The Saturday Show [2001 to 2005]
About: The Saturday Show
After the rather tired Live & Kicking closed down after it's eighth series, the Saturday morning show returned from Scotland back to it's spiritual home - Studio 6 at Television Centre (the previous home of the Saturday morning show was TC7, but at this time is was being used exclusively by news programmes)
Saturday September 22 2001 saw the launch of a new brand of Saturday morning entertainment, namely The Saturday Show. Described as 'The ultimate participation show' it was branded as 'cheeky, rude, loud and very risky'.
Hosted by Dani Behr and Joe Mace (a curious choice and combination it has to be said...) and with their very own house band to provide music, it was brash and new.
Described as 'The ultimate participation show' it was branded as 'cheeky, rude, loud and very risky'The show was a radical departure from the normal Saturday Morning which was really what became the problem with the show. Many features that aired in the first show didn't make it to the second. Remember the rather poor game on the steps, and the rather lengthy game involving the audience which about 10 people ended up winning? The show was a bit of a mix of stuff and it just didn't gel together all that well. The Risk game where people took the risk of having a personal possession shreaded if they failed in the game didn't go down that well too!
Some reworking of the show's graphics and set took place in early 2002 to address the problems, which was part of the planned launch of The Saturday Show Extra. This show came to air on 16 February 2002 as a simultaneous broadcast on the new CBBC Channel, but was changed to a one hour programme from 12pm (after the main show ended) from 31st August 2002.
Towards the end of the first year, Dani and Joe's contracts weren't renewed - so the reigns were handed over to the much younger and better balanced pairing of Fearne Cotton and Simon Grant. Things got better with the new format, and for several weeks the BBC overtook ITV in the ratings for Saturday mornings for the first time since the golden days of Live & Kicking.
Continual tweaking of the show was one of the most curious things about it. The much heralded house band, Stamford Amp, suddenly just disappeared one week and nothing more has ever been said or heard of them. The comic duo of Tiny and Mr Duk then also just vanished (before eventually reappearing in their own CBBC show) - the show was coming something of a Bermuda Triangle for the staff!
Towards what was to be the end of the run, the show got stuck in a format of music and celebrities playing silly games in a tournament and seemed to be more lost than a Japanese tourist in the Hampton Court maze.
Once the announcement that the show was to take a break from Autumn 2003 to allow Dick and Dom in da Bungalow to have a stab at the slot it wasn't all that certain that the show would ever see the day of light again. However, as part of the Spring/Summer 2004 schedule it came back with yet another new look and a part-new crew with CBBC's Angellica Bell and Jake Humphrey joining Simon Grant with the programme being broadcast from the now traditional Summer home of Glasgow.
The same crew returned for the 2005 season, with a revised logo and graphics package to boot - and was simulcast for the first time on the CBBC Channel.
One thing that they did do in the final year, and it hadn't been tried since the days of Going Live!, was to broadcast a whole show away from the base. And if you're going to do it, why not go somewhere nice and warm - so Majorca it was!
The final Saturday Show was broadcast in September 2005 and was... a Christmas Special.