Does anyone remember that game show hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck which was on ITV at the weekends between 1987 and 1989? - it was a rather lowkey game show to be honest, although it was enjoyable. Tarby hosted this, and so left Winner Takes All so that Geoffrey Wheeler ended up hosting the show as well as doing the voiceovers like he did previously. It was on Sundays in 1987, Saturdays in 1988 and Fridays in 1989. It was made by a number of collaborated Independent production companies for Yorkshire Television on ITV.

The opening titles I have to admit were a bit misleading even for a 9 to 11 year old back then - the fact that it was called the "frame" game and the opening titles had coloured balls (like snooker balls) in the sequence, for obvious reasons it made me think that it was to be a snooker-based game show like Big Break (Tyne Tees did an untransmitted game show called Pick Pockets around the same time with Tom O'Connor as the host). Tarby later did the BBC flop Full Swing in 1996 - Bullseye or Big Break a la golf. An episode of the Frame Game is on YouTube which starts with Tarbuck saying "the audience is better than last week's" in his opening gambit in which Brucie made famous for Play Your Cards Right.

The object of the game was to find the link between the two words which was the second word of the first phrase, (seen on red, blue and green stripes on screen and the words in capital letters and italics, meaning that they meant business), and the first word of the second phrase, so that for example, if the words were HOT and BAR, the answer would be CHOCOLATE - HOT CHOCOLATE and CHOCOLATE BAR. There were three chances to get the word, and it is amazing how unintelligent some of the couples were who appeared in the show, who couldn't even get basic ones - even back then I got most of them in one.

It made me think that calling the side words "frames" was a bit weird - was it a bit like a photograph frame where the missing word was the photograph itself? I suppose one could refer to it as a "sandwich" and one needed to find the meat in the sandwich between the two slices of bread, although lo and behold, No 73 had "The Sandwich Quiz" on there and so it would have been too similar to that.

The final had six different ones to try and solve - one partner had to go into the "Mr and Mrs"-alike soundproof booth while the other one had to select the "frames" i.e. the first and last words with the middle words already chosen, seen on coloured lines on the TV screen. Then the husband comes back and tries to guess what the middle word was as before. Get all six and the couple goes on holiday or gets a 14 inch colour TV. One edition had someone choose NATIONAL and SERVICE around the word HEALTH, and so it read "NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE" on screen. It was great but a bit too lowkey for evening viewing - it would have made a better show on a weekday morning at 9.25 am to be honest.

I suppose that the weekday morning show Lucky Ladders almost was like an extension to Tarby's Frame Game in the way that the words link to each other down the rungs of the "ladder", and host Lennie Bennett explaining them to viewers. And of course, Supermarket Sweep almost went into Frame Game territory with one round of the game, giving "BAKING TIN FOIL" as an example.

Without looking online, does anyone remember it, and thinking that even though it was rather bland (apart from Tarbuck's Liverpudlian quips), it was a great game show to watch at the time?