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18 June 2014
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The Generation Game'Life is the name of the game, and I wanna play the game with you. Life can be terribly tame, If you don't play the game with two.'

So sang Bruce Forsyth in possibly the best-loved Saturday entertainment show in the history of television.

Taking it's inspiration from the Dutch Show 'Een Van De Aacht', which mixed a chat show format with games, The Generation Game pitched couples a generation apart. No, they weren't couples as in the married sense, but uncles and nieces, mothers and sons etc.

Each week four couples would battle it out in contests such as pot throwing, name that dog and batten twirling. The two winning couples would go through to the next round, which invariably involved a play, featuring ill-fitting costumes, enough double entendres to fill a whole Carry On film and some singing from Brucie.

Finally, one-half of the winning couple would go forward to face the conveyer belt challenge, where they had 45 seconds to memorise what they had seen go past on - you guessed it - a conveyer belt. Quite why the audience got so excited when they saw a cuddly toy when it featured every week remains s a mystery.

Under Brucie's chairmanship the show became part of the classic Saturday TV, alongside the football results, Basil Brush, Doctor Who and Parkinson. And as with all good game shows, Bruce's catchphrases 'Didn't they do well?', 'Good game, good game' and 'Give us a twirl' entered the public consciousness.

But then Brucie decided to call it a day. Step forward Larry Grayson, who far from being a pale imitation put a whole new spin on the show and soon 'Shut that door!', 'What a gay day' and 'What are the scores on the doors, Isla?' were on the nation's lips.

In 1981 Larry shut that door for one last time and the show disappeared from the schedules. But in 1990 the show made a triumphant return to BBC One and with Bruce as the host! This time dancer Rosemarie Ford showed us the scores on the door - and quite a bit of leg.

But then after four years of TV bliss, Brucie decided to leave. Jim Davison, who had stood in for Brucie on the show, was hired to take over full time and stayed on until the show was axed once more in 2002.

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