Bullseye was a gameshow where people played darts. It was hosted by old-school comedian Jim Bowen. For some reason, a half-hour gameshow on Sunday evening where people play darts is about the most sublime thing in the world. The human drama on the faces of the dart-throwers was so plangent, and it all happens so fast.
We lambast modern television for dumbing down, which as any fule no is nonsense. Bullseye is no intellectual work-out. But somehow, it delivers on every level. From the knuckle-gnawing interchanges between contestants and Mr Bowen to the delicious celebrity round (where underperforming stars would frequently reach into their own pocket to boost the £75 they had raised for charity), not a second is wasted.
I was excited to discover that Challenge TV shows Bullseye - not that I had ever wasted more than 3 consecutive seconds on that channel prior to making the discovery. In fact, the day I found this out, my spirits were at a very low ebb. It's strange to think that 30 minutes of 20-year old light entertainment can be the difference between walking tall and throwing yourself under the wheels of a passing ice cream van. But I digress.
Seen both as a game-show and historical artifact, Bullseye exposes the eighties as a long-abandoned country. Lady contestants (who are probably younger than me) contrive to at least double their ages with high waisted trousers and aspirationally tall hair. The men all work in ironmongery or concrete works! Contestants who appear to have attended university are skittish dart-nerds, yet to drink of the confidence-boosting wealth of the coming information economy.
If you have digital TV, don't hang around, don't wait. Per-second, nothing (and I do not say this lightly) beats a bit of Bully.