It's A Knockout 1981
British Domestic Series

Presenters: Stuart Hall and Eddie Waring (not Heat 4)
Referees: Arthur Ellis and Mike Swann
International Referee: Gennaro Olivieri (Championship Knockout only)
Scoregirls: Jan Rasmussen (All domestic heats), Roz Tranfield (Heats 1, 4, 5 & 6),
Debra Windass (Heat 2) and Angie Green (Heat 3)

Designer: Stuart Furber
Producer:
Geoffrey Wilson
Director:
Bill Taylor
A BBC North West Production

GB

It's A Knockout 1981

Heat 1

Event Staged: Sunday 12th April 1981
Venue: Sherborne Castle Park, Sherborne, Dorset

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Friday 29th May 1981, 7.10-8.00pm
BBC1 Wales (GB/C): Sunday 31st May 1981, 2.25-3.15pm

Teams: Sherborne v. Dorchester v. Lyme Regis

Team Members included:
Sherborne - Tim Barclay, Sally Bunwell, David Butt, Philip Coulson, Penny Fowler, Colin Hayward, David Mason, Peter Mason, Jeff Palmer, Ian Rowe, Sue Rowe, Chris Thomas-Peters, Rosemary Wanther;
Dorchester
- Dave Corbett, Hugh Myers, Simon Myers, Kathlyn Old, Jane Pitfield, Dave Russell and Roz Tatum;
Lyme Regis
- John Carl, Gary Larkham, Gaye Lucia, Joanna Semicci, Peter Sergeant and Jim Thomas.

Games: Wasbee Flowers, Water Climb, Posting the Box, Cranked Drum Roll, Ball Stretch, Budgies and Worms, Elasticated Carpet and Evacuating the Castle;
Marathon: Raising the Sails.

Result:

 Team:

Points:

Final Scoreboard:

1st
2nd
3rd

 Sherborne
 Lyme Regis
 Dorchester

27
22
19

Sherborne qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy:
staged on Tuesday 26th May 1981

Did You Know?
Stuart Hall made a ‘blooper’ in this programme. After Game 2, whilst scoregirl Roz Tranfield was having difficulty moving the scoreboard, he failed to wait for her to add the points scored by Dorchester, and announced that the team only had 2 points instead of 5, and the camera panned to the next game!

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1981

Heat 2

Event Staged: Monday 20th April 1981 (Easter Monday)
Venue: Whitby Marina Car Park, Whitby, North Yorkshire

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Friday 5th June 1981, 7.10-8.00pm
BBC1 Wales (GB/C): Sunday 7th June 1981, 2.30-3.20pm

Teams: Whitby v. Filey v. Kingston-upon-Hull

Team Members included:

Whitby - Jenny Anderson, David Beaveth, Pamela Clarke, Mike Sedgwick and Mark Treese;

Filey - Susan Ackrill, Ann Carridge, Martin Hacksby, John Pashby and John Relton;

Kingston-upon-Hull - Stan Heywood (Team Captain), Tom Bowering, Karen Briggs, William Butler, Pam Hall, Gary Hitching, Martin Holmes, Stephen Hunt, Ian Hurd, Angela Lutkin, Sue Patterson, John Wheatley, Julie Wilkinson.

Games: Rabbits and Carrots, Shovelling Sand, Trolley Net Catch, Kangaroo Ski Race (abandoned), Pool Pole Balance, Wasbees and Daffodils, Untying the Ropes, Evacuating the Castle and The Human Pyramid (reserve game);
Marathon: Lobster Pots Over Net.

Result:

 Team:

Points:

Final Scoreboard:

1st
2nd
3rd

 Kingston-upon-Hull
 Filey
 Whitby

24
21
19

Kingston-Upon-Hull qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Pula, Yugoslavia:
staged on Wednesday 10th June 1981

Did You Know?
Game 4 had to be abandoned because the wooden kangaroos on skis used on it failed. Whilst Whitby were making good progress up the course, the Kingston-upon-Hull team’s kangaroo equipment snapped, and within 5 seconds the same fate had happened to the Filey team. Whitby carried on regardless, only to be disappointed some 20 seconds or so later by the sound of Arthur Ellis’ whistle, denoting the abandonment of the game. A reserve game - ‘The Human Pyramid’ - was played instead, after the scheduled final game.

Kingston-upon-Hull’s team included Great Britain’s Women’s Judo champion, Karen Briggs.

Although the team clearly wore shirts with Kingston-upon-Hull printed on them, references on-site by Stuart Hall, Arthur Ellis and even on the scoreboard itself, were to the name being Hull. However, on the final game, Stuart Hall finally called the team by its rightful name of Kingston-upon-Hull.

Scoregirl for this heat was Debra Windass, who had been a member of the 1977 Beverley It’s A Knockout team as well as series scoregirl in 1978 and 1979. She also made an appearance as a mermaid mascot of the Bridlington and North Wolds team last year! An impressive It’s A Knockout career.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1981

Heat 3

Event Staged: Sunday 26th April 1981
Venue: Coronation Park, Dartmouth, Devon

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Friday 12th June 1981, 7.10-8.00pm
BBC1 Wales (GB/C): Sunday 14th June 1981, 2.35-3.25pm

Teams: Dartmouth v. Exmouth v. Plymouth

Team Members included:
Dartmouth
- Tim Bryce (Team Manager), Sid Davies (Team Captain), David Collins, Peter Collins, Jackie Davies, Kate Distin, Sheree Duff, Cameron Dunn, Sheena Mars, Martin Payne, Alan Pook, Derek Rodgers and Dawn Wiggins;
Exmouth
- Jane Berry, Ann Buttery, Paul Gibson, Tony Osland, Jackie Precious, Martin Sharp and Ian Stewart;
Plymouth
- Phil Dart, Cheryl Healey, Ann Moore, Graham Pearson, Dave Seabourne and Les Wear.

Games: Wasbee Swat, Greased Boxing, Trolley Pull, Budgies and Eggs, Walking the Plank, Rocking the Boat, Jockey Hoops and Evacuating the Castle;
Marathon: Barrels and Nets.

Result:

 Team:

Points:

Final Scoreboard:

1st
2nd
3rd

 Dartmouth
 Plymouth
 Exmouth

25
23
18

Dartmouth qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Lisboa, Portugal:
staged on Wednesday 24th June 1981

Did You Know?
This programme was very near to being the first (and only) It’s A Knockout recording to be cancelled - due to extreme, freezing weather conditions. An unexpected cold front had moved quickly down from the North-West of the country, bringing with it very deep snowdrifts, and unprecedented sub-zero temperatures. The actual temperature at time of recording was -5° Centigrade (23° Fahrenheit).

At the end of Game 1, the female Plymouth team member who was chasing the Dartmouth wasbee collapsed, due to the excessive cold temperature and sheer exhaustion. An emergency first-aid crew had to rush on to the arena and give her medical assistance to help her recover. Fortunately, no serious injury prevailed, but she did not participate in any more games.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1981

Heat 4

Event Staged: Monday 4th May 1981 (Bank Holiday Monday)
Venue: Lower Sports Ground, Wardown Park, Biscot, Luton, Bedfordshire

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Friday 19th June 1981, 7.10-8.00pm
BBC1 Wales (GB/C): Sunday 21st June 1981, 2.40-3.30pm

Guest Presenters: Paul Shane, Ruth Madoc and Su Pollard
of the BBC comedy series, Hi-De-Hi! (Eddie Waring absent)

Teams: Luton v. Epping Forest v. Welwyn Garden City

Team Members included:
Luton - John Howells (Team Manager), Chris Dunington (Co-Assistant Team Manager), Bob Whan (Co-Assistant Team Manager), Tony Russell (Team Captain), Jackie Cross, Sharon Dillette, Mark Fairhurst, Lee Holten, John Ing, Della Isaacs, Andrew Mears, Terry Nicholls, Lorna Roberts, Joe Toomey and James Warren;
Epping Forest - Tim Brooking, Kevin Chapman, Philip Cottle, Debbie Evans, Glen Fayon, Phillip Harrison, Meg Martin, Kathy Rolfe, Chris Smith and Nigel Wayve;
Welwyn Garden City - Elaine Bell, Diane Harvey, Jean Holdcroft, Kim Tischere and Stuart West.

Games: Wasbee Nets, Threading the Ball, Flour Trolleys, The Flat Tyres, Pool Basketball, Ski-Boots, Canvas Roll and Evacuating the Castle;
Marathon: Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit, Run! Run! Run!

Result:

 Team:

Points:

Final Scoreboard:

1st
2nd
3rd

 Luton
 Epping Forest
 Welwyn Garden City

23
22
21

Luton qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Charleroi, Belgium:
staged on Wednesday 8th July 1981

Did You Know?
Luton team member Sharon Dillette had previously been a member of the winning Luton It’s A Knockout team in 1972. She appeared in this edition sporting a large bruise on her forehead and two black eyes, both of which she claimed she had acquired during a game of rounders! Team manager John Howells had previously coached the Luton team during their 1972 participation and Welwyn Garden City competitor Stuart West had previously represented St Albans in 1977.

With his health and strength deteriorating, Eddie Waring was unable to present this programme. As Waring was booked to commentary on the Rugby Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium the previous day, the BBC felt that a consecutive day’s filming would be too much for the 71-year old commentator. It was for this reason that they drafted in stars from their hit series Hi-De-Hi! to present the Marathon.

Luton seemed destined to win this heat from the start. Earlier in the day, the team had been successful in the rehearsal, which had finished with a score of Luton 19 pts, Welwyn Garden City 16 pts and Epping Forest 14 pts. Interestingly from the points tally, it seems that all teams failed to play their Jokers on the ‘appropriate’ games. In theory though, the rehearsals were designed so that the teams then decided on which of the games they would be best to play the Joker on. However in the actual recording both Epping Forest and Welwyn Garden City won their Joker games, whilst Luton could only manage second place on theirs!

This was the first time in It’s A Knockout history that a team name had to be shortened to fit onto the scoreboard - Welwyn Garden City had to be shortened to Welwyn Garden because the typeface used on the 1981 board was much larger than ever before.

Epping Forest was created under the Local Government Act 1972, and includes the towns of Epping, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Chipping Ongar and Waltham Abbey.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1981

Heat 5

Event Staged: Sunday 10th May 1981
Venue: Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, Fife

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Friday 26th June 1981, 8.00-8.50pm
BBC1 Wales (GB/C): Sunday 28th June 1981, 2.35-3.25pm

Teams: Dunfermline v. Cumbernauld v. Glenrothes

Team Members included:
Dunfermline - Mike Joiner (Team Captain), Dougie Arnill, Marie Blair, Bill Bunyan, Malcolm Cameron, Steve Coates, Pauline Lucas, Marilyn McLeod, Terry O’Connor, Jim Patterson, George Ross, Joyce Suitor, Ian Watson, Pauline Young;
Cumbernauld - Michael Cavanagh, Greg Connell, Willie Cox, Sheila Gimnack, Mick McGrath, Ken McClean, Avril Penn, Joyce Robertson and Hugh Walters;
Glenrothes - Drew Clooney, Kenny Lamb, Gordon Ross, Dave Sellars, Ann Stevenson, Hugh Turner and Sam Wilson.

Games: Wasbee Stings, Hook Swing, Caterpillar Traction, Tossing the Caber, Raft Rally, Paired Stepping Stones, Hammer Swing and Evacuating the Castle;
Marathon: Budgie Beam.

Result:

 Team:

Points:

Final Scoreboard:

1st
2nd
3rd

 Dunfermline
 Cumbernauld
 Glenrothes

29
22
18

Dunfermline qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Meiringen-Hasliberg, Switzerland:
staged on Wednesday 29th July 1981

Did You Know?
Winning every game apart from the first, on which the team came 2nd, Dunfermline’s games results rivalled that of Ely’s whitewash of Hertford in 1973.

Dunfermline were 6 pts clear of Cumbernauld before the last game, but still went on to win the game to give themselves a 7 pts clear victory - the second highest in this post-1975 format after Douglas in 1979, who finished 9 pts clear of Ramsey (however, remember that there was an extra game played in all the domestic heats that year).

The Dunfermline team’s Joker was played by 16-year old athlete Linsey MacDonald, who was a member of Britain’s 4x400m Olympic Bronze Medal Winning relay team at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. The Cumbernauld team’s Joker was played by actress Kirsty Miller, who starred in the 1981/82 BBC TV series Maggie.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1981

Heat 6

Event Staged: Sunday 17th May 1981
Venue: Derby Indoor Baths, Blackpool, Lancashire

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Friday 3rd July 1981, 7.40-8.30pm
BBC1 Wales (GB/C): Sunday 5th July 1981, 2.35-3.25pm

Teams: Blackpool v. Chorley v. Warrington

Team Members included:
Blackpool - Brian Bottomley, Lesley Dase, Derek Lomas, Mike Lomas, Ian Plant, Alan Roswell, Chris Sharrett, Cheryl Witton and Alan Wooding;
Chorley - Chris Ellis, Sue Fisher, Gwyn Furlon, Steve Jellus, Mike Mason, David Pennington and Scott Reed;
Warrington - Jim Cannon (Team Captain), Keith Barnett, Jan Blackwell, June Brimlow, Peter Dawson, Steven Gooch, Celia Johnson, Clive Jones, Alexic Jovitza, David Lyons, Colin Meechin, Glenroy Skeet, David Walker, Bernadette Woodhouse.

Games: Kayak Course, Raft Balance Relay, Revolving Balance, Water Skis, Pool Target Rings, Canoe Race, Diving Board Basketball and Evacuating the Moated Castle;
Marathon: Balloon Climb.

Result:

 Team:

Points:

Final Scoreboard:

1st
2nd
3rd

 Warrington
 Blackpool
 Chorley

25
21
19

Warrington qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Annecy, France:
staged on Wednesday 12th August 1981

Sunderland qualified as hosts of Jeux Sans Frontières at Sunderland, Great Britain:
staged Tuesday 25th August 1981.

Did You Know?
This was the first occasion that a standard domestic It’s A Knockout had been held wholly indoors. Previously, however, the 1978 special It's A Miner's Knockout had also been staged in an enclosed arena, the ring at The Tower Circus, also in Blackpool.

This heat featured one of the toughest games in the history of the series. The marathon saw two team members swim from the pool’s edge to a rope that was hanging from the roof of the pool. They then had to climb up the rope and burst the first three balloons which were attached to a board 30-40ft above. Once completed and safety back in the pool, the next team member repeated the task (to burst the fourth, fifth and sixth balloons) and so on. In total, there were ten balloons on each board. All three teams were level on 6 balloons each after their first attempts, but Blackpool could not improve its score on its second attempt. In the last heat Chorley were against Warrington, and whilst Chorley managed to burst nine balloons, Warrington burst their ninth balloon just outside limit time and scored 8 balloons. Chorley were awarded six well-deserved points.

Warrington were six points clear before the last game and the team could not be beaten. As it happened, the Warrington team finished third on the game!

The Blackpool team’s Joker was played by professional wrestler, Rex Strong.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB - F

The Knockout Championship 1981

Domestic Final

Event Staged: Sunday 14th June 1981
Venue: Arena North, Park Hall, Charnock Richard, Lancashire

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Friday 11th September 1981, 7.00-8.15pm
BBC1 Wales (GB/C): Sunday 27th September 1981, 1.55-3.10pm

Theme: Domestic Re-run

Teams: Dartmouth v. Dunfermline v. Kingston-Upon-Hull v. Luton v.
Sherborne v. Sunderland v. Warrington

Team Members included:
Dartmouth - Tim Bryce (Team Manager), Sid Davies (Team Captain), Malcolm Cameron, Peter Collins, Jackie Davies, Kate Distin, Cameron Dunn, Eddie Lennon, Martin Payne, Derek Rodgers and Martin Shilibeer;

Dunfermline - Mike Joiner (Team Captain), Dougie Arnill, Marie Blair, Bill Bunyan, Malcolm Cameron, Steve Coates, Pauline Lucas, Marilyn McLeod, Terry O’Connor, Jim Patterson, George Ross, Joyce Suitor, Ian Watson, Pauline Young;

Kingston-Upon-Hull - Stan Heywood (Team Captain), Tom Bowering, Karen Briggs, William Butler, Pam Hall, Gary Hitching, Martin Holmes, Stephen Hunt, Ian Hurd, Angela Lutkin, Sue Patterson, John Wheatley, Julie Wilkinson;
Luton - John Howells (Team Manager), Chris Dunington (Co-Assistant Team Manager), Bob Whan (Co-Assistant Team Manager), Tony Russell (Team Captain), Jackie Cross, Sharon Dillette, Mark Fairhurst, Lee Holten, John Ing, Della Isaacs, Andrew Mears, Terry Nicholls, Lorna Roberts, Joe Toomey and James Warren;
Sherborne - Tim Barclay, Sally Bunwell, David Butt, Philip Coulson, Penny Fowler, Colin Hayward, David Mason, Peter Mason, Jeff Palmer, Ian Rowe, Sue Rowe,Chris Thomas-Peters,
Rosemary Wanther;
Sunderland - Gary Hutchinson (Team Captain), Jean Applegar, Charlie Bentley, Tony Carlisle, Brian Davidson, Roy Davison, John Debraskey, Ross Edwards, Vivian Holmes, Norman Judson, Adrian Kelth, Elaine Mennison, Richard Wood, Kevin Youdan;
Warrington - Jim Cannon (Team Captain), Keith Barnett, Jan Blackwell, June Brimlow, Peter Dawson, Steven Gooch, Celia Johnson, Clive Jones, Alexic Jovitza, David Lyons, Colin Meechin, Glenroy Skeet, David Walker, Bernadette Woodhouse.

Games: Wasbees and Pollen, Tossing the Caber, Riding the Whale, Ski Boots, Budgies and Eggs, Evacuating the Castle, Raising the Sails and Kangaroo Ski Race;
Marathon: Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit, Run! Run! Run!

Result:

 Team:

Points:

Final Scoreboard:

1st
1st

3rd
3rd
5th
6th
7th

 Dunfermline
 Dartmouth

 Sherborne
 Kingston-Upon-Hull
 Luton
 Sunderland
 Warrington

44
44

33
33
30
26
23

Did You Know?
No tie-break was played and winners Dunfermline and Dartmouth each held the trophy for a six-month period.

Made in Colour • This programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

JSFnetGB Series Guide pages researched by
Alan Hayes, David Hamilton, Neil Storer, Christos Moustakas, Philippe Minet,
Sébastien Dias, Ischa Bijl, Paul Leaver and JSFnet Websites