In the series, Dougie Colon hosted That Puppet Game Show in which celebrity contestants go head to head in challenges set up by the show's "experts." Whoever gets the most points on the show wins the jackpot of £10,000 for a charity of their choice. There is often a plot going on behind the scenes of the show among Mancie O'Neill the producer and the rest of the characters.
The series was not renewed for a second season due to negative reviews and low ratings.
Described as "a Saturday night show like no other", each episode of That Puppet Game Show involved two 'top name' celebrities being "plunged into a unique world of puppet comedy and madcap games." Eight episodes have been ordered for airing in August 2013.
Brian Henson acted as lead puppeteer on the project, with the characters created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop in Los Angeles. The series was originally developed as a chat show under the title No Strings Attached; the game show format was piloted in late 2012 as 'Games Inc'.
The show was hosted by puppet character Dougie Colon. Celebrity contestants include Tess Daly, Jack Dee, Freddie Flintoff, Richard Hammond, Katherine Jenkins, Vernon Kay, Gary Lineker, and Jonathan Ross.
The BBC explains the format as follows:
“ Each week two top name celebrities will be plunged into That Puppet Game Show - a unique world of puppet comedy and madcap games. As the only humans who appear on the show, the celeb contestants will be going head to head in a number of games, hoping to win £10,000 for their chosen charity. They'll compete in subjects such as sport, science, celebrity, nature, music and mental agility. Each of the games is run and hosted by a different puppet character, who is an "expert" in their field. But that's only half the story...
In a unique twist, That Puppet Game Show is the first gameshow to include a backstage sitcom. It features all the puppet characters that we've met onstage and more, like the producer Mancie and the bullish Show Executive, Udders McGhee. Combining the comedy traditions of The Jim Henson Company and a top celebrity based gameshow ensures that this will be an amazing event, not to be missed!”
- Dougie Colon
- Dr. Strabismus
- Miss Jemima Taptackle
- Eddie Watts
- The Amazing Ian
- Jake Hamilton-Jones
- Amber O'Neill
- Mancie O'Neill
- Udders McGee
- Clyde Stravinsky
- The Hot Dogs
- Fenton the Tortoise
- Monkey and Mouse Janitor
- The Family
- Unaired: "Pilot" - Charlotte Church and Dara Ó Briain
- Episode 1: "Sacked" - Katherine Jenkins and Jonathan Ross
- Episode 2: "Dougie's Birthday" - Gary Lineker and Freddie Flintoff
- Episode 3: "Manschool" - Jack Dee and Alex Jones
- Episode 4: "Jake's Dark Secret" - Shane Richie and Claudia Winkleman
- Episode 5: "Flatshare" - Mel Giedroyc and Vernon Kay
- Episode 6: "Staying Alive" - Tess Daily and Ronan Keating
- Episode 7: "Superstition" - Richard Hammond and Oritsé Williams
- Episode 8: "Boss' Son" - Gabby Logan and Kevin Bridges
- Sauciesong - Hosted by Eddie Watts, each celebrity has to squeeze the singing Hot Dogs in the correct order so that they sing a line from a famous song correctly. If one contestant gets one wrong, the other gets his try. The first celebrity to get the hot dogs in the correct order wins the points.
- Punch Your Lights Out - Hosted by Jemima Taptackle, the celebrities have to punch out the most lights stuck to their bodies in the available time. The contestants who punches out the most lights before time is up wins the points.
- Life's a Speech - Hosted by Amber O'Neill, each contestant has to read their own personal speech from an teleprompter, but some of the words have been left out. The player who fills in the most blanks correctly while they are performing their speech wins the points.
- Nosey Neighbor - Hosted by the Amazing Ian, the celebrities have to jump up and down behind a garden fence to see if they can see what the hot dogs are getting up to on the other side. Ian will ask them a series of questions about what is going on and the nosiest neighbor wins the points.
- Bird Droppings - Hosted by Jake Hamilton-Jones, the celebrities have to memorize a series of bird calls, repeat them by the correct tree and catch the bird's egg in their buckets. The contestant with the most eggs wins the points.
- Paddlestar Galactica - Hosted by Dr. Strabismus, the celebrities play against each other in a cross between ping pong and inter-galactic warfare with each player trying to knock their opponents floating planets out of orbit to claim the points.
- Cheek to Cheek - Hosted by Eddie Watts, the two contestants have to dance to a famous song which is being played at really slow speed. They then have to remember the song and write it down on their dance partner's note pad which is attached to their bottoms. The catch is that they have to write whilst still dancing to the slow song and without seeing what they are writing behind their partner's back. The points go to the player who guesses the most songs correctly.
- The Puppet End Game - Hosted by Dougie Colon, the celebrities face quick-fire questions from all six experts in a final push to win £10,000 for charity.
- Dave Chapman - Dougie Colon, Eddie Watts, Dad
- Louise Gold - Miss Jemima Taptackle, Amber O'Neill, Mom
- Brian Henson - The Amazing Ian, Dr. Strabismus, Mouse Janitor, Hot Dog
- Nigel Plaskitt - Udders McGee, Hot Dogs, Fenton
- Colleen Smith - Mancie O'Neill
- Victor Yerrid - Jake Hamilton-Jones, Clyde Stravinsky, Monkey Janitor
- Warrick Brownlow-Pike -
- Josh Elwell -
- Andrew Heath -
- Beccy Henderson -
- Katherine Smee -
- Andrew Spooner - George
- Olly Taylor -
- Michael Winsor -
- Writers: The Dawson Bros., Toby Davies, Tom Leopold, Daniel Peak, George Jeffrie (Lead) and Bert Tyler Moore (Lead)
- Music Composer: Paul Farrer
- Post Production: BBC Studios and Post Production
- Stylist: Rebecca Allen
- Design Supervisor: Bob Keable
- Stage Manager: Sarah Whiting
- Floor Manager: Nick Keene
- Resources Manager: Craig Dancy
- Vision Mixer: Simon Sanders
- Set Designer: Sarah Milton
- Art Director: Catherine Land
- Puppet Workshop: Scott Brooker, Gemma De Vecchi, Maggie Haden, Janet Knechtel and Helly McGrother
- Lighting Director: Will Charles
- Sound Supervisor: Tony Revell
- Script Supervisors: Michelle Arnold, Amanda Church, Elizabeth, Hodges and Sandra Palormi
- Editors: Nick Peto and Ian Moffat
- Production Co-ordinator: Caroline Cooke
- Assistant Producers: Chantal Barnes, Nadia Dyer-Collins and Lisa Mitchell
- Celebrity Producer: Lauren Fleet
- Production Executive: Stan Matthews
- Production Manager: Sarah Mitchell
- Commissioning Editor: Karl Warner
- Games Producers: Ant Carr and Keith Cotton
- Script Producer: Tom Miller
- Executive Producers: Martin G. Baker, Derek McLean, and Brian Henson
- Series Producer: Jamie Ormerod
- Director: Richard Valentine
The series was originally developed under the title No Strings Attached.
According to a report in trade magazine Broadcast, the series was originally to be aimed at "a broad Saturday tea-time family audience," and the original concept was centered around a main puppet host interviewing celebrities in a chat show format.
Brian Henson reportedly met with BBC executives in February 2012 to discuss the program and puppet ideas. At the time, Karl Warner (Executive Editor of Entertainment) said of the project:
“ It's really early [in] development, but we have high hopes. The idea is that it will be very firmly anchored in the world of the chat show, but based around a new character created by the Henson Company.
The Muppets were a massive phenomenon and nobody seems to have been developing anything in this area for a long time. The Henson Company has shown us some puppets, and their versatility is very exciting, but we are still only in talks at the moment.”
- ↑ http://www.comedy.co.uk/news/story/000001273/that_puppet_game_show_i_love_my_country_axed/
- ↑ Move over Miss Piggy: New generation of 'Muppets' take over BBC1 for Saturday night show
- ↑ The modern muppets! Thirty years after Kermit & Co, the team behind them has created a fresh bunch of furry oddballs to front a new Saturday night game show
- ↑ Puppet to front BBC Saturday nights
- ↑ BBC - Be In The Audience - That Puppet Game Show
- ↑ The British Comedy Guide: Jim Henson Company working on new BBC series
- ↑ BBC News: BBC working with Muppets creators on puppet chat show
- ↑ Variety: Henson to create BBC puppet show