Safari? Sa Goodie!
Never really understood why, when Biggins shouted out “SAFARI!”, the audience retorted with “SAGOODY.” What was a Sagoody?” Maybe it was a jungle snake?
On Safari was an early Childrens TV show, shown during the afternoons from 1981 onwards. It was great entertainment after a long day working hard at school. (Or even after a normal day at school that hadn’t involved any working.)
The idea of it was that teams of one child and one parent would have to make their way around a huge board game, with themselves as the counters. They encountered various challenges along the way like assembling a jigsaw of some jungle creatures, climbing through a swamp or crawling over a hammock without falling off.
“You want to stand a child in the back of a jeep, while Christopher Biggins drives them around? AND you want the child to not actually hold on with either hand, because they will be throwing fruit at wild animals while an adult, armed with a stick, tries to smack the fruity projectiles back at the child?” No, no thats not going to happen…
Another of the rounds involved a child being driven around the set, throwing fruit into cardboard cutouts of jungle animals, while clinging to the back of his car as a parent from an opposing team tried to prevent the fruit reaching its target be waving a huge stick. Imagine THAT nowadays! Health and Safety alarm bells EVERYWHERE!
Whoever cast Christopher Biggins as the host of an adventuring childrens gameshow and Gillian Taylforth as his lady assistant was a genius. There couldn’t have been a jollier, more likeable guy. He was the perfect adventurer. Shorts, a shirt, boots and a big ol’ adventuring hat. That, to me, was Biggins the adventurer.
Bear in mind that I spent my early life in a suburb of Manchester and, therefore, I can’t claim to have mingled with TOO many adventurers, but Biggins was exactly how I imagine the typical adventurer to be. In reality and looking back, he probably wasn’t. But he was a damn good game show host.