Some shows become emblematic of the era they were produced in. I think Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush is a bit like that. Chris Evans had become a media superstar off the back of the Big Breakfast, and this was his next project. I liked it at the time, because I quite like Live TV that pushes what can be done.
But you really have to be able to get past Chris Evans to enjoy it, and I know that’s not possible for some people. This was before he started becoming a regular tabloid target, I think, before the breakfast shows, and his subsequent inability to get up early. It’s probably his honeymoon period.
Let’s see how it holds up.
First, I’m slightly sad to see the London Studios, headquarters of LWT, and which very recently closed, another great custom-built TV studio chucked away, so soon after we lost TVC.
Musical guest is Richard Fairbrass.
Supported by Jools Holland and his big band, who really looks like he’s enjoying himself as Richard sings I’m Too Sexy.
Richard is reunited with the first girl he ever snogged.
Some old people are put on Harley Davidsons.
A taxi driver has to answer questions about three of her fares from yesterday.
She gets a chance to win Chris’s Jaguar. Doesn’t seem that much of a risk for Evans, since he only bought it two weeks ago. But he does seem upset when she actually wins it, and Jools Holland, whose brother had sold it to him, seems very amused.
They do a phone in quiz, pre-recorded, so Chris can cosplay as Captain Scarlet. In fact, I can’t remember if the show is live or recorded.
The next episode features musical guest Leo Sayer.
There’s a nice stunt, where they bring a woman from the audience, then produce her washing machine and give her a chance to win a new washing machine.
But that’s not quite enough for the show, so then they reveal that they’ve brought her whole kitchen to the studio. And she has a chance to win a brand new kitchen.
And the topper is when they cut to a camera crew outside her house, go in, and they’ve already installed the new kitchen. This is the kind of ludicrous stunt that I really like.
The couple playing for the holiday don’t get enough questions right, so for the first time they have to phone a viewer at home. And he’s not even watching (so it must be live) as he’s watching The Fly on the other side. Evans is very unhappy when he gets the right answer to the question, and said on the next programme that they’d ask questions about the show for the phone in just to weed out non-viewers.
The next episode opens with Chris doing his tribute to Minder. Why he insists on singing is beyond me, a symptom, I’m guessing, of a production team who just can’t say no to him.
To make up for this, the musical guest is Ray Davies, of the Kinks.
The next episode sees a contestant answer questions about her chequebook.
The next episode has Cher as the musical guest, singing live on British TV for the first time.
She’s very good fun, and obviously enjoyed her experiences with Chris Evans enough to do the regular At Home with Chris and Cher segments on TFI Friday.
The tape ends right after this show. I was ruthless with the ad breaks, clearly indicating that I never went out on a Saturday Night at this time. I’d probably bought my house and couldn’t afford to any more.