Anything Goes 1984
British Domestic Series

Presenter: Keith Chegwin
Ringmaster: Norman Barrett

Referee: Suzanne Dando
Referee's Assistant: Karen

Musical Accompaniment: Catch 51
Dance Organiser: Sue Turner

Stage Managers: Bryan Chapman and Alex Thomas
Videotape Editors: Ian O'Shaughnessy and Ted Greagsby
Camera Supervisor: Dave Taylor
Vision Supervisor: Jim Buddle
Production Assistant: Anne Comer
Make-up Designer: Lilias Munro
Costume Designer: Jacki Pinks
Sound: John Drake
Engineering Manager: Ron Minty
Lighting: Geoff Lomas

Games Devisor: Geoff Wilson (not credited for Heat 1)

Designer: David Wilson
Assistant Producers: Alan Wright and Carole Caldwell
Producer:
Geoff Wilson
Director:
Keith Mackenzie

A BBC Manchester Production

GB

Anything Goes 1984

Heat 1

Event Staged: Unknown
Venue: The Tower Circus, The Tower, Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Transmission:
BBC1:
Saturday 17th March 1984, 5.10-5.50pm

Special Guest: Franco Di Angelo, Italian 'cloud swinging' circus performer,
Ben Lester, a clown, and the Coco-Tots, a dance troupe of fourteen young girls

Themes: Yokels and Dairy Maids and The Circus

Teams: Cockermouth Farmers v. Melton Mowbray Farmers

Team Members:
Cockermouth Farmers -
Anne, Susan Bletch, Shirley Brook, Neil Carruthers, Les McTeer, Dave Miller, Willie Roberts, Anne Robinson and Helen Skelton;
Melton Mowbray Farmers - Richard Copley, Duncan, John Ecclestone, Eileen, Wendy Fargate, John Herrick, Julie Ingram, Brian Lovegrove, Peter Lovegrove and Theresa.

Games: Clown Tag, Knock Down the Cats, Eggstra Large Trousers, The Chickens on the Flying Trapeze, The Chefs and the Food and What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd

Melton Mowbray Farmers
Cockermouth Farmers

8
4

The Venue

Blackpool, Lancashire

The recording venue of the entire series of Anything Goes was the Tower Circus Ring at the base of the world famous Blackpool Tower, between its four legs. This space had previously been used as a location for an It's A Knockout special entitled It's A Miners' Knockout in 1978. The circus is lavishly decorated, in common with similar Victorian era attractions, and opened to the public on 14th May 1894. The circus has run there ever since, even surviving a potential closure in 1990 thanks to a surge of public support in favour of its continuation. The space is not a particularly large one, certainly not by IAK or JSF standards, and for this reason, the games played were generally very simple and only involved a small number of players at a time. Occasionally, the games even spilled over into the public seating area in the auditorium, but this simply added to the fun. Where the Tower Circus scored over other venues was in its hidden 35,000 imperial gallon water tank beneath the ring (incorrectly reported in the programme by Keith Chegwin as having a capacity of 70,000 gallons!), which would flood the arena to a depth of 4 foot 6 inches when the floor was lowered. At least one game in each programme was played on water, usually the last one, for obvious reasons! The Tower Circus is one of only four circus rings remaining in the world that has this remarkable facility.

Returning Teams and Competitors

Teams from Cockermouth and Melton Mowbray had competed in the final series of It's A Knockout in 1982. Neither had been successful and did not progress beyond their respective Domestic Heat.

Looks Familiar?

Presenter Keith Chegwin was driven into the arena by circus clown Ben Lester in his Keystone Kops-style jalopy which was prone to falling apart and making loud bangs! Amongst the colourful characters seen on stage as Lester and Chegwin entered the circus ring were performers in rabbit and chimp costumes which had obviously come from the It's A Knockout props store!

Eagle eyed It's A Knockout fans could be forgiven for thinking they had seen many of the games in this heat before, or at least variations of them. Game 2 - 'Knock Down the Cats' - bore a striking resemblance to 'The Corn Sack Swing', seen in the 1974 Jeux Sans Frontières event held in Northampton, while Game 4 - 'The Chefs and the Food' - later became a recurring game in the 1998 series of Jeux Sans Frontières.

Additional Information

Teams in the first year of Anything Goes were composed of working people, with each week's show being competed by members of a particular profession.

The final game of the show - 'What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?' - was the only game of the programme to be played on water. 

The winning team from Melton Mowbray received for their troubles a giant stick of Blackpool rock, a traditional seaside confection, with the words "Anything Goes" printed throughout its length. The team auctioned this prize off for charity, with the proceeds going to cancer research. All competitors in the 1984 programmes received an engraved Anything Goes glass tankard as a souvenir, regardless of whether they won or lost.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

Anything Goes 1984

Heat 2

Event Staged: Unknown
Venue: The Tower Circus, The Tower, Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Transmission:
BBC1:
Saturday 24th March 1984, 5.10-5.45pm

Special Guests: The Flying Rochelles, French circus performers
and the Coco-Tots, a dance troupe of fourteen young girls

Themes: Shopping and The Circus

Teams: London Shop Assistants v. Manchester Shop Assistants

Team Members:
London Shop Assistants -
Andrew Byford, Steve Devine, Alvin Du Pres, Melanie Green, Veronica Infante, Sue Jackson, Mark Nichol, Dave Stevens and Debbie Tate;
Manchester Shop Assistants - Sally Brittain, Karen Duckworth, Ray Gill, Beverley Holt, Gary Silva, Gill Sutcliffe, Matthew Tapp, Terry Walker and David Wheatley.

Games: Elephant Football, The Blackpool Tower, Clown's Musical Chairs, Blindfolded Balloon Bursting, Tap Hatters and Dressing the Dummies.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd

London Shop Assistants
Manchester Shop Assistants

8
4

Presenters, Officials and Production Team

Presenter Keith Chegwin was lowered into the arena sitting on top of a parrot prop. Unfortunately, this gave him the perfect excuse to wheel out the tired old joke about parrots and headache pills, complaining that they didn't help as the parrots eat 'em all (paracetamol)!

Additional Information

The final game of the show - 'Dressing the Dummies' - was the only game of the programme to be played on water. 

The winning team from London auctioned the Anything Goes stick of rock, with the proceeds going to the charity, Help A London Child.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

Anything Goes 1984

Heat 3

Event Staged: Unknown
Venue: The Tower Circus, The Tower, Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Transmission:
BBC1:
Saturday 31st March 1984, 5.20-6.00pm

Special Guests: The Marrakesh Troupe, African circus performers,
'world champion' Omar Rabati and the Coco-Tots, a dance troupe of fourteen young girls

Themes: Cops and Robbers and The Circus

Teams: Preston Police Force v. Stockport Police Force

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

Result unknown

-
-

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

Anything Goes 1984

Heat 4

Event Staged: Unknown
Venue: The Tower Circus, The Tower, Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Transmission:
BBC1:
Saturday 7th April 1984, 5.05-5.45pm

Special Guests: The Kaylicoa Family, Mexican circus performers
and the Coco-Tots, a dance troupe of fourteen young girls

Themes: The Hotel and The Circus

Teams: Bournemouth Hoteliers v. Great Yarmouth Hoteliers

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

Result unknown

-
-

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

Anything Goes 1984

Heat 5

Event Staged: Unknown
Venue: The Tower Circus, The Tower, Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Transmission:
BBC1:
Saturday 14th April 1984, 5.05-5.45pm

Special Guests: The Three Simets, Hungarian State Circus high wire performers
and the Coco-Tots, a dance troupe of fourteen young girls

Themes: Mining and The Circus

Teams: Treharris Miners v. Westoe Miners

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

Result unknown

-
-

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

Anything Goes 1984

Heat 6

Event Staged: Unknown
Venue: The Tower Circus, The Tower, Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Transmission:
BBC1:
Saturday 21st April 1984, 5.05-5.45pm

Special Guests: The Robert Brothers' Liberty Horses
presented by Tommy and Bobby Roberts Jnr,
and the Coco-Tots, a dance troupe of fourteen young girls

Themes: The Hospital and The Circus

Teams: Edinburgh Hospitals v. Leeds Hospitals

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

Result unknown

-
-

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