Shut that Door

That was the catchphrase of Larry Grayson, the original host of BBC One’s Generation Game.

This was a very popular game show which ran from 70s until well into the 90s, with national treasure Bruce “Nice to see you, to see you nice” Forsyth replacing Larry as host and later when he left, the blue stand up Jim Davison continued his foray into family television. I am too young to have watched Larry Grayson’s version though I have seen bits and pieces on retrospective documentaries and DVD extras, so my man for the show was Bruce,  I never warmed to Jim Davison as host on the Generation Game or Big Break. The concept for the show was simple there X amount of teams who would family members of a different generation, usually either a Father/Daughter or Mother/Son combination and they would have to answer various questions, a practical test, a short performed piece of some variety and the winning team would go to the conveyer belt. Where you had to memorise as many items which could and repeat them back to win them; there was always a cuddly toy and a holiday disguised as a lame representation of the destination  (like a big inflatable Apple). It is memories of this show which makes me wonder if the generation bond is as strong anymore.

I am the youngest of two and born in the eighties to parents of the baby boomer generation  (Dad was born in 1949, Mum 1950) and I think there is a marked generation gap in my own generation. Those whose parents were born in the late 50s/early sixties seem to have a very different family interaction. As a family we always sat down for dinner and tea together, whereas I recall a lot of my friends didn’t. We had to follow a certain etiquette at the table as well, no one starts until everyone one is served, permission has to be asked to leave (in fact with family meals with mum/Nan I still ask for permission to leave the table), tea was always served between 7:15 and 7:30. We always had Sunday morning family telly time where we would watch repeats of old shows on Channel 4, there would be a Cowboy show like Wagon Train or Rawhide (and once they had run through those Gunsmoke), followed by an American sci-fi show of the 60s such as Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea or Land of the Giants. Then it was a light Sunday dinner which Dad usually conned me into leaving no leftovers by letting me win at an arm wrestle if I had finished my lunch. Then it was play time outside if Nan and Grandad didn’t visit or vice versa and if we were lucky 30 minutes on the Commodore 64, then it would be family TV time (usually Cartoon Time with Rolf Harris and Last of the Summer Wine), Sunday Roast and bed. It seemed this routine and set up didn’t really happen with those with younger parents, so that shows an internal gap. No doubt I will follow in my Parent’s footsteps should I have children of my own, but as it stands and am still yet to find a wife.


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