Give Us a Clue
is a televised game show
version of charades
that was first broadcast on ITV
from 1979 to 1992. It was first hosted by Michael Aspel
from 1979 to 1983 then Michael Parkinson
from 1984 to 1992, with two teams: one captained by Lionel Blair
and the other by Una Stubbs
. Later versions of the show had Liza Goddard
as captain of the girls' team. Directed and Produced by David Clark
after the end of series two for nine series. A revived version was attempted by BBC One
, which ran from 10 November
to 19 December 1997
and commissioned 30 episodes, it was hosted by Tim Clark
. Teams were captained by Christopher Blake
and Julie Peasgood
and the show tried to introduce a lateral thinking puzzle (which the host could "give clues to").
The game was based on charades, a party game where players used mime rather than speaking to demonstrate a name, phrase, book, play, film or TV programme. Each player was given roughly two minutes to act out their given subject in front of his/her team, and if the others were unsuccessful in guessing correctly, the opposing team would have a chance to answer for a bonus point.
In its early days it was famous for occupying an early evening slot, usually around 5:15 pm, each weekday, when ITV didn't have so many shows and relied on repeats as well, it was also a common feature to remain during the Christmas/New Year schedules. The show moved in 1987, to an early morning slot, left vacant by ITV Schools after its demise.
The original theme tune was called "Chicken Man", which was also the theme tune of Grange Hill
. However, while Grange Hill
used the original recording, Give Us a Clue
used a less dynamic custom arrangement more in keeping with the style of light entertainment programming. In 1982 David Clark took over as producer/director and commissioned an entirely new theme tune, then in 1987 a new vocalised theme tune was used up until the show ended in 1992.
The programme has been repeated on satellite TV. It is also often parodied in British comedy, even to this day. It was frequently referred to by Humphrey Lyttelton
, chairman of BBC radio's long-running 'antidote to panel games', I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
, during a round of Sound Charades
— usually with a gay innuendo-laden gag at the expense of Lionel Blair.
A licensed version of it aired in New Zealand
in the 1990s. SVT
in Sweden broadcast their own version with the title Gaster med gester.