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All our Yesterdays
The Golden Shot
By Martin Kelner
Jun 3, 2002 - 2:30:00 PM

All Our Yesterdays
Article dated: Monday 3 June 2002
The Golden Shot

Even in the so-called Swinging Sixties, Sundays could be joyless affairs in Britain. No long Sunday lunches in country pubs in those days, children playing happily at your feet, no interactive Premiership football live on Sky TV, no bulging car parks at out-of-town shopping centres. What we had instead was Bernie the Bolt. You only ever saw the back of silent Bernie as he loaded a crossbow on host Bob Monkhouse's instructions. Then, in a not very sophisticated variation of a fairground rifle range, a contestant would shoot at targets in an attempt to win the main prize, a treasure chest of gold coins. In another game, the contestant was blindfolded, and guided by a telephone partner ("up a bit, left a bit, down a bit, FIRE").

Norman Vaughan and Charlie Williams had spells as host, but the show's mystifyingly huge ratings must mostly be ascribed to Monkhouse who was not only just as oleaginous as you expect a quiz show host to be, but also had an impressive armoury of gags, many of them at the expense of "Golden Girl" Anne Aston, who struggled to tot up the scores. The show aired at teatime, after which all the weekend had to offer was a bath and your homework.

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