Surprise Surprise started in 1984. It was hosted by Cilla Black, and filmed in front of a live studio audience. The idea behind it was to surprise members of the public with long-held wishes, or reuniting guests with people they hadn’t seen for years. They also did a bit of trick-playing on members of the public and jokey phone calls to people.
At the time it was great old fashioned, family viewing. The way TV should be when you’re young.
Not I do love a bit of practical joking and pranking people, but Jeremy Beadle was more my kind of presenter for that. Surprise Surprise was a bit nicey nicey when it came to practical jokes, whereas Beadles pranks went much further. People didn’t watchi Surprise Surprise for its jokey side though, they usually watched it just to see how that last 10 minute section went…
The final part of the show was always dedicated to a section where they would reunite friends who hadn’t spoken for years, or found long lost relatives. Looking back at it however, with the cynicism I have developed over the last 20 years, I have to wonder WHY the people they had lost contact with didn’t want to stay in contact at the time.
I’d have loved it if Cilla had said, “He ‘asn’t bothered to get in touch with you for 35 years, ‘as he? Well, you ‘aven’t seen him for a lorra lorra years, but he’s here tonight, your long lost best friend from school, it’s ARTHUR SCHOFIELD!” only for Arthur to appear on stage from behind the screen, the guest runs up the stairs and throws a huge punch, flooring him. Fighting ensues between Arthur and the guest while the credits roll while, centre stage, Cilla belts out another rendition of the signature tune.