Independent Pursuits: Creativity

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The Independent Culture
PROGRAMMERS PLEASE note: all the following game show formats are copyright, and available from their originators via this column. Our contributors seem well versed in the subtleties of the genre; a knowledge, sadly, too finely tuned to reproduce in full here.

Paul Turner promotes "Slave Market", hosted by Ian Paisley in Ali Baba panto costume, in which nubile lovelies wear costumes composed of "coins". Contestants can either take a sum of money or remove the coin representing that sum. "It is so awful," he says, "That I feel ashamed of having thought it up." But you did, Paul, you did.

Paul Hodges, meanwhile, is worried Richard Branson is already piloting his new format for What's My Line, in which contestants board a Virgin train at Birmingham New Street and have until Wolverhampton to think up the best complaint and excuse for each delay experienced on the journey. Mollie Caird suggests "Claptrapcrap", in which contestants have to identify the utterers of banal and embarrassing remarks made by politicians in the previous week. Nicholas "What's the E for?" Gough wants to see "What's my Deviation?", in which contestants challenge the panel to guess their particular kink; a suitable prop would be provided for clues.

A Chambers Dictionary to Tom Gaunt for "It's a Knock-Off", "the new shoplifting game for all the family". Rounds include putting on as many items of clothing as possible under your own in three minutes, stealing alcohol, drinking it, going back to steal another until the loser collapses, and running while carrying a TV or microwave oven until caught by security guards.

Another to Clive Moxham for "Pull the Plug", in which contestants are locked in a room with a six-pack of lager, a pizza and a dead TV set. The winner, who has been most inventive at finding alternative entertainment, will be rewarded with a SurroundSound TV and a year's subscription to both satellite and the Radio Times.

Nigel Plevin's show format provides this week's Literary Sponsorship Opportunity Challenge. You are invited to play advertising copywriter, finding advertising tie-ins to make the classics more affordable. Nigel suggests "Out damn spot!" (do you have difficulty with troublesome stains?) "Now is the Winter of our Discount Tents" (Milletts sale for all your camping needs!) and "Though this be Madness, yet there is method in't" (compilation CD out now!). You get the idea. Go to it.

Write to Creativity, The Independent, Features, 18th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. The top two, or three, depending on whether anyone suggests the week's theme, will win a Chambers Dictionary. Results two weeks from today.

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