Monday, March 17, 2008

Does he like mustard, tomato sauce or brown sauce with his chips?

As a kid in the 70s, I grew up on a diet of Mr & Mrs - Border TV's kitsch game show which tested how much a husband and wife knew about one another. Under the supervision of dapper host, Derek Batey, one contestant would retire to a soundproofed booth while their companion gave answers to a series of trivial questions about life around the home. If husband could guess wifey's answers - or vice versa - the happy couple might head for home with a carriage clock and a jackpot of, say, £50.

Fast forward to 2008, with Batey's 80th birthday looming in the summer, and the show is set for a fantastic new makeover. The hosts on this occasion will be none other than Philip Schofield and Fern Britton. And, in keeping with the zeitgeist, the couples will be celebrities who will happily to donate their prize winnings to charity. This time, the jackpot will be £30k, as inflation means that everything costs 600 times what it did thirty odd years ago. (A £6 chicken today, for example, was just a penny down the Old Kent Road in 1975. A £3 grande cappuccino was a halfpenny, but you couldn't get one for love nor money.)

The real excitement comes with news of the couples who've been lined up for the new show. Neil and Christine Hamilton, for instance. ("If your husband saw a man in a white suit threatening to take his parliamentary seat away from him, what do you think he would do?") Kerry Katona will be popping down the The London Studios in Waterloo with her own hubby. And on one occasion, Mr & Mrs will become Mr & Mr as jungle hero Christopher Biggins tries to second guess his partner Neil. I won't even mention the one with Lembit Opik and that Cheeky Girl. It's all too much to take in.

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