The Saturday Show is a BBC children's Saturday morning show that first aired in 2001, replacing the popular Live & Kicking. It had a mix of audience participation, cartoons, games and gunge. Initially it was presented by Dani Behr and Joe Mace. They left in 2002 and were replaced by Fearne Cotton and Simon Grant. In 2003, Cotton left and Grant was joined by Angellica Bell and Jake Humphrey, who made up the final team of presenters until the programme finished in September 2005.
The new show
In 2001, it was announced Live & Kicking
would be axed after eight series. Instead, a brand new show fronted by Dani Behr and Joe Mace would air. It would be a radical departure from standard and conventional Saturday Morning TV. The new show was billed to be tough competition for SMTV
. The show was confined to the studio. The studio wasn't a traditional studio, it was based on tiered seating and 3 stages at the bottom, one with a presenters couch, one for performances and one for The Saturday Show house band.
The return to L&K
In February 2002 with the CBBC Channel having just launched, Nihal and Sarra Elgan were on the CBBC Channel presenting TSS Extra which ran parallel to The Saturday Show. Extra saw a new studio and new graphics take place. The new set consisted of a couch underneath a balcony. Obviously there was a stage on the other side of the studio, once again an SM:TV style convention. The relaunch also saw the end of the house band and there was more audience participation at home. The show wasn't proving to be a success so far but despite this, it was given the benefit of the doubt, was commissioned right through the summer instead of the "split year" which also didn't happen the previous year with L&K in its final series. In July 2002, Joe Mace didn't want his contract renewing so Dani Behr also quit the show. The Saturday Show was about to be axed but the much younger and child friendly pairing of Fearne Cotton and Simon Grant agreed to take the slot as filming moved from BBC Television Centre
to BBC Scotland
The All New Saturday Show & TOTP Saturday
This was how it was branded for a short while from September 2002. Throughout the morning, the presenters would start off acting childish eventually becoming more aimed at teens. With the new show, the TOTP spin off series TOTP Saturday was born. The original concept was a 45 minute version of The Friday Night Show with the number one single played half way through with the words. Also a new feature called Singles out dominated part of the show and became part of the format for the 2003 series. But in May 2003, the show began celebrity fastermind which began to dominate the first hour of the show. Since then, the show began to drop its opening titles and got stuck in a format of games, gunge and celebrities. Finally in September 2003, Dick and Dom in da Bungalow
was to premier on BBC1. Overall, the new show was a ratings hit taking over SMTV Live for many weeks. Extra was moved to 12pm on the CBBC Channel and Nihal was dropped. Then it lived up to its name of "Extra" instead of simulcasting.
The beginning of the end
After successful run, the show returned in April 2004 with a new look yet again. Angellica Bell and Jake Humphrey joined Simon Grant to attempt to save the show. The show was once again not set in a traditional studio. The audience sat on couches whereas the presenters had no place to sit down and read letters. With only 90 minutes to air, the show went out at 8:30 and stopped at 10 followed by The Mysti Show.
Many features were aired in this series - the finale to the show was Gunge GBH.
The final revamp
Now a celeb-free zone, the BBC revamped the show again to make it more interactive. Throughout the morning, it would be the audience taking part in games such as Scary Buckets, Stick and Twist featuring , Blushing Roulette etc. This series saw a string of out of studio reporters such as Ortis and Sophie McDonnell introduced, with Sophie filling in for Angellica on occasion. The show also featured a sketch called Dr Loo, a parody of Doctor Who
. Unfortunately, the series as a whole was not a success and was axed in 2005
. Realising that they would not be on the air at Christmas
, the last episode, aired on 3 September, was a "Christmas special".
One newer feature of the show was Gunge GBH (GBH standing for Grant
), during which a child got the chance to gunge
a presenter. It was a segment of the 2005 summer run of The Saturday Show
. It started the previous year as just "Gunge Grant" when presenter Simon Grant
went head to head with a child in a quiz. Both contestants sat in adjacent gunge
tanks and were asked questions sent in by viewers. Question master Jake Humphrey
asked each player a question in turn (before which they were given the option to play or pass the question to the other player). Each player had five lives and for each life lost their tank was "topped up" with gunge
by Angellica Bell
. The first contestant to lose all five of their lives was gunged
. If the child won they would also take home prizes but if they lost would instead take home an "I've Been Gunged On The Saturday Show" certificate.
The format was changed the following year allowing all three presenters to rotate turns in the tank. The input of gunge was now controlled by "The God of Grunge Metal." Initially the rules were that if a presenter lost they would remain in the tank the following week, but this was eventually changed to the child choosing which presenter they wished to play against, and subsequently changed again to the drawing of straws. Another change to the game occurred towards the end of the series when the previous five lives became three. Jake Humphrey particularly disliked going in the tank and usually tried to find an excuse not to be gunged, but of course it never made any difference.
It Started With Swap Shop
The Saturday Show was hardly mentioned at all on the BBC's It Started With Swap Shop
programme as the programme was concentrating on the first four incarnations of the BBC's Saturday mornings programmes. However, Fearne Cotton
came on at one point of the show and talked to Noel Edmonds
how Saturday morning shows on the BBC inspired her to be a presenter.
There were a few clips of The Saturday Show from the first series to the fourth series on the 'Travel Back In Time' section at the beginning and the 'Up To Date' section at the end.