, Stan Osborne, Gary Payne, Peter Reynolds, Geoff Tibbetts, Paul Butler, John Collins, Colin Dewis, Trevor Drew, Tony Gale, David Gillard, Mervyn Green, Ian Hamblett, Roger Hill, Paul Kelsey, Brian Lewis, Paul Lippiatt, Mick Lockwood, Jim Lavin, Janet Dale, Sandy Dallas, Karen Dumpleton, Judith Gowan, Hazell Humm, Patricia Jones, Ann Keighley, Yvonne Painting, Lesley Pallett, Gill Shinton, Ann Smith, Amanda Thornton;
Stevenage - George Jones (Team Manager), Tom Atkinson (Team Coach), Steve Mizsei (Team Captain), John Whitworth (Non-Playing Team Captain), Julie Retalic (Ladies' Captain), Fergus Alexander, Sue Boardman, Roger Costello, Placid Gonzales, Lynn Lawson, Ian Norfield, Judi Nardi, Ian Norfield, John O'Kane, Peter Omroyd, Tony Smith and Megan Taylor; Other Squad Members: Sue Curtis, June Peterson and William McKenna.

Games: Ski Race, Horses, Leaping Frogs, The Hidden Gold, Rolling the Wheels, Barrel Balance, Carpet Roll, The Relay Race and The Sack Race (Tie break game);
Marathon: Water in Containers.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th

 SW • Sandwell
 SV Stevenage
 K East Kilbride
 C Cleethorpes
 L Londonderry
 B Bath
 C+N Crewe and Nantwich

38
38
37
34
32
30
27

Returning Teams and Competitors

Stevenage team member Judi Nardi was involved in three consecutive 'sack race' tie breakers. In this Championship Knockout Final, she and Steve Mizsei lost a tie breaker to Sandwell. Judy and Steve had previously won the tie break game for Stevenage against Hemel Hempstead in the 1978 It's A Knockout heats. Earlier, in 1977, when competing for the St Albans team, Judy and Kevin Pickering had lost out to Southend in the tie break game.

Additional Information

A victory parade was staged for the victorious Sandwell team at noon on Saturday 24th June 1978, setting out from outside the West Bromwich offices of the Express & Star newspaper. It was led by the Express & Star's specially decorated ex-London bus, which carried the team, administrators and cheerleaders.

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