1 9 7 8 – 1 9 8 7 (UK)
180 x 60 minute episodes
Ted Rogers and Dusty Bin (a robotic dustbin with a face on the front) appeared in this bizarre game show from Yorkshire Television, along with Rogers’ wrist-spraining gesture.
Regular guests included The Brian Rogers Connection (no relation to Ted), and six hostesses known as the Gentle Secs.
Winning contestants either walked away with a Ford Fiesta (or similar) or a new dustbin.
The game (developed from a Spanish game show) began with three couples competing in a general knowledge round, with cash awarded for each correct answer.
Here is a genuine excerpt from a 3-2-1 show . . .
Rogers: “This is a composer. German by birth, English by adoption. Best known for an oratorio published in 1741. It was called Messiah. You’re bound to know his handle”.
Female contestant: “Oh God, I used to have it at school . . . Handel’s Water Music”
Rogers: “So who’s the composer?”
Female contestant: “Schubert?”
Rogers: (shrugs shoulders and turns to other team) “So I can offer it to you”
Male contestant: “Beethoven?”
The couple with the least amount of cash at the end of the round would be eliminated straight away – empty handed but for a ceramic facsimile of Dusty Bin.
The two remaining couples then endured mind-numbingly C-Grade comedy and musical sketches, at the end of which the “performer” would give Ted a clue and plug whatever they had to plug – usually a panto or “summer season” (mental note: Whatever happened to the “Summer Season”?).
The couples had to decide which clue to discard (hopefully the one which would be rewarded with a new dustbin) and eventually the sole remaining couple would have to accept one prize and reject another based on some insane logic-free cryptic clues and an object from the aforementioned crap sketches, in the hope of winning aforementioned car (or caravan, boat etc).
3-2-1 was huge in Britain where it featured in the Saturday night TV schedule and regularly attracted 16 million viewers.
Dusty Bin – which cost £10,500 to build – was operated on the show by his creator, robotics expert Ian Rowley, by means of a radio-controlled handset, similar to those that control model aircraft.