Happy New Year!

I spent Christmas with my mum and watched a lot of telly.  For ages I have been trying to remember the name of a game show I accidentally watched once that had me crying with laughter.  I just couldn’t for the life of me remember the name.  When we were watching the Christmas edition of Catchphrase all was revealed.  I realised that the host of the show, Stephen Mulhern was also the host of In for a Penny – that’s it!

I love this show with a passion, mostly because the prize money is so rubbish, but also because people in the UK do stuff just for the pure hell of it.  They don’t care about the money.  Here are a few of the recurring tasks as written by a fan on Wikipedia.  If the sheer idea of these doesn’t make you laugh, then you won’t dig the show.  You can see them all on ITVX if you are in the UK, if you are elsewhere in the world, I say SEEK THEM OUT.

  • Balanced Diet: In this game, one person has a minute to balance as much fruit and veg as they can onto their partner. Whoever’s holding the greengrocery tries to balance it for a further 10 seconds. If they succeed, the value of the fruit and veg would be multiplied by 5.
  • Splitting Hairs: This game takes place on a barber shop, where the players see how some guys have some towels in their heads, they must work out on whether the guy has hair or not, every correct guess add £10.
  • Pet Vet: In this game, the players dog must sit and stay on a giant golden coin. Players must then take 5 steps backwards, if the dog stays, they win £100. If the dog moves even one inch, they walk away with nothing.
  • Sausage Roll: In this 2-player game, the aim is to roll a sausage roll up their partner’s body and into their mouth in less than 90 seconds, if it falls, use the hands or run out of time, they leave with nothing, but if they’re successful, they win £100.

and my favourite

  • Gelatto Fun: This 2-player outdoor game takes place outside an ice cream truck, one player has three attempts to launch the ice cream from the ladder onto the cone, if they succeed, they win £99, otherwise they leave with nothing.

And here is a good reason not to go completely CARD ONLY for payments…

At the end of each episode, Stephen approaches members of the public shopping on the high street, to take part in a special game show, but only if they have a penny on them. I would be so gutted it Stephen came up to me and I didn’t have a penny in my purse!

What does this have to do with Shelley Winters’ Caesar Salad?  Nothing!  I just had to get it off my chest.  Actually, it sort of does have something to do with it.  I made Shelley’s salad to have the night myself and my chum Julie were having our annual Tentacoli night.

(Shelley’s salad is featured in the Supper with the Stars cookbook – available via Amazon)

We have been doing this since the beginning of the pandemic and it get’s more and more bananas every time.  Julie is in her place in Tunbridge Wells and I am in mine in North London, we spend the whole movie making each other laugh in the chat box.  Here for example, is our exchange about the John Huston character who we first see wearing a very long Rip Van Winkle style nightshirt which we christened a “nightie”.

This scene involving Shelley Winters

prompted us to wear hats this year.  Here’s mine

and here’s Julie’s

I guess this is an illustration of how much pleasure you can have doing something absolutely bonkers, just for the hell of it.

So folks, if In for a Penny isn’t your kind of thing, maybe a Tentacoli watch party is.  With Shelley’s Caesar Salad on the side.

I want to sit on a giant boxing glove!


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