The Grand Knockout Tournament 1987

Presenters:
Stuart Hall with Les Dawson and Su Pollard (BBC - GB)
Hal Linden (USA Network - USA)

Host: Lord Knock alias Rowan Atkinson

Referees:
Paul Daniels (Chief Judge)
HRH The Duke of Gloucester
The Duke of Abercorne, The Duke of Roxburghe
The Duke of Westminster

Custodian of the Scoreboard: Geoff Capes
and featuring: Aled Jones and Cantabile

Properties Buyer: Lena Kellsall

Assistant Floor Managers: Taddy Chamney and Alex Lonsdale

Stage Managers: Bryan Chapman, Mike Milone and Owen Thomas

Scenic Supervisors: Joe Bell and Geoff Holland

Vision Mixer: Jill Dornan

Make-up Designer: Dawn Alcock

Costume Designer: Margaret Harwood

Graphic Designer: Mark Allen

First Unit:
Senior Designer Special Effects: Peter Wragg / Sound Supervisor: Geoff Layton
Camera Supervisor:
John Chester / Vision Supervisor: John Coupe
Engineering Manager:
Rom Meager / VT Editor: Ian O'Shaughnessy
Production Assistants: Alison Thornber and Maggie Voudan / Researcher: Karen Howes
Assistant Producers: George R. Clarke, Tony Nicholson amd Alan Wright

Second Unit:
Camera Supervisors: Don Groom and Alan Hussey
Sound Supervisors: Frank Parker and Mark Seyler
Director: Martin Hughes

Designer and Games Devisor: Stuart Furber

Event Producer for Knockout Ltd: HRH The Prince Edward

Producer: Alan Walsh

Director: Geoff Wilson

For USA Network:
Executive Producer:
Jim Zrake / Senior Producer: Gordon Beck / Producer: Steven Feder
Program Executive: Hilary Schacter / Production Manager: Barbara Travers
Associate Producers:
Kerry-Ellen Meehan (USA) and Elizabeth McLeod (UK)
Post Production Editors: Ron Procaccio and Joe Castillano / Videotape: Mark Evans
Electronic Graphics: Deborah Cavanaugh / Executive in Charge of Production: Dick Ross
Post Production Facilities: Modern Telecommunications, Inc. New York City

Produced by BBC North West (GB) / USA Network (USA) / Knockout Ltd.

GB

The Grand Knockout Tournament 1987

Summer Special

Event Staged: Monday 15th June 1987
Venue: Alton Towers, Alton, Staffordshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 19th June 1987, 7.40-9.00pm
USA Network (USA): Wednesday 12th August 1987

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

Kindly donated by Neil Storer

Theme: Sponsored Games

Teams and Charities Represented: 
Red Team (Save the Children Fund) v.
Green Team (World Wildlife Fund) v.
Yellow Team (The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, International Project 1987)
v. Blue Team (International Year of Shelter for the Homeless)

Team Members:
Red Team –
HRH The Princess Royal (Non-Playing Captain), Jenny Agutter, Anthony Andrews, Sheena Easton, Debbie Flintoff, Sunil Gavaskar, Emlyn Hughes, Tom Jones, Kevin Kline, Virginia Leng, Walter Payton, Cliff Richard and Jackie Stewart;

Green Team – HRH The Duke of York (Non-Playing Captain), Fiona Fullerton, Margot Kidder, Griff Rhys Jones, George Lazenby, Gary Lineker, Sharon McPeake, Nigel Mansell, Michael Palin, Steve Podborski, Anneka Rice, Judy Simpson and John Travolta;

Yellow Team – HRH The Prince Edward (Non-Playing Captain), Peter Blake, John Cleese, Steve Cram, Duncan Goodhew, Eddy Grant, Sarah Hardcastle, Kiri Te Kanawa, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Barry McGuigan, Christopher Reeve, Tessa Sanderson and Toyah Willcox;

Blue Team – HRH The Duchess of York (Non-Playing Captain), Michael Brandon, Chris de Burgh, Steve Cauthen, Brian Cooper, Ben Cross, Gail Greenough, Tamara McKinney, Meatloaf, Viv Richards, Jane Seymour, Mel Smith and Pamela Stephenson.

The Games (Official Titles): Call Out the Guard, The Ghost of Alton Towers, McDonalds Restaurants Knock a Knight, Canada Life Assurance Lovers, Harrods King of the Castle, The Britannia Building Society Cooks, The Uninvited Guest and The Joust;
Marathon: The Asda Marathon;
Jokers: Shields.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 MAR 7 8
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
DE 1 4 2 4 2 3 3 4 3

SC

8 1 4 4 4 8 2 1 4
SH 6 4 6 1 1 1 1 2 2
WW 2 6 1 3 6 2 4 4 1
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
DE 1 5 7 11 13 16 19 23 26

SC

8 9 13 17 21 29 31 32 36
SH 6 10 16 17 18 19 20 22 24
WW 2 8 9 12 18 20 24 28 29

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th

 SC • Red Team (Save the Children Fund)
 WWGreen Team (World Wildlife Fund)
 DEYellow Team (International Project 1987)
 SHBlue Team (Shelter for the Homeless)

36
29
26
24

The Venue

Alton Towers, Alton, Staffordshire

Alton Towers is a popular theme park and resort in Staffordshire which has been welcoming visitors since the 1830s. It is based north of the village of Alton in Staffordshire, approximately 16 miles east of Stoke-on-Trent.
 

The Alton Towers leisure complex as seen from the air

 

In its early days as an attraction, it was the house and picturesque gardens which drew people to the 600 acre parkland site bordering the River Churnet. The Gothic style house was built in the early 1800s in place of an older home in the Classical style - Alveton Lodge - and was originally called Alton Abbey. In 1832, it was renamed Alton Towers. Today, this former country seat of the Earls of Shrewsbury is partially ruined but remains something of a spectacle. However, the main draw today is the theme park, which attracts some 2.7 million visitors every year, making it the most popular theme park in Great Britain.

The Venue

Alton Towers

The games at Alton Towers were held on the grassed area to the north of the Alton Towers house on the other side of the lake. When It's A Knockout visited for The Grand Knockout Tournament, the theme park was already well established and many of its rides and views of the house and gardens can be seen in the BBC1 preview programme for The Grand Knockout Tournament.
 

Overhead view of the playing area, to the north of the house

 

The 16th Century castle-cum-manor house used as a backdrop in the programme was an artifical construct built by BBC scenery staff under the guidance of designer Stuart Furber. It required 50 tons of scaffolding to support it and its highest towers were over 40 feet high.
 

The short-lived castle of Lord Knock, seen from across the lake

 

As might be expected, Furber's grandiose set was demolished shortly after recording, but these great photographs taken by David Hamilton on Thursday 17th June 1987 (three days after the recording and one day before the programme's transmission) show the set still standing at the Alton Towers location.
 

The back of Stuart Furber's castle façade,

with Alton Towers house in the background

 
 

The front of the castle façade,

as seen from Alton Towers house

 

Additional Information

On Wednesday 17th June 1987, two days before the broadcast of The Grand Knockout Tournament, BBC1 transmitted a 10-minute preview programme which explained what the event would be about and why it was being held. The programme went behind the scenes and featured interviews with those involved. Later, on Sunday 6th September 1987, the BBC followed this up with a more in-depth behind the scenes programme about The Grand Knockout Tournament (details in Knockout TV) lasting 45 minutes.

Each team were allowed to play their Jokers twice. The Red Team (HRH Princess Anne’s ‘Save the Children Fund’ team) won both of their Joker games. This was not equalled by any of the other three teams.

An alternative American television version of this programme was produced in tandem with the BBC version and was hosted by Hal Linden. It was produced by and broadcast on the USA Network on Wednesday 12th August 1987.

Publishers Collins issued a hardcover book about the event, Knockout: The Grand Charity Tournament for the Christmas market that year (details in Collectables).

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