Bar Wars



Max Beesley (voiceover)


Initial for Channel 4, 14 September to 9 November 2001 (9 episodes in 1 series)


A long time ago (Summer 2001) in a galaxy (beach) far, far away (Greece), erm, can't remember the rest (sorry) two teams of five males and females tried to outdo each other running a bar. They knew that whichever bar made the most each week would celebrate because the losing team would have to sack and replace one of their own. They also knew that the overall winning team would be allowed to keep the profits from the whole series and live happily ever after (unlike the losers who upsettingly would be forced to live a life of paupers and obscurity and die and live in Hell and things).

Greece is the time, is the place, is the motion, Greece is the way we are feeling

So it's Youth Enterprise meets Survivor meets Greece Uncovered. That was a lovely fairy tale wasn't it? Did you like how we made it a bit like Star Wars at the beginning there? Good. We thought that was quite clever too. Now if you're sitting comfortably we'll tell you another.

We saw the first episode of this and thought it was quite a good idea. The first episode introduced us to the contestants (all interchangeable twenty-somethings you won't be surprised to hear) the place and bars and was chiefly about irresponsibly getting drunk in Greece and setting up the bars on the beach and arguing and getting off with each other. Average Friday night Channel 4 then. We thought we'd watch it the next week.

Your story's sad to tell, a teenage ne'er-do-well

And so we did. This week the bars opened and someone was going to get sacked in a face-to-face meeting at the end of the episode. How exciting! And it was even more exciting because this bit was advertised every two minutes or so. A good thing, as our Ibiza-acclimatised brains only have the attention span of about two minutes obviously. After about 45 minutes of Average Channel 4 Friday Night entertainment we found out who did the best this week (by both teams meeting up on a balcony somewhere and opening envelopes with 'win' or 'lose' inside them). Oh no! One of the teams would no have to sack one of their beautiful but not particularly interesting or different members. Still, the idea of arguing and skulduggery meant that we'd probably watch it providing we weren't out or anything.

Tell me more, tell me more, how much dough did he spend?

Then, shock of shocks! We were actually out the next week in a real bar. And the week after. And the week after that and when we got back we realised that we didn't miss it that much really. We then celebrated the fact that we weren't shallow after all by going to the pub, probably. But we watched it the next week only to find out that we weren't that interested and nothing had changed very much, except that because it was halfway through the competition the teams had to swap bars although they were still manned by random-up-for-it twentysomethings #923 through #932. The excitement of "You should be sacked because you're lazy and you're a slag and you're a lazy slag" dragged out to ten minutes was advertised a little less. Good thing too, because we weren't really bothered.

Sh-bop shawada wadda yippidy boom dah boom chang chang changity chang shu-bop, that's the way it should be

Oh, and we're subjected to the loser being angry in the David Young post-game interview stylee.

It's a little bit of a shame because it's not as if there isn't the germ of a good idea in there. However, the Swedish original had a lot more going for it - the winners actually won the real bar, for one thing (cool!) and the viewers could come into the bars during the week and actually buy drinks, which would be a bit hard in this case given that it was a 500-odd mile flight away.

We are obliged to mention that there was also a half-hour programme on E4 Monday through Thursday. It's not live though, so it's not as worth watching as Big Brother's Little Brother was. Overall, the show was a damp squib - a reality show two bar, I mean, too far.

If you want to see a real bar war why not go a rough pub? At least it won't have any adverts.


Based on the Swedish show The Bar.

Theme music

Christian Henson


Bar Wars Exposed (VHS)

Bar Wars Soundtrack (CD)

Web links

Channel 4 programme page


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