there's nothing particularly seasonal or extraordinary about me watching repeat broadcasts of Bullseye, look you see. i am unashamedly a fan of this marvellous show, and take great delight that they screen each and every episode of it again and again. many cry for something new to be forever on tv, deriding repeats as lazy broadcasting. where is it you go, though, when you have achieved perfection?
it is, however, with sheer delight that i have been watching very, or if you like uber, seasonal editions of Bullseye, for as the season dictates they have been showing the various Christmas editions of the show over the last few weeks. and most splendid they are.
those of you who are all too not so familiar with the show will, quite naturally, at this point be wondering about that Christmas episode of the show. surely, in this day and age, they either censored that one edition, or simply buried it? no. they went ahead and screened the most controversial episode of Bullseye ever, and did so with no further cuts than what was made at the time of broadcast.
the above is indeed Jim Bowen. he is now, but of course, one of the most famous men in the world today, but this was all long before he was elevated to the position of Pope Francis. back then when this was made he was but a simple man - a Monsignor, if you like, or perhaps a humble Pilgrim.
no one at the time saw the destiny, or if you like path to greatness, that Jim Bowen was on. the clues, in as is always the case in retrospect were all there right before us, for as you can see in the above Jim, as ever, administered a special healing blessing over the questions for the contestants. a sequence of questions which of course took the form of what was at face value a dart board, but now so obviously looks like the round table off of King Arthur that he so proudly took the seat at.
why was this Christmas special of Bullseye so controversial? surprisingly it's not just because of all of the above. the whole episode entire, which is what whole means i guess, sought to break barriers, push frontiers and scatter taboos to the winds. in order to do this, a significant set of guests were required and, as is the way of Jim Bowen, put in place.
that is indeed the young Phil Taylor performing his art above. so far as i know this stems from a time when Phil Taylor was just Phil Taylor, and not Phil "The Power" Taylor. to my knowledge it was a time before that band, Snap i think, even did the song The Power and long before darts players had a "theme song" to walk up to the oche to. as point of fact if you were playing darts in a pub then and asked the landlord to play your special theme song before you walked up to the oche then you'd probably get glassed or barred.
as you can see, this is from the time when Phil "no nickname" Taylor had both a thick head of hear and facial growth of hair. as has been pointed out in this blog in the past, in a way that has not attracted any cease and desist letters, his facial hair growth was styled was what is affectionately known as a wanker's tache. this is not to say that Phil was the former word there, it's just the name of that stringy, scraggy growth that never transforms into a full moustache.
heads were turned, eyebrows were raised, etc, at the fact that one of these moustaches was allowed not just on television but on what was ostensibly considered light entertainment for the family. i am not 100% sure when this particular Christmas special was broadcast, at least in terms of the year, but i am confident it was at the height of the sinister Conservative regime that was determined to suppress all expressions of free will and individual thought. it is unthinkable that such a brazen display of individual choice as Phil Taylor not caring that he had a wanker's tache was ever allowed to be broadcast.
did the episode get any more controversial? yes, yes it did. Jim Bowen, in a very well intentioned but perhaps ill-advised gesture to show his unilateral support for the freedom of love despite his own more conventional views, attempted to bring the wonder of what is colloquially called a "gang bang" to early evening Sunday entertainment television.
whilst broadcasting gang bangs on Sunday evenings had, by this stage, long been a staple of entertainment in countries such as Norway and France, it was unheard of in the UK. sure, some rumours persist about certain thinly veiled episodes of Songs Of Praise, but at this point no one had ever proven anything. Jim Bowen's plan was to align the UK with aspects of Europe, and bring down this taboo.
how exactly was this going to circumvent the censors? an ingenious plan was hatched. whilst all forms of entertainment were subject to harsh, totalitarian forms of censorship by the Conservative government, all historical, documentary and factual based shows were exempt.
to comply with this, Norris McWhirter off of Record Breakers was brought in to officiate and measure the gang bang. if this incredible vision of Jim Bowen was to be presented as an ambitious attempt to make sure Britain held some sort of gang bang related world record then the footage would be considered to have exceptional historical value and would be permitted to be broadcast, no questions asked.
now i am not for one moment saying that Jim Bowen is a member of some organization such as the Majestic 12 or the Bilderberg Group, but i am just leaving that there for you in case you are wondering how it was possible for him to summon Norris McWhirter off of Record Breakers to the show, crossing the rubicon that is a BBC employee appearing on commercial network television.
you might be reading this and wondering how come you've never heard of the record breaking gang bang attempt on a Christmas edition of Bullseye before. well, that's because in the end it never went ahead. i will try and explain why.
rock folklore and legend says that The Beatles nearly reunited in the 70s. on an episode of Saturday Night Live, i think, it is rumoured that the guest host Steve Martin offered The Beatles $5 each to come and reunited on the show. by a quirk of fate all four Beatles were in New York, called each other and said "yeah, why not". according to the legend, it was only traffic that stopped one of them - i think Ringo - making it to the studio in time.
how the above relates to the failed gang bang is the lack of the correct musical score for the attempt. as a massive fan of the band, Jim Bowen instructed the producers to secure the services of Black Lace for the segment, so that they may perform their most noted hit, (We're Having A) Gang Bang (Against The Wall) as the for want of a better term participants all got on with it. with, presumably, Jim Bowen saying smashing and nice one as they did, and Tony Green, in a most splendid suit, keeping some sort of score.
sadly, Black Lace were never on this Christmas edition of Bullseye or any other. at least not as far as i know. with the right music not available, but Norris McWhirter still on hand, the planned gang bang never went ahead. instead an attempt was made to set a world record for number of darts thrown within a minute by two teams of three players. was it a success? i am not sure, i went off for a cigarette during that part when it became clear that there was to be no gang bang.
any other controversies on the show? yes. Steve Wright off of Steve Wright In The Afternoon was one of the guest contestants. the most triumphant one, too.
the presence of Steve Wright virtually assured something controversial would happen. his blatant doing of things like playing pop records and making jokes was, in many respects, blamed by the Conservative government for subverting a generation; convincing them that they should be free and feel happy. Thatcher would have loved nothing more that Steve Wright to be eliminated, so that the kids could be all put back in their place of slavery and indentured labour. the BBC was having none of it, and developed something of a siege mentality around their broadcast building.
that Steve Wright was allowed to leave the BBC fortress and appear on commercial television was to tempt the tremor of intent of government assassins. fortunately, in the season of goodwill, no attempt was made, and Steve Wright was able to look quite knowledgable as he answered a variety of general knowledge questions.
you might well think that all of this was simply a result of me laying on the couch, messing with my relatively new phone, working out how to zoom the camera and thus fabricating a story to go with several of the many pictures i took off of the tele with the camera on zoom, and that it just happened to be Bullseye that was on at the time. it's not my place to correct you if that is so.
should there be any New Year or Easter or Valentine special editions of Bullseye and i happen to think of anything to write for them, i will surely do so here.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!