Beat the Crusher (partially found Sky One gameshow; 1998)
Beat the Crusher was a British gameshow broadcast on Sky One from September 21st to November 23rd, 1998. Hosted by Melinda Messenger and Freddie Starr, it consisted of a variety of minigames, with the main contest involving a quiz between two couples who gambled their vehicles against a car crusher to win a brand new car.
Ten 60 minute episodes were broadcast on Sky One between September 21st to November 23rd, 1998. Despite the name of the show, Beat the Crusher contained limited usage of the car crusher (a modified Lefort Mobile Baler). Rather, the show's contained various minigames, which UK Game Shows stated was designed "purely for shock value".
Games included "Babies Win Prizes", where toddlers and one of their parents competed in three heats to win a toy cars. The challenges included "Snooker Loopy" where they were tasked to throw as many custard pies into their parents' faces within the time limit, "Yeehaw", where the toddlers were tasked to knock off as many cans off a fence as possible while riding on their parents' backs, and "Joey the Clown", where the toddlers applied makeup to make their parents closely resemble a given picture of a clown as possible. The winners advanced to the semi-finals to "Ready, Steady, Blaghh!", where the toddlers had to feed their parents as much cold food as possible. The Final consisted of two remaining toddlers tackling an obstacle course, where the winner would receive the toy car.
Other games included "Clash of the Clans", where two families were tasked to display their talents, including singing and stand-up comedy, in front of three judges. Those who received three buzzes were forced to leave the stage, with the winning family being the ones who remained on stage the longest. Meanwhile, "The Coolest Man In Wherever We Are This Week" consisted of three men wearing heartrate monitors, where the winner was the one who was the calmest as Starr attempted to scare their with various gags. The main contest, "Beat the Crusher", consisted of two couples who gambled their cars with the aim of winning a brand new vehicle. Consisting of a best-of-seven general knowledge quiz game, getting an answer right meant that the rival couple's car was moved up a level by the moving platform, and vice-versa if the answer was wrong. The loser ended up getting their car crushed and received a bus fare home, while the winner had the choice of picking one of two brand new vehicles.
Beat the Crusher received a fair share of criticism and controversy during its brief run. Particularly, the studio audience were upset by the limited involvement of the car crusher in favour of unrelated skits, as well as being unwillingly involved with some of Starr's gags. The show also received backlash because a couple, one of whom had a physical disability that required constant usage of a car, had their vehicle destroyed in the expectation that even if they lost, they would receive a consolation prize in another vehicle (the consolation prize instead being a bus fare home). Ultimately, the show was cancelled when it was revealed some of the contestants had purchased second-hand cars to enter the contest.
Of the ten episodes broadcast, only one full episode remains accessible for public viewing, which was uploaded by YouTuber easportsbig899 on July 3rd, 2018. The "Coolest Man In Wherever We Are This Week" segment of another episode was uploaded on September 24th, 2019 by YouTuber by the legend Freddie starr. The other episodes remain lost.
- Beat the Crusher on UK Game Shows. Retrieved 20 Jun '20