Last week I was relaxing one night and, flicking through the channels, came across an old episode of “Bullseye” on the Challenge channel. I was absolutely fascinated. I have clear memories of the show and, in fact, I know Jim Bowen, but seeing it again after all these years was quite something.
Even in my business, where I am dealing with antiques and nostalgia all day long, it’s still easy to forget how we used to live. Bullseye and other shows aren’t that old in historical terms, but what a window into our social history they provide.
It was 1986 and the outfits and style of the contestants and their demur, quiet behaviour is nothing like we see now, where contestants are auditioned for their “wackiness”, wit, talent or back story.
I watched until the end, enjoying Jim’s old catchphrases. They went on to win the first half and got the amazing total of £30! They won the star prize, which was a caravan, but they were equally as thrilled with the keyring Jim gave them.
It made me laugh, as nowadays the prizes are life-changing sums of money, recording contracts and prizes beyond the realms of fantasy for most families. In this episode, “Bullseye” had on offer a toaster, matching watches, a fridge, a hamper with tinned food in it and a child’s bike.
I have a long association with Jim and really like him. When he moved house from Lancaster to Melling I helped him with his antiques, selling some and valuing others for him. I also used to meet him at Radio Lancashire, when he used to present the morning show with Sally Naden.
He always used to laugh about me and say to people – “oh don’t get involved with Allan, he will rob you blind”. Of course, he was only joking (well, at least I really hope he was!).
When my daughter Mel attended The Pear Tree School, Kirkham, he came to a special fund-raising evening and helped to raise quite a lot of money for the school.
It was with these funds they were able to build a state-of-the-art sensory room. I always hold him in high regard due to his commitment to his charities, and the way he helped my daughter’s school really was something.
He gave two signed ‘bendy bullys’ to Mel years ago and she still has them and treasures them, even though the rubber perished years ago!