Proving that there was still life in the It's A Knockout format, between January 2011
and January 2012 Australian viewers were treated to a revival of the series,
produced by Mistral and Ice-TV and broadcast on Channel Ten. In common with
it was broadcast from one location. However, that location was not even in
Australia - instead it was recorded at what was dubbed 'The Knockerdome' in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - and this prompted complaints from Australian viewers
who wanted to have a chance to go and see the events live, like in the series
heyday in Australia in the mid-1980s.
In fact, the Malaysian location was pretty much forced upon the
producers as they discovered that it proved impossible to insure the
production and the competitors on Australian soil. A crazy situation which is
mitigating against home television production in many countries. Producers
also suggested that production costs in Malaysia were more affordable, so
off-shore it was.
The competition was played out over eight weeks by four teams -
one each from the states of New South Wales (Paramedics), Queensland
(Lifesavers) and Victoria (Firefighters) and a fourth team (The Macca's All
Stars), which was made up of employees of McDonald's (the programme's main
sponsors). The first six weeks saw the teams play each other two at a time. By
winning a heat, teams would score a Round Robin point and the two teams with
the highest Round Robin score would progress to the Grand Final (Week 8). A
third place play-off was held in Week 7 for the remaining two teams.
Unlike Stedenspel, games varied week to week, but even in a
short series of eight weeks, the producers were bringing back "old favourites"
from earlier in the series by midway through.
The presenters for this new version of
It's A Knockout
were Australian broadcasting legend H.G. Nelson, Brad McEwan and Charli
Robinson, a former member of the band Hi-5.
The series was met with a warm welcome, but ratings fell off
quite quickly. Reaction was not particularly good, with most commentators
complaining that it failed to capture the magic of the programme upon which it
was based. Some questioned the bizarre decision not to have the male
presenters interact with the competitors and all told, the verdict was "should
have been better".
by Alan Hayes