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This Is Why "Gamesmaster" Was The Best Thing On Television In The '90s

Scratch that. Probably the best television programme ever made.

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Back in the '90s, there was this show about video games, and it was kind of amazing.

It had reviews of games, obviously, but that wasn't really the point.

You see, this is Patrick Moore, who was Britain's greatest astronomer.

For many, he'll be remembered as the author of over 70 books on astronomy, and presenter of the world's longest-running television series with the same original presenter, the BBC's The Sky at Night.
Chris Jackson / Getty

For many, he'll be remembered as the author of over 70 books on astronomy, and presenter of the world's longest-running television series with the same original presenter, the BBC's The Sky at Night.

But a certain section of the population are more likely to remember him like this.

A badly-rendered floating CGI head.It's kind of weird that he presented this show, given that there's no evidence he actually liked video games. Why did he do it? Well, in this article the director gives us a bit of a clue: "Patrick said, 'Ah, yes. Well, I did something before and they asked me what my fee should be, and I told them, and we drank it.' That was his approach - a bottle of whisky."
Via youtube.com

A badly-rendered floating CGI head.

It's kind of weird that he presented this show, given that there's no evidence he actually liked video games. Why did he do it? Well, in this article the director gives us a bit of a clue: "Patrick said, 'Ah, yes. Well, I did something before and they asked me what my fee should be, and I told them, and we drank it.' That was his approach - a bottle of whisky."

Patrick lived in a church at first, then an oil rig, then...

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

It's kind of complicated. Basically they used to destroy the set at the end of every series and set it somewhere else. Here are all the intros: you try and make sense of it.

He was ably assisted by this man, Dominik Diamond, a man he only ever met once, on the last day of filming.

Diamond presented every series of the show except for one, which he says he quit because it started being sponsored by McDonalds. Other people say that's not quite the case but anyway, he was "killed off" and the third series was presented by Dexter Fletcher, who depending on your age you either know as an actor in Press Gang, an actor in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, or the director of Wild Bill.

Diamond presented every series of the show except for one, which he says he quit because it started being sponsored by McDonalds.

Other people say that's not quite the case but anyway, he was "killed off" and the third series was presented by Dexter Fletcher, who depending on your age you either know as an actor in Press Gang, an actor in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, or the director of Wild Bill.

Anyway, Patrick Moore was the Gamesmaster. People would flock to him for advice about games they were stuck on.

And he'd hold video game challenges, which people would enter to try to win a GOLDEN JOYSTICK.

Sometimes the participants were celebrities. This was funny because hardly any of them actually liked video games. Here's Andy Cole being very bemused by a football game.

And here's Anita from 2 Unlimited looking really focussed before she beats up her band mate.

And here's Mr Motivator playing some racing bike game.

Here's Ulrika Johnson talking about how she's going to kill this child with a sword.

Via youtube.com

In the game they're going to play.

And here are Shadow and Jet from Gladiators playing the Gladiators game and inadvertently creating the most '90s moment of all time.

With the possible exception of Tony Slattery playing a lightgun game.

Sometimes the challengers were "professional gamers". One was the swaggering "Games Animal" Dave Perry. Here he is failing at Mario 64.

Via youtube.com

Thirteen seconds. N00b.

And here he is having a massive tantrum about it live on air.

Via youtube.com

Yep, this is pretty much the most uncomfortable four minutes of television footage on YouTube.

In fairness to Dave Perry, there's a fair bit going on behind the scenes here: there was clearly a feud between him and Dominik Diamond. As Diamond puts it:

"We were both dicks, but I was slightly funnier [...] Of course it was bullying. You've got to expect that if you're going to be cocky, but it was definitely bullying."

Basically, this show had all the human drama you could wish for. And if that doesn't convince you that Gamesmaster was brilliant, here's Simon Amstell appearing on it in 1993.