Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Revisiting Runaround

I recently found out that a television series from my very early childhood has been airing on Talking Pictures TV - a cable channel from over here in the United Kingdom.


Hosted by the late Mike Reid, Runaround aired on ITV regions between 1975 and 1981. It was a children's game show which had a group of kids compete against each other for prizes.

Runaround Hosted By Mike Reid

The contestants all start out in their own compartments. Reid would then read out questions and the children would then shown three answers. One answer was correct, the other two were false.

Runaround On Talking Pictures TV

When a question is asked, and the three options are displayed, the children have to run towards the part of the studio and stand below what they think the true selection is.

Once situated under the answer, they have a split second to switch before their response is locked in. Subterfuge plays a part in the game as some kids might run to the wrong selection initially in an attempt to mislead their rivals  before their final decision is made.

Runaround On Talking Pictures TV

The children that are positioned under the correct answer each get a ball to place in a container next to their compartment while those that get the question wrong end up in what is best described as a jail. 

At the end of the game, the player with the most points (balls) gets to choose their prize.

The episode I watched was dated June 13th 1980. I would have been one at the time.

They had special guests on during the game. First there was a man who rode a miniature locomotive train onto the set, then there was a lady who made silhouette pictures and then there was a man who rode a three-wheeled fire engine onto the set. He didn't get to ride it off, though. The vehicle wouldn't start, so Mike Reid had to push him out of the studio. When Reid did this, he muttered something about it being 'live TV'. 

There was also an appearance by The Jags, who played their song Party Games. 

The game was won by a young boy. When he was victorious, he had the choice of a selection of prizes like: a photograph album, watch, radio, DIY woodwork set and a pair of bonoculars.

He chose the star prize - a portable television.

It's incredible to think how much was packed into thirty minutes. Especially if it was live as Mike Reid said whilst dealing with the fire engine calamity.

I have another thing to write about Runaround, but that's for another day because it's a personal memory that deserves its own focus.

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