Watch out, Beadle’s about! A broadcasting legend, Jeremy Beadle was weekend TV during the 90s, competing with the likes of Noel Edmonds and Jim Davidson for our viewing pleasure during the golden age of British television.
Born in 1948, Beadle lived a crazy life before he burst onto our screens in the 80s. After being expelled from secondary school, his first jobs included photographing topless models, a diving instructor, toilet attendant and a tour guide around London.
He was finally handed a job in entertainment, but on the other hand he nearly dropped it, beginning as a writer before hosting his own radio show and then moving into telly. His major hit was “Beadle’s About” where he would play pranks on unsuspecting members of the general public. I used to love the show and it was guaranteed comedy gold.
The pranks were always so elaborate and done on a huge scale so that the victim would feel that it couldn’t possibly be faked until Beadle would appear in disguise and reveal himself.
The one everyone seems to remember was when some woman discovered a UFO in her garden and offered an alien a cup of tea. The show would always make you wonder what you would do in that situation, and in this case I very much doubt I’d be offering a visitor a cuppa, more like getting the hell away from it.
Nothing was safe from Beadle’s attempts, even weddings and undertakers’ offices were attacked, with one undertaker even being rumbled for accidently spilling some ashes down the sink and replacing them in the urn with burnt newspaper.
Beadle was also the original host of “You’ve Been Framed” which has long since gone downhill since Lisa Riley wedged herself into the hotseat towards the end of the decade. Jeremy then had one last decent show called “Win Beadle’s Money” where he took on contests in a general knowledge battle and rarely lost.
And then he was gone as ITV began to deteriorate, only appearing sporadically throughout the next eight years before sadly suffering with pneumonia and dying in January 2008.
It’s a shame that any time something goes wrong in life now you know that the great man himself isn’t going to pop up and tell you it’s just a joke, but he will always be fondly remembered by the British public as the man who brought laughter into our living rooms throughout the 90s.