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iuperstars: footballer Kevin Keeg n, athlete Daley Thompson . ~ ' W - - racing driver James Hunt THE BEST OF I. SUPERSTARS (E) 90min HWY)". ' W " O...
m “ w Tiny fingers twiddle with the downy fabric of an M&S pyjama top. The thing was, you really wanted to watch Daley Thompson complete his belt-busting bell bar lift but your mum was standing over you telling you to go do your homework 6 . . . now! At any other time, that m....¢mmmm..vm.mﬁ- would have been standard school night procedure, but this was a Superstars night. the gift that BBC television gave to pre-adolescent boys (try finding a girl who can remember this series) between 1973 and 1985.
The concept was simple: mailshot a whole load of professional sportsman (preferably those at the end of their career trajectory and desperate for a bit of non insured exposure) and invite them to compete in an Olympian—style tournament of any sport outside of their individual discipline. The only thing was that this pageant was about as far away from Mount Olympus as you could imagine. You see. / Superstars took place in the drab sports halls and on the bald "*- running tracks of Britain‘s suburbs and provincial towns and
was hosted by the David Vine, the only man to ever successfully team up navy blue. peach and cream in a blazer tie and slacks combo. it was, in short, about as iconic as
early evening television got in the 19705 and early 80s. and .~ .1. ,. yet somehow it slipped off the radar.
This excellent new DVD brings together some of the truly great moments of a series that languished in them — Kevin Keegan falling off his bike, professional superstar Brian Ln doing just about anything (he still holds the Superstar: rer urcl for squat thrusts). Stan Bowles firing the shooting range pistol into the judges' table. or even James Hunt trying to prove to the weight lifting judges that his bendy arms were 1 genetic. The documentary also offers interjections from all 'j the programme‘s main players. providing a fascinating insight I into what was for all intents and purposes a cult TV series.
This DVD has presumably been released as something of a companion piece to the new Superstars series which returned to our screens a few weeks ago, fronted by Johnny Vaughn and Suzi Perry. It's too early to tell how this retread of the original celebrity reality TV show will pan out but the early signs are good: cheesy sets, mock scientific seriousness by the comperes (Ron Atkinson set the bar very high on this sort of behaviour in the original) and three dozen D~list sports celebs willing to wave their street cred goodbye. Oh yeah, and they‘ve kept that theme tune, and what a tune that is. (Paul Dale)
'. ‘\.~ . .‘ .- THE LIST 107