Full Swing




Jimmy Tarbuck


Voiceover: Rosemarie Ford


BBC1, 25 May to 27 July 1996 (8 episodes in 1 series)


It's golf does Big Break does Bullseye. You can't beat a bit of bully can you? And Jimmy Tarbuck was as unthreatening as they came. In terms of structure and style, Full Swing was Big Break (not surprising when John Burrowes was producer of both shows.)

Three normal civilians teamed up with pro-celebrity golf players to win what they could.


In the first round, the golf players did a bit of 'virtual golf'. They whacked a ball at a sheet and the results were transposed onto the virtual course. This wasn't as good as it could have been - the ball was so small you could hardly see it on screen, so it had to be specially marked via a special effect in post-production.

If their contestant could answer either of their two questions correctly then they got a bonus shot worth around 50 yards each. The golfer then took another shot. Whoever was furthest away from the pin was out, but not before Virgo's Trick Shot! Oh, wrong show.

There was very little skill involved in this, but it did use a whacky Crazy Golf machine. If the player could putt a ball from about three feet away, it would go all round the machine and go in the hole. Stunning.

Fairway or Foul

The second round was like a sort of Danger Zone. The celebrity golfer chipped the ball over the studio onto a green, and it was then up to the contestant to putt the ball the rest of the way. However, if the ball went into a bunker, water hazard or rabbit hole (as was often the case), the contestant then had to answer a multiple-choice question (usually about Hollywood celebrities, for no apparent reason) to allow get it out via the wonders of a "Tarby drop". When the player tried to putt the ball in the hole, they had to wait until the light was on otherwise it was chucked out again. The team that did it the slowest were out but went through to Celebrity Consolidation. This was essentially target golf, where £500 could be won (for both the contestant and the celebrity's charity) for a hole in one and lesser amounts the further away they got.

Putt Putt

The finalists then played for a cash prize and what did they have to do? "You've got to putt as many balls as you can." Sorry. The player was asked four questions for 10 seconds of time each. What's more, they got to pick a Bonus Ball from a giant golf ball-shaped lottery machine containing coloured balls worth anything from 10 to 60 seconds, which was added to the total time earned.

The golfer then putted up to ten balls on an artifical green, using as many strokes as needed. They started off quite short but got longer as the money went up. They had to be potted in order and if the Golden £1000 ball was putted, the celebrity won £1000 for their charity and the contestant won a luxury holiday instead. Otherwise, it was £100 per ball.

The programme was pretty lightweight and particularly bitty, but about as good as they could have done within the confines of a studio.

Key moments

Outtake: Tarby says "Will you please welcome... Ray Clemence!" [long wait] "Well that's his hand, he's only been on a minute and he's p***** off!"

Web links

Opening titles from the BBC Motion Graphics Archive

See also

Weaver's Week review


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