Monday, February 19, 2007

Hold Your Plums

Sometime in the early 90's, I was given a copy of a tape brought down by my Liverpudlian relatives, which was called "Hold Your Plums - volume 4". This was a hugely -popular radio quiz show in the BBC Radio Merseyside area. Of course, being a West Country person myself, I never even heard of the programme, but I was told that the idea of the game is to answer one question before the hosts (Billy Butler & Wally Scott) activate a speaking fruit machine, which determines which prize the contestants would get (if the contestant gets all three plums, they win the top prize). However, what made this show such a hilarious success is the endless clues being given to the clueless participants, who came up with such bizarre answers as these:

If a footballer passes the ball to another player, it's a pass. If he shoots the ball, it's a shot. If he heads the ball, it's a...?

Have you ever had a "rarebit"?
What? I've got three kids!

Her first name is "Hedda". Her second name is "Hopper". So what is her full name?
Mary Hopkin.

Man, I had a fit of the giggles when I listened to this tape (ain't real-life humour the best). These brainless contestants have probably given Merseyside a bad name.

Since I first listened to this magnificant show (it puzzled me why it was never networked, as this would have had massive UK-wide appeal), I managed to seek out two specially-produced videotapes of this hilarious show. And very recently, to my sheer delight, I discovered a BBC webpage containing some Hold Your Plums audio clips (link below), most of which I have never heard before. Some of my favourites on the webpage includes a guy struggling to come up with Batman's nickname, a batty old lady who thinks that there is a soup called "Mull of Kintyre", and one bizarre clip where the presenters, who asked one woman contestant to name the only European country that drives on the left (actually, there is two!), organised a taxi trip for her as a clue.



Craig D said...

Hey, Lee!

There was a U.S. radio show back in the 40s (and 50s, I believe) called "It Pays To Be Ignorant."

It was a (mostly) phoney quiz program with a panel of numbskulls who could not answer the simplest of questions. If you can find any streaming or downloadable OTR (Old Time Radio) sites, give it a listen.

Thanks for the "Plum" info, I'll have to check out the aduio links!

Lee Glover said...

Cheers, Craig D!

I've done a quick search, and there seems to be quite a few OTR links to the show you mentioned. Will give these a listen during the weekend. Thanks!

I absolutely adore these dumb quiz show answers. There is a site I regularly listen to, which mostly contains stupid answers from the game show "Family Feud" (and its UK cousin "Family Fortunes", one of my all-time faves).