The BBC and ITV games we need to see

Ah, the test card. Even TV channels had loading screens back in those days.

Nowadays of course videogames make serious money, and offer real competition to TV and film for the time and money of the nation. UK broadcaster ITV recently started licensing out its shows for games, and now the BBC are getting in on the act. The depressing reality, of course, is that these deals will only result in half arsed casual Wii, DS and PC titles, with some Facebook ‘games’ thrown in for good measure.

But these are the two biggest terrestrial broadcasters in the United Kingdom! So much potential! Critical Gamer could not let the matter go without telling you about the games that could – and should – be made. Let’s get the ball rolling with one of my own proposals:

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night: Get Me Out Of Here!

This game centres on the omnipresent presenters, rather than any one show they’re associated with.

It’s an ultra gory beat ’em up in the vein of Mortal Kombat.

Set phasers to Kill Slowly And Painfully.

There would be thousands of playable characters – all the people who got ripped off by ringing the premium rate voting lines in the shows Ant & Dec presented which were later found to ignore the votes. When the player has killed both Ant and Dec one hundred times each, a further few dozen thousand playable characters are unlocked – all those now embarrassed to own a Wii after watching the new TV ads.

The gorier the kills, the higher the points. You’ll rank high on the online leaderboards for ripping their arms off and beating them to death with their own fists; but inventiveness will be rewarded still further. Break Ant’s neck and then beat Dec to death with his lifeless corpse for an unbreakable combo, for example.

No, I don’t like Ant & Dec very much.

Now it’s time for Kevin to bring the tone down by being all sensible, and suggesting a game that not only might be fun, but actually has half a chance of being made. The spoilsport.

Doctor Who

Well, his fans do think the sun shines out of his Tardis.

The history and iconic villains make Doctor Who ideal fodder for a game. I think if this was released as downloadable episodes it would be superb. Each adventure would last a couple of hours, so the budget could be kept tight. The Doctor would materialise on different worlds/timezones and deal with alien entanglements with his sonic screwdriver and witty banter. With the gameplay being very like Resident Evil minus the gunslinging, with puzzle solving and some survival horror (no gore though! It is for kids after all). There could also be a main story arc, which builds up like the TV series, to the last couple of episodes, which have cliffhangers at the end much like the Half Life episodes – although hopefully you won’t be waiting four years for the next one! Kevin

Our PC guru Michael leaped on this article like a forgotten celebrity on an invite to the jungle. It’s given him a chance to talk about a subject close to his dark, dark heart…

Piers Morgan On…

You’d visit various places and meet top celebrities around the world, then alienate both them and your audience, by being a smug unlikable twat. Throughout the game you could make allusions to your amassed fortune, name-drop your celeb pals and mention your great friendship with Simon Cowell roughly once every four sentences.

Piers "Off" Morgan

The climax of the game however, would see Piers’ plastic world of fake smiles and general wankery falling apart, as the man himself realises no-one actually likes him or values his opinions. The game at this point would then evolve into a sort of psychological thriller as Piers plunges into alcoholism, and depression, as we the player take the role of a sort of trickster god, heaping misfortune and misery upon this broken shell of a man. The game would eventually end with his suicide as Susan Boyle sings “I Dreamed a Dream” over the credits. Michael

Our artist and sometimes writer (though he only tends to write in crayon) Ross misunderstood things slightly. He takes eight sugars with his coffee – no, really – and this has turned his blood to syrup, which has interfered with his thought processes…

Smash TV

It was on, er, BBC 2. In the eighties?

GamesMaster on ITV was rubbish, Bad Influence was rubbish. In fact the only gaming TV show I remember being any good was Bits, and only because I thought Emily Booth was seriously hot. I’ve been asked to mention a TV show I’d like to see based on gaming. I was going to go with a televised version of Speedball but the thought of a real Smash TV was too much to ignore. It would be like Gladiators on steroids, with blood. Two people enter an arena, get peppered with bullets, knives and what-not and anyone lucky enough to stay alive wins a new car, a TV and a bunch of money. You could throw in some paedophiles, murderers and a bunch of rapists as cannon fodder to take some of the heat off the real contestants as an act of sympathy. I’d buy that for a dollar! Ross

If you’re a UK female at least sixteen years of age – or if you’re in a relationship with a UK female at least sixteen years of age – you will know who Jeremy Kyle is. He certainly has a special place in Anthony’s heart, as he is about to tell us. But Ant, I must say; we all like the charming Jeremy Kyle, with his thoughtful and caring approach to the human condition. But could you please take down the posters from above your desk?

Jeremy Kyle – The Game

Taking the role of the delightful Mr Kyle, players use a microphone peripheral to yell at virtual chavs and slum monkeys in an effort to insult, humiliate and ultimately help them. If it feels like you aren’t quite pressing them in the sensitive areas enough, a friend can hop in using co-op mode to become a member of the audience and ask squirm inducing questions.

Like Jerry Springer, only with no sense of humour whatsoever.

At any given moment the player can demand DNA results, lie detector tests and even confidential medical documents, all in the name of solving problems for the misguided souls on the centre stage.

Using the Playstation Eye Camera, the player can upload their family and friends to be guests on the show, allowing real domestic disputes, problems, and incest accusation to be carried out offline, or for all to see in Playstation Home.

This opens up the versus mode where one player ridicules another for their obvious drug use and inadequate child care qualities whilst the other takes all the criticisms on board and tries not to have a revelation whilst staring directly into the PS3 camera. The first player to break down in tears, have an anger induced stroke or throw a punch loses. Anthony

Over the years, the BBC and ITV have produced countless dramas, thrillers, cop shows, fantasy epics, science fiction rollercoaster rides, and physical contests. So it’s little surprise that Steven’s suggestion for a TV show that needs to be made into a game is…


I’d would like to see a Newsnight simulator based upon the Phoenix Wright games for the DS. The player would take the form of Jeremy Paxman, with the aim being to force the interviewee to break down, storm off, or give in and accept some point or another. The game could include some fighting sections where you have to fight to get in and out of work due to ex interviewees targeting you with revenge attacks. These could be in the style of Final Fight as you fight your way through Shepherds Bush (where the BBC is located) past the thugs hired by corporate companies, politicians, or general lobbyists (the green movement, anti and pro war campaigners and more)!

Pax Man. Wakka wakka wakka.

Before each interview there could be a Phoenix Wright style investigative section where you visit the scene of the news and look for evidence, letters, perhaps interview passers by and witnesses. If the news scene is in a private building, we could use a Splinter Cell style section to creep in as Jeremy dons his combats and night vision goggles.

The main selling point though would be the use of the microphone to interrupt the interviewee as many times as possible within the interview section of the game. As shown here:


Kevin’s back and badder than ever, with another sensible suggestion for a TV adaptation. Blimey, anyone would think I take on writers with some common sense…

The Royle Family

Clockwise from the top: Action Man, Wallace, Barbie, Goldie Hawn, Thor god of thunder, Madonna.

The sitcom The Royle Family, about a working class family from Manchester, would make a good Sims clone with the characters carrying out their daily lives, getting into scrapes and having arguments with the family. There would obviously be plenty of witty banter between characters (no Simlish speech here!), with Jim Royle berating his family from his sofa, Dave Best being his usual dopey self, and Mary Carroll from next door putting her nose into other people’s business. As well as the iconic Royle living room, you could have the characters explore the local neighbourhood and also go away on camping holidays. You could also have a selection of daft mini games, and have different dialogue choices which would have varying consequences for different characters. Kevin

I’d like to end this article with another suggestion of my own. It would require collaboration between the BBC and ITV, combining as it does several David Jason shows. It would draw mainly from the BBC’s Only Fools And Horses, and ITV’s A Touch Of Frost. This new IP would have a brand new TV show to accompany it, and it is to be called…

Only Fools Touch Horses

Only Fools Touch Horses is the harrowing tale of a time – travelling Jack Frost tracking down his foolish younger self (operating under the alias Del Trotter) to teach him the error of his ways. Though he ordinarily only indulged in minor offences such as handling stolen goods, there was one manslaughter incident that haunts Jack to this day. That particular episode of Only Fools And Horses never made it past rehearsals.

Jack could of course go directly to the flat where he used to live, but that wouldn’t make good TV or a very long game. He would instead track ‘Del’ down via careful investigation and much eating of cake and biscuits. The season finale will be when the inevitable rip in the fabric of space-time occurs when he finally touches his younger self. Jack then finds himself in a bloody fight to the death with his alter egos Count Duckula and Dangermouse (Penfold to be played by Keith Vaz).


Keith Vaz

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.


  1. half_empty80 /

    “Did you threaten to overrule him?” classic

  2. KrazyFace /

    Paxman, wakka wakka wakka! HAhahahahahahaaaaaaaa…


  3. Madhatters13 /

    Hahaha! That was a very entertaining read. Keith Vas is definately Penfold.

  4. Declan Donnelly /

    I find this offensive.

  5. Adam R. /

    What was, in specifics, “offensive?”

    • Anthony McPartlin /

      I also found this offensive Dec.

    • I’d like to point out, for the benefit of our non – UK readers and staff, that Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are the full names of Ant and Dec.

      Oh, how I would dearly love to believe that they had genuinely read my suggestion for their game…

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