"We’re having a slight problem with the machine…"

It really is a long time now since what were, arguably, the National Lottery’s glory years on TV.

Here’s the draw in its imperial, mid-90s incarnation. Everything is present: bombastic fanfares, guests the likes of Pavarotti and Elton John, a simulcast “live on BBC1 – and Radio 1!”, and a massive studio audience, whipped into a fiduciary frenzy by Sir Bob Monkhouse. “I know I’m a sinner – but make me a winner!”

This clip is even better, though, for being the time that the chosen machine, Guinevere, broke down, reducing Alan Deddicoat and Bob to a bit of improvised banter, Bob to wield a ludicrously outdated stick microphone, and Drawmaster John Willan to mumble a stilted lengthy apology.

Did the results turn up during Casualty?

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2 Responses to "We’re having a slight problem with the machine…"

  1. Steve Williams says:

    The results actually followed Casualty, and I taped them because the British Comedy Awards were on the other side. It happened because John had left the back door of the machine open, the silly sod.

    Course, we couldn’t have had any banter with Pav and Elt because they were on tape, and sadly in Lord Bob’s diaries for this day, there’s nothing about the machine breaking down, but he does say both Pav and Elt moaned about how much they hated that song, and only did it because they thought the other one liked it.

    Nobody saw it, because nobody’s interested anymore, but the other Wednesday, the Thunderball machine fucked up and didn’t draw a ball, so they had to reset it and try again, and Deadly kept announcing they would have to check if it was “a legal draw” and to stay tuned to BBC1 until gone midnight for them to confirm it.

  2. Dan says:

    As above, and Bob changed his line from “I know I’m a sinner but make me a winner” to “I know I’m a jerk, but please make this work”.

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