The Gong Show



Frankie Howerd


Judges: Barry Cryer, Mike Newman, Barbara Windsor


Gambit Productions for Channel 4, 9 December 1985 (aired pilot)


People who thought they had an entertaining talent did their act, but could be kicked off at any time by the sounding of a gong. Those who weren't gonged off were given marks by a panel of judges and whoever scored highest was declared the winner.

The original US version of The Gong Show hosted by Chuck Barris was one of Channel 4's early hits, being shown twice weekly, but for some reason this UK version never made it past the pilot stage.


This was actually the second time Frankie Howerd fronted a Gong Show pilot - the first time was for Southern in 1977, while the original show was still running in the States. That version was never aired, and remained unseen until it turned up on the 2018 DVD release Frankie Howerd: The Lost TV Pilots. The judges for that pilot were Diana Dors, Russell Harty and Madeline Smith.


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