Going Live!

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Going Live!
Collage of Going Live! logos as used in the final episode
Presented byPhillip Schofield
Sarah Greene
Gordon the Gopher
Trevor and Simon
Emma Forbes (cook)
Phillip Hodson (agony uncle)
Nigel Taylor (vet)
Mark Chase
Peter Simon
Annabel Giles
Nick Ball
James Hickish
Theme music composerPeter Gosling
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series6
No. of episodes179
Running time3hrs 15mins
Original networkBBC1
Picture format4:3
Original release26 September 1987 –
17 April 1993

Going Live! was a BBC children's magazine show, broadcast on BBC1 between 1987 and 1993. It was presented by Phillip Schofield and Sarah Greene.

Other presenters included Trevor and Simon, Peter Simon, Emma Forbes, Mark Chase and puppet Gordon the Gopher.

The show was broadcast during the autumn to spring seasons, with other shows such as The 8:15 from Manchester and Parallel 9 taking over during the summer months. It was preceded by Saturday Superstore, and succeeded by Live & Kicking.

In 1988, when the second series started, Greene was hurt in a helicopter crash with her then boyfriend (who subsequently became her husband), Mike Smith.[1] Guest presenters stood in for her including T'Pau's Carol Decker.[2] Similarly, in 1992–93 during the final series, Schofield was starring in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and was unable to present the show even though he was offered £1,500,000 per show. A third presenter took his place. Originally, Neighbours actor Kristian Schmid took the role but soon left after problems with his work permit.[2] Various other celebrities to stand in included Shane Richie and Robbie Williams during his Take That days.[2]

Show segments[edit]

Double Dare[edit]

Double Dare was presented by Peter Simon, and it was best known for Simon to fall, during the final round, into the Gunge. It was replaced in later series of Going Live!, first by Clockwise, presented by Darren Day, and then by Run the Risk, which was again presented by Simon. The latter of these shows continued onto Live & Kicking.

Growing Pains[edit]

Phillip Hodson provided 'agony uncle' advice to young callers on diverse and often difficult topics in Growing Pains. The topics ranged from love troubles and general teenage angst, to more severe topics such as child abuse and AIDS, which were uncharacteristically deep issues for a Saturday morning youth programme.

Live Line[edit]

In this segment, the show's producers would arrange for popular musical groups and performers to pay surprise visits to their fans.

The Press Conference[edit]

The big set-piece interview at the end of each programme, featuring questions from both the studio audience and from phone callers. These were often with politicians, high-ranking executives in the BBC, or people who had made a notable achievement (e.g. sports people who had success at the Olympics).

The Video Vote[edit]

This was a phone-in section where the viewing public were encouraged to cast their opinions on the popular music videos of the time, which were then shown according to popularity.

Trevor and Simon[edit]

These two anchormen (who were essentially clowns) provided light-hearted humour and character comedy. Popular characters played by the duo included:

  • 'The Sister Brothers', a pair of rogue traders;
  • 'The Singing Corner', a folk duo;
  • DJ Mick McMac and rave-goer Moon Monkey;
  • 'Blimey, that's good!', a parody of television shopping channels;
  • The Bottomless Bin;
  • The Witch Finders, who appeared every Halloween to enlist members of the studio audience to hunt 'witches' and other evil-doers. This normally ended up with them poking Phillip with sticks.

They were replaced in series five by Nick Ball and James Hickish, but returned for the last series.

Outside broadcasts[edit]

During its run, the show made several broadcasts from outside the confines of the studio. These included:

It Started With Swap Shop[edit]

Going Live! had their own section on the BBC's It Started With Swap Shop[3] featuring classic clips of the show. It is presented as elevator employees recalling favoured parts of the show.


In 1992, the show's opening sequence of a 'colourbars army preparing to Go Live', was nominated for a Bafta Award,[4] created by the BBC Design team consisting of Morgan Almeida, Mark Knight and Paul Baguley.


  1. ^ "ON THIS DAY | 10 | 1988: BBC presenters in helicopter crash". BBC News. 10 September 1973. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Cult – Classic TV – Going Live (1987–1992)". BBC. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  3. ^ "Saturday Mornings ~ It Started With Swap Shop". Saturdaymornings.co.uk. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Past Winners and Nominees – Television – Awards – The BAFTA site". Bafta.org. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2009.

External links[edit]