Earlier today, The Clumpany had a call from a collector of old and rare TV programmes. He wanted to tell me about an ultra-rare recording he had just managed to buy from a contact in Glasgow.
It seems that Walter Smith appeared on a special celebrity edition of classic TV Game show ‘Bullseye’ during his time as Rangers manager. But filming was never completed and the tapes of it have become the stuff of legend in collectors’ circles.
Smith appeared as a ‘celebrity’ non-dart player, and was paired with John Lowe in a duo dubbed ‘The Charisma Twins’ by Jim Bowen.
Apparently the banter between Smith and Lowe was so dynamic that paramedics had to check that they each still had a pulse during a break in filming. But that wasn’t the reason why the show was never finished and broadcast. It was consigned to the vault on account of Smith disrupting the show…
No sooner has the first player stepped up to try and hit a category to win a question for his partner than Smith started shouting “Gamble!”.
The producer stoped the filming to ask what the problem was. Smith informed him that if he was going to win the speedboat at the end of the show, it was necessary to throw all common sense out of the window and “Gamble!”.
The producer politely explained that to get the opportunity to gamble to win the secret speedboat which was hiding behind Bully, all the contestants had to compete on equal terms and battle their way through to the show’s finale. It would be an unfair on everyone else to let Smith and Lowe gamble in the first round. Especially given that they had no money of their own with which to gamble as yet.
Filming resumed, but sure enough Smith was soon shouting “Gamble!” again. Over and over in fact, which led to constant breaks in filming. At one point, Smith had to be dragged out of the audience by Jim Bowen, who had never previously seen a contestant asking if anyone would lend a tenner towards the gamble.
Things came to a head in the second half of the show when Smith interrupted Cliff Lazarenko who came on to do the charity throw. Smith – who felt his team should do whatever it took to win the big prize – decided to lead the audience in a three-week long chant of “Gamble! Gamble! Gamble!”.
Eventually, his fellow contestents lost patience, and filming was finally cancelled when Smith was wrestled to the ground by an irate Rod Hull and Emu…
I must admit that I would love to watch the tapes of this epic ‘gamble’-obsessed farce. But in the meantime, I can experience something similar by reading this piece in today’s Daily Record… 😉
NB Other Smith-tacular offerings from Clumpany Towers include: