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In each show, there are around half a dozen games. With more than sixty series under it’s belt, and with at least six shows per series, that’s more than two thousand games played.

Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer play ‘Swanee-Kazoo’

In some instances rather than create a listing for a game with a single occurrence, I’m including it with something else when it’s very similar. This is especially so for the earlier shows when games had yet to settle into an established format.

Some games have changed their names over the years. For the sake of easily identifying them, I’m using the current name in all episodes, even if it was introduced under a different one. Some weren’t named at all, so I’ve made up – hopefully appropriate – ones.

The list below is a temporary example, as the live one has fallen victim to the ‘broken site’ issue. Once properly restored, the game names will become links to lists of shows that the game has appeared in.

Acronyms The teams suggest what acronyms popular with text messagers and emailers, might stand for to older hearers.
“BFF” = “Bedban Frighteningly Full”
Advertising Slogans Presented with well-known advertising slogans, the teams guess whose they were.
“You’ll wonder where the yellow went” “Armitage Shanks”
“Bet you can’t eat three” “The Korean kennel club”
Alternative National Anthems The teams suggest alternative, more lively, national anthems.
“Sudan, You’re Rockin’ The Boat”
Animal Farm One team tells an animal related tale, while the other provides sound effects whenever an animal is mentioned.
The sound effect for ‘… while the hippos attacked the food’ was ‘Charge
Any Answers The teams supply answers to listeners’ questions, usually on a specified theme.
“It shouldn’t be confused with the Radio 4 phone-in programme of the same name which follows Any Questions and provides a free and open forum to air a wide range of bigotry.”
Ask A Silly Question The teams suggest the most stupid questions that could ever be asked.
“Am I looking forward to this? There’s one to be going on with.”
Beat The Clock One team plays a game, the other then has to guess what it is within a time limit.
e.g. Tim and Jeremy played Elgin Marbles
Blankety Blank The chairman reads an extract of something from a well-known personality or a publication, pausing occasionally to let the teams fill in the blanks.
(Victoria Beckham) “Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are just ordinary people. We respect their religion. They never said ‘You have to be a part of this’. There’s been nothing shoved down our throats because …” “… even scientologists don’t want us.”
(1930s Etiquette book) “When your husband arrives home, give him a cheery welcome so that he is …” “… not suspicious.”
Blues Each team must improvise a blues song on a topic given by the other team, such as the “Trichologist’s Blues” or the “Kerry Packer Blues”. The songs invariably start with “I woke up this morning”. The only exception was when one team had to sing the “I couldn’t get to sleep last night blues”. A variation is to improvise a madrigal or a calypso. The calypsos invariably start with “I… something relating to the topic …the other day”.
Brand Names The panellists suggest product names that might have gone horribly wrong.
“In the 1960s, a well known petrol company claimed that ‘your car will run better on BP’ … leaving customers wondering how many bees it would take to fill a tank.”
Catalogue Shopping One team complains about catalogue purchases, while the other offers excuses and mitigations.
“She allegedly came from Bangkok and she was supposed to be a titled lady … the widow of Lord Boy I assumed. She was full of surprises, she was.”
Cautionary Signs and Labels The chairman reads out the first part of some cautionary labels, which the teams then complete.
“Do not use on kittens or puppies if … ” “Anyone can see what you’re doing.” Alternatively, the teams just offer Warning Signs seen in various situations.
“Maternity ward: Allow 28 days for delivery”
Celebrity Ducks The teams have all brought along ducks with well-known owners. The others have to guess the identity of the duck’s owner by listening to it quack.
“It’s quite surprising how many famous people are duck enthusiasts. The model, novelist, and country pursuits enthusiast Katie Price breeds classic English mallards. Needing to mate at least a dozen times a day with five or six different partners, it’s a wonder she finds time to feed the ducks.”
Censored Songs The teams use their buzzer to censor well known songs.
“When I say any content causing offence to the ear will be removed we will, of course, have to make one exception. The piano accompaniment of Colin Sell. Actually we were all very impressed to learn that Colin once played along side Roy Orbison. Obison, of course, was nicknamed ‘The Big O’ and in turn he affectionately referred to Colin as ‘that little C'”
“Some enchanted evening, you may [buzz] a stranger …”
“Getting to [buzz] you, getting to [buzz] all about you …”
Cheddar Gorge The teams construct a sentence, taking one word each at a time, the object being not to complete the sentence. No-one has ever explained why the round is called Cheddar Gorge and it is usually prefaced with the chairman giving other examples of games called after place names.
“There’s Alpine Mountains, which is a bigger version of Jinga but using boxes of muesli. Then there’s Wailing Wall where players fire harpoons over a wall, and not far from here they play Vale of White Horse, which involves drinking whiskey through a burka.”
Compressed Works In the age of the ten second attention span, the teams compete to produce the shortest possible version of well-known films, programmes, etc.
Waiting For Godot: “Do you think he’ll come?” “Probably not.”
Connections Teams must spot a connection between people, places or items in a list, to identify which is the odd one out.
“An obvious example would be if I were to list John the Baptist, The Good Samaritan and Winnie the Pooh. You’d immediately spot that John the Baptist and Winnie the Pooh share the same middle name, while The Good Samaritan has it as his first name.” (It’s sometimes called ‘Odd One Out’, but the basic premise is the same.)
Continuity Announcements The teams announce TV and radio shows, commissioned solely because of their names.
“Elderly relatives get a sexy make-over in Gran Designs”
Corner Shop The panellists suggest items to be found in a corner shop specialising in a particular market.
Ornithologists’ corner shop: “Owl Grey Tea Bags”
Cost Cutters A number of games use the premise of austerity as their basis – be it cut-price films, budget TV shows, etc.
“The Devil Wears Primark”
Cow Lake Bomb A grown-up version of the playground game “Scissors Paper Stone”.
“Obviously, cow drinks lake, lake extinguishes bomb, and bomb blows up cow.”
The game descends into chaos as Humph is unable to tell who used which sound effect. Also, mysteriously, other sound effects get played.
“I’m getting a sense of power … all I have to say is ‘1-2-3’ and the most extraordinary and stupid things happen.”
Cutting Room Floor The teams must offer their best material, or face whatever they’ve said ending up on the cutting room floor.
There isn’t actually any output for the round, just the sound of a hiccup in the editing.
Dead Air The teams are played recordings of dead air times and must identify where they’re from.
“Turnip Watch with Bill Oddie”
Down The Pan Alley Titles of films and songs which would have been guaranteed flops with one word or letter added, removed or changed.
“I Am The Walnut”; “Saturday, The 14th”; “Back Again, Mr. Chips?”; “Bollocks To Private Ryan”; “Raiders of the Lost … Oh, here it is.”
Dumbing And Dumber One team comes up with an idea for revamping a TV programme so that it is less expensive and appeals to a less demanding audience. Then the opposing team suggest how it might be made even less expensively. Then the first team ….
“And so on, and so on, and so on…” [Resignedly] “… and so on.”
Estate Agents Each team must convince the other that the property they’re trying to sell is ideally suited to their requirements.
“There doesn’t seem to be any glass in any of the windows at all.” “Well, no, this is another good thing. it’s only a stone’s throw from the nearest school.”
Famous Last Words The teams suggest lines that would result in death or serious injury.
“It was believed that we didn’t know Albert Einstein’s last words, because his nurse didn’t understand German. However, a note has recently come to light scribbled by his nurse as she bent close to catch Einstein’s final gasp. it reads ‘Sie sind auf meinem Sauerstoff Schlange’ which means ‘You’re standing on my oxygen line’ ”
Gardeners Question Time Jack Dee demonstrates the art of topiary … the teams have to guess what it is.
“OK teams … any idea what it is?” “Is it a hedge?” “Yes it is, well done.”
Guess Who’s Gone The object of the game, once all of the team members are blindfolded, is to guess whose gone. Unfortunately, this game was never completed as, after they’d confirmed all of the team members and even Colin Sell were still around, they were unable to locate the chairman, Jack Dee, for an adjudication.
“This will hopefully be a less messy version of the game Guess Who Should Have Gone Before The Show
Handy Hints The teams provide solutions to problems sent in by listeners.
“Can you suggest a way to pick up broken glass from the floor without cutting myself?” “Ask the children to do it.”
Historical Headlines The teams suggest headlines which might have appeared in different newspapers to report historical events.
The One Hundred Years war: “Daily Mail: Joan of Arc Burnt At Stake … No English Hurt” “The Guardian, Corrections & Clarifications: Yesterday’s headline ‘Troops Get Massage From Henry the Fifth’ should have read ‘Troops Get Message From Henry the Filth'”
Honours The teams recall recently awarded honours.
“For services to Norfolk painting and decorating: Earl Beready by Tuesday
How Wrong Can You Get? The panellists suggest examples of remarks which seriously misjudged the course of history.
“This was suggested to us by the BBC’s long-term planning unit set up by Greg Dyke.”
Hunt The Ring “This is a game we played as children when a senior member of the family would remove a ring from his or her finger … we were never quite sure about Uncle Alice … The ring was then threaded onto a piece of string which was tied to form a loop. As the excitement mounted even further the ring, complete with string attached, would be handed to us. We would then secretly pass the ring between us, while the senior relative counted silently to 100 with eyes closed. The object was then to guess which player was concealing the ring with their hand or, if there was only one player, then which hand. Although in all honesty, that was never much of a challenge with cousin Nelson. “
I’m A Celebrity – Let Me In! The teams take it in turn to be celebrities attempting to become flatmates with the other team.
“It’s just like I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! but with the neat reversal of being about celebrities.”
In My Pants The teams suggest film, TV and radio titles which might be improved by adding “…in my pants” at the end.
“Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner…in my pants” “Rear Window…in my pants” “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit…in my pants”
Inadvisable Openings The teams suggest rejected opening lines for great works of literature.
If by Rudyard Kipling: “If this becomes Britain’s favorite poem, I’ll eat my hat.”
Noddy Goes To Toytown
by Enid Blyton: “Noddy liked the way Dolly closed her eyes when he lay her flat on her back …”
Incomplete The teams supply the last line or words to a truncated item read out by the chairman. Versions have included poems, newspaper headlines, nursery rhymes and love song lyrics.
“Close your eyes / Give me your hand darling / Do you feel my heart beating? / Do you understand? / Do you feel the same? / Am I only dreaming? / Is this burning …” “really curable with yoghurt?”
Innovations Catalogue The teams suggest entries that might appear in an Innovations Catalogue.
For the Mr Isambard Kingdom-Brunel’s version: “The Rotary Nose-Hair Clipper – The sailing ship that follows a circular route bringing nose hair from the colonies to the Lancashire weaving mills”
Join The Dots The teams are presented with a list of events or people starting and ending with a famous Dorothy and must explain the links.
“So that’s what we think, Humph … but we have another theory in case it’s wrong.” “In that case, it’s right.”
Kiss of Death Remarks which, if uttered on a first date, would guarantee an immediate termination of the relationship.
“No wonder you didn’t send a photo.”; “Let’s do it right here and now, while everyone’s concentrating on the sermon.”
Less Successful Charities The teams identify some less well-known charities.
“Guide Dogs For The Blond”; “Children In Tweed”
Limericks The teams complete limericks originally by Edward Lear, suggesting what they feel is a better last line.
“There was an old man with a beard | Who said it is just as I feared | Two owls and a hen | Four larks and a wren … ” “… No wonder this pastie tastes weird.”
Local Sayings The panellists take turn to answer questions about, or finish off, sayings from the local area.
“If it looks like a pig …” “… it’s probably on a hen night in Bridgend.”
Lonely Hearts The teams recount personal ads placed by well known figures.
“Spider Woman: Attractive super-hero with good pair of legs, pair of legs, pair of legs, pair of legs and own web site WLTM the invisible man. Please send photograph.”
Mergers The teams suggest the result of two or more organisations merging.
“Sainsbury’s have teamed up with Relate to make sure that you can stay with a bag for life.”
Misleading Advice The teams suggest advice to be offered to foreigners in a given situation.
Misleading travel advice: “English policemen are affectionately known as tit face
Monopoly The teams play less well known versions of the famous game. In the French version, Graeme’s first throw takes him to Old Kent Boulevard, while Rob’s ‘Chance’ card instructs him to “Advance to GO then surrender.”
Mottos The teams suggest mottos that might be suitable for organisations.
“The Association of Norfolk Bakers: 200 Years In Bread”; “The Procrastination Society: 100 Years Without A Motto”
Movie Sequels The panellists suggest bigger, better, more expensive follow-ups to well known movies
“Conan the Aesthete”; “Two Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”
Musical Chars “It’s just like Musical Chairs but with a one-letter spelling mistake. So teams, think yourself lucky you’re not playing Beggar My Neighbour.”
Name Dropping One team tries to sneak the names of famous people past the other in a conversation between themselves.
“I went to my doctor the other day and asked if he could help us Roger Moore.”
Never Been Said The teams suggest things that have never been said, and aren’t likely to be.
“George Bush Senior: ‘Do you think I should have a vasectomy?'”; “Bill Gates: ‘Should we test this software before releasing it?”
Note For Note Members of a team exchange musical notes one at a time, which the pianist echoes on the piano. The other team must challenge if they spot a recognisable tune.
Colin: “I’ve only got to play one note.” Tony Hawks: “Yes, it’s worrying when you can’t even do that right.”
Nursery Rhymes There are different versions of this game. In one, team members recite nursery rhymes, but impersonating one person who is, in turn, impersonating another personality. In another, they supply the closing lines.
“Ring-a-ring of roses, A pocket full of poses, Atissue, atissue …” “… catch it, bin it, kill it.”
Opening Lines The teams receive the first part of lines from well-known poetry, prose or dialogue, and suggest how they might have continued.
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art …” “… bloody miserable.”
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee …” “… both ways.”
Opportunity Knocks The teams introduce – then describe – various acts competing in a modern version of Opportunity Knocks.
“It’s hard to match Hughie Green with his Clap-o-meter. Oh yes, they did vigorous health checks in those days.”
Pick Up Song A record is played for each team member, who must sing along with it. The volume is faded out, the team member continues singing, then it’s faded back in again. If on the music’s return the panellist is within a gnat’s crotchet of the original, the chairman awards points. And points mean prizes. Each time the game is played, the chairman reveals that week’s prize.
“This week’s prize will provide every Dr Who enthusiast an ideal accompaniment to pasta meals. It’s this tasty dalek bread (Was originally called Singalong)
Proverbs A number of games use proverbs as the basis. In one, the teams must guess the proverb from only the first letter of each word
“OWPNB” = “Old wet pants need boiling” “That’s not a proverb, it’s a sign up at the home, and you know it.”
Quiz There are frequently quiz type rounds, in which the chairman asks the teams questions on a particular themed subject. My favorite title for this round was Gardeners Question Tim.
“What’s an inexpensive way to keep the shape of your hat whilst it’s drying?” … “In fact, you fit it to a balloon, which has been inflated to the size of your head. Yeah … clever … I think Richard Branson’s got one.”
Radio Product Placement Dramas in which the teams attempt to slip in as many product placements as possible. The opposing team scores points for each brand name they spot.
Neighbours: “Still two eggs as usual, mate?” “No mate, I’m twice as hungry as usual” “Right .. get ‘im 4X, Becks.” “Budweiser no salt?” “No worries, we got Saxa salt.”
Radio Through The Keyhole “It’s quite similar to the popular TV show of the same name, in that it’s exactly the same. For anyone who hasn’t seen the original … well done. … The panel are shown the interiors of certain celebrities houses, and then at the end the houses’ owners are revealed and the team has to try to guess who the hell they are.”
Ready Steady Hell’s Kitchen “This is a game of competitive cookery. Cookery shows are all the rage these days with hosts such as Ainsley Harriot, who I notice seems to have changed a bit since the days when he was in All Creatures Great And Small.”
Role Play The teams role-play a situation. In one example, they role play callers to a Customer Service Helpline.
“The predictive text is obscene. Always comes out with various slang terms for genitals.” “Well, it’s predictive sir … you’re bound to say it one day … quite possibly in a few moments time.”
Russian Roulette The teams use Humph’s old service revolver to indulge in this traditional dangerous game.
“Now I have to stress that under no circumstances should this round be played at home. Neither, for that matter, should any of the others.” “… he should then pass the revolver to the player on his right, if he still can …” “… I hope you’ve been listening teams. I don’t want this going in one ear and out the other.”
Sausages The teams pose questions to the chairman, who must answer ‘sausages’ and keep a straight face.
“Not so much a job as the law of unintended consequences.”
Scrabble The teams play alternative versions of the popular board game ‘Scrabble’.
Medical version: “I’ve got a load of blanks … oh .. it’s OK … I’ve got IVF.”; “…BYPASS I can do … takes me onto a Triple Word Score. I’ve got triple bypass here.”
Sexing Up The panellists suggest how book, song and movie titles might be made more appealling.
“19 … 84. Who cares about the age difference?”
Smelling Pistakes The teams list signs where spelling mistakes have caused anything from mild inconvenience to complete disaster.
“Please do not feel the gorilla”; “Do now jump out of the window”; “Dogs must be curried on the escalator”
Sound Charades Based on (nicked from) the TV show Give Us A Clue, one team acts out the title of a film, book or play, and the other team have to guess what it is. A running joke are the chairman’s double-entendre references to Lionel Blair, a well-known cast member from the original show.
“The original show was conducted in silence, the players were excellent, and the audience were thrilled. The teams’ version takes these three elements and plays a clever twist on the first … while dispensing completely with the other two.”
Sound Effects Theatre There are two versions of this round: In one, one team tells a story and it’s the job of the other team to provide appropriate sound effects. In the other version it’s the opposite – the story must reflect the sound effects played.
“As the girls undressed there was silence, save for the rustle of silk and the twanging of bra straps.” ‘Twang’ ‘Twang’ ‘Twang’ ” ‘How clever to make those traps out of brass”, said Cynthia ….”
Spot The Sig The teams are played recordings of signature tunes from well-known shows …. well, kinda … and they identify the shows they’re from.
The USSR national anthem, interspersed ocassionally with David Jason saying “Perfick”, was correctly identified as The Stalin Buds of May
Straight Face The teams take it in turn to exchange one word at a time, the object being that the audience should not laugh.
“Each player who does get a laugh will be eliminated one by one. How can each player be eliminated ‘one by one’? … The end of the game will be signaled when only one player remains, or I put my pyjamas on, whichever comes first.”
Strip Poker A radio version of the game.
“Any listeners who might be offended are politely asked to turn the volume down now.” (Pause) “OK teams, now we’ve got rid of that bunch of po-faced whiners … “
Swanee-Kazoo The teams, accompanied by the pianist, provide renditions of well-known songs one using a kazoo and the other a swanee whistle.
“Once an unlikely combination, swanee and kazoo now go together like Fred Astaire and Gingivitis” I’m not a huge fan of this round generally, but the rendition of “Row, row, row your boat …” by Tim Brooke-Taylor and Linda Smith in s44e02 for indefinable reasons is priceless.
Swankers The teams make ever more outrageous claims in order to better the opposition.
“I’ve got a satelite television now. I have to go up in a rocket to watch it.”; “I’ve had my lug ‘oles completely removed. Apparently it’s taken ears off me.”; “I tried a buttock lift … but I fell off when I got to the fourth floor.”
TV Seasons The panellists suggest items that could be included in a themed TV season.
“Explicit programmes have recently included drug abuse, weird culty religions and non-stop kinky sex … and that’s just one episode of Brookside.”
Unasked Questions From History The panellists suggest questions which were never asked, but if they had been might have changed the course of history.
“So teams, shall we just skip this and go straight to the pub? That’s one I should have asked in 1972.”
Undelivered Mail from History The teams present mail to famous figures which, had it been delivered, might have resulted in a very different history.
“Dear Mr Bin-Laden, Your new address labels are ready for collection.”
Uxbridge English Dictionary The teams offer new definitions for old words. Humph used to offer examples of people’s poor understanding of the English language.
“As an example, there are those who have no concept of the technical difference between the terms girder and rafter. In fact, the term rafter is used by structural engineers to denote a supporting beam whose cross-sectional ratio is calculated as span over two plus two. Whereas girder was some old kraut who wrote Faust.” (Originally called New Definitions)
Whose Dustbin? One team describes items found in a dustbin. The other team must guess “Who’s Dustbin?” from the contents.
HM Queen’s dustbin was described as containing a lot of expired dog licences. Ross Noble concluded that “whoever lives here isn’t Corgi registered”.
Word For Word Members of one team exchange words, one word at a time, where that word must have no connection with the word that precedes it. The other team have to spot connections. A running joke now is that Graeme Garden will open with a word that could be easily mistaken for a reply to Jack’s request to start.
Jack: “Graeme, will you start, please.” Graeme: “Yes”
Long pause Jack: “Graeme, would you like to start?” Graeme: “That was my word … ‘Yes’.”