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Celebrity Squares (ITV Game Show, Bob Monkhouse)

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Celebrity Squares First Episode ITV 1975

Based on popular US game show Hollywood Squares and hosted brilliantly by Bob Monkhouse, Celebrity Squares was a version of old favourite noughts and crosses. ATV who made the show for ITV, built a giant 18 foot noughts and crosses board and inside each square sat a celebrity who would have to answer a question correctly for one of two contestants. A correct answer would produce an X or an O depending on the contestant. In part one each square won was worth £10, in part two the prize for each square doubled to £20. Each game win was also worth £10. There was also a secret square on the board which if won would be a high value prize such as a holiday.

Celebrities regularly taking part included the likes of Alfred Marks, Diana Dors, Barbara Windsor, Willie Rushton, Pat Coombs, Leslie Crowther, Aimi McDonald and the like. Kenny Everett was also involved as the voice-over man. There was a lot of humour on the show with the guests wise-cracking and telling jokes. These were not ad-libs though but written by Dennis Berson. A pre-fame Jeremy Beadle was also involved as question setter (there was a brief issue after the first series when viewers complained about how factually correct some of the answers were and Beadle admitted to making some of the answers up!)

The series had it’s genesis in Bob Monkhouse’s earlier game show for ATV The Golden Shot. Bob had been let go from that show but then was asked to return, he did so only on the proviso that ATV would develop this show for him. It was pretty popular running for 138 episodes between 20 July 1975 and 7 July 1979. Producers were Paul Stewart Laing (Series 1-3) and Glyn Edwards (Series 4).

Central revived the format in 1993, again with Bob Monkhouse hosting. This ran for 57 episodes from 8 January 1993 to 3 January 1997. Then in 2014 there was another revival this time hosted by Warwick Davis. This was short lived, 15 episodes between 10 September 2014 and 7 June 2015.

Like so many of these type of 1970’s shows very few episodes are still in existence.