As a thirty-something who fondly remembers tea-time as a kid watching and thoroughly enjoying the ITV children’s quiz favourite, Blockbusters, I was sad to hear that its legendary host, Bob Holness had died at the age of 83.
Blockbusters had a simple but winning formula, in which sixth-form contestants would answer a series of questions based on letters of the alphabet and no weekday was complete without the half hour show!
The news of Bob’s death also brought back memories of what a truly great, lighthearted show it was – what with the hand jive and gold run, and who could forget the comedy classic - “Can I have a P please Bob?”
Bob Holness became a massive hit with school and undergraduate viewers, who helped to swell the ITV show’s ratings to 11.5million at its peak.
I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Holness and his wife, Mary, when I was a student studying journalism at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.
Blockbusters came to our Student Union and after the main event, myself and a fellow journalism student went behind the scenes to interview Bob and what a genuinely smashing bloke he was!
A very modest man, Bob was a delight to talk to and I remember him being really enthusiastic about the fact that we were studying journalism at university and he was very positive about the media industry as a whole.
But the main aspect, which was totally obvious from speaking to Bob, was just how much he loved being the host of Blockbusters from 1983 to 1993 and he really did deserve to achieve his cult status at the helm of the show.
A talented and much-loved presenter, Bob will be missed. But as many people continue to pay their tributes to the legend, at least we can rest in the knowledge that his memory will live on as Blockbusters can be seen on digital TV channel, Challenge, which airs a number of the old classics, including Play Your Cards Right and 3-2-1.
I for one will be tuning in.
Posted at 10:54am on 10th January 2012
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