Simply the Best was at the centre of ITV1's assault on
Saturday night prime-time in Summer 2004. The eight feature-length programmes,
recorded on the beautiful Channel Island of Jersey, were based on Intervilles (as was
It's A Knockout, of course) and were positively
bursting at the seams with celebrities. While not an own goal of the magnitude
of ITV1's later Saturday night flop, Celebrity Wrestling, Simply the
Best failed to find a significant audience and was laid to rest after just
one series. Indeed, it was unceremoniously moved to a Saturday afternoon slot
for its last edition - never a good sign.
The eight programmes were all recorded at a temporary arena
with space for one thousand spectators which was erected solely for Simply
the Best. The arena stood on reclaimed land in the Waterfront area of St.
Helier. The events involved games featuring two teams comprised of celebrities
and members of the public, who had to tackle physical tasks against each
other. The games were interspersed by musical interludes from top chart
In a divergence from the traditional qualifying system in Jeux Sans Frontières, qualification for the final not by highest points
score, but by the Champions' Wall events instead. Each team tackled the
Champions' Wall at the end of each heat, with the points haul counting towards
a head start on this last game. The
two winning teams that completed in the Champions' Wall in the quickest time
went through to the final. This same system is employed in Intervilles.
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