It has got to have been the most famous conveyor belt in Britain’s television history. To many people over a certain age, memories of a mythical golden age of the small screen are inextricably linked to the Generation Game, a game show that oozed a kind of fuzzy warmth and in which the winner had to remember as many items as possible as they trundled past on a kind of airport carousel. Woe betide anyone whose powers of recall were so poor that all they remembered were the cuddly toy and kettle.
While the late Larry Grayson took over this show quite successfully for a time, to most people Bruce Forsyth and the Generation Game were practically one and the same phenomenon, which is why any discussion of a revival of this one-time favourite has been dogged by the tricky question of who might step into Bruce’s shoes. Clearly, edgy comedians specialising in risqué banter wouldn’t suit at all.
Step forward Miranda Hart! Nothing has been confirmed, but the BBC is reportedly sounding out Britain’s new sitcom queen as to whether she would like to have a go.
Homely, unthreatening, the quintessence of family friendliness, she would make an excellent choice. The fact that most people refer to her by her first name alone points to the kind of affection she inspires while, as a woman, she would give the show a new twist.
There is always an inherent risk in reviving old TV shows, and we won’t be able to judge this particular revival until we see it in action. Once Miranda is behind that conveyor belt dispensing cuddly toys to a new generation, all will become clear.