It’s Friday, it’s Five to Five and it’s Crackerjack!

 Michael Aspel in CrackerjackCrackerjack ran from 1955 to 1984, but it will be the years with Michael Aspel and Ed Stewart which will remain immortalised in my Seventies brain. Once we got Stu ‘Ooh I could crush a grape’ Francis and The Krankies, it became rather naff, or maybe that was me growing up.

Crackerjack was a game show for kids, at a time when game shows for adults were big. The Generation Game, Family Fortunes and Sale of the Century were huge but they all had nothing on Crackerjack because they lacked the one important thing for kids – and that’s kids! It’s all very well watching adults making complete arses of themselves, but get kids involved, being superior and winning prizes, and you’re on a winner.

Double or Drop was my favourite game. I’m not sure of the exact rules, but remember vaguely how it went. All the contestants had to stand each on a podium and hold a cabbage, then they’d be loaded with toys and games and stuff that you wanted. For every question you got right, you had a prize but you got a cabbage if you got it wrong, or something. If you dropped the cabbage you were out, and the winner was the one at the end with all the stuff still in their hands. What did they win? Well, the stuff of course! But the Crackerjack pencil was the real prize and everyone got one of those.

Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room


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