Go 8 Bit



Dara Ó Briain


Team captains: Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon

Gaming expert: Ellie Gibson


DLT Entertainment for Dave, 5 September 2016 to 16 April 2018 (27 episodes in 3 series)

Additional coverage: Go 8 Bit DLC, 15 May to 17 July 2017 (10 episodes in 1 series)


Comedians play video games in front of an audience.

Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon team up with this week's guest celebrities for a romp through computer game history. Ellie Gibson explains the history of the game, and how it did (or didn't) alter game history.

We think those are pixels.

The best way to explore games is to play them, and Go 8 Bit has lots of challenges. Complete a level, out-score your opponent, shoot them in the points. The show mixes 8-bit games from the Spectrum and Atari, later Nintendo and Sega games, and some of the weirder ones on the market now.

Let's get clucking.

Each week's final challenge is done live in the studio - a controller that works by tapping people, for instance.

Let's play Global Themonuclear War Tetris.

Go 8 Bit is adapted from a stage show, hosted by the games expert. For this television version, they brought in Dara Ó Briain. He leads the conversation with the players, teasing out why the celebs have nominated their games.

The title sequence appears to come from 1984.

It is a contest, they do keep score - the audience votes with an app on their mobile computers to allocate a value, à la You Bet!.

Do you wanna bet on it? Don't fret, get set, are you ready?

And there's a gimmick where the stage rotates - the big sofa is at right-angles to the big screen, and that's no way to play games.

The stage in the process of rotating.

Go 8 Bit has rough edges - the rotating stage gimmick is used too much, and the audience voting appears random. The programme is honest and respectful, it treats video games as a mature cultural work suitable for critique.

Ellie Gibson, following in Richard Osman's footsteps.

The show proved enough of a hit for Dave to commission two further series straight off the bat, together with a fanzine-type programme, Go 8 Bit DLC (it stands, a tad anachronistically, for DownLoadable Content) hosted by Ellie Gibson. DLC survived one series before being quietly dropped.


Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon

Theme music

Liam Tate, who used 8-bit synthesisers. Obviously.


Voted the Best New Show in this site's Poll of 2016.

Dara O Briain used his February 2023 appearance on the podcast My Perfect Console with Simon Parkin to rage against certain production decisions later in the run, namely a move to Elstree Studios, the fact that said move meant that some episodes were filmed in front of just 40 people rather than the 300 of the first series, and the show's hiring of celebrities rather than comedians.

Web links

U programme page

Wikipedia entry

British Comedy Guide entry

Spin-off DLC has its own official site and British Comedy Guide entry

See also

Weaver's Week review


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