Friday, 15 May 2009

Hero of the Week

Transworld Top Team

Well, its taken a bit of time, but my appeal made on the 18th February for the good young men and women who appeared on TV Top of the Form to come forward and receive the public acclaim that they deserve has finally started to bear fruit.

I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday morning, but perked up considerably when I found that I had an email from Mr. John Ward of Ottawa, Canada. John described how he took part in Transworld Top Team, in 1968. You may remember that Transworld Top Team was the International version of TV Top of the Form. Teams from Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal represented Canada, and John was a member of the Ottawa team that played teams from London, Glasgow and Belfast. With his permission, I quote from his email,

"I can't, for the life of me, remember how we did during the competition. It was a friendly tourney and we kept track of the won-loss numbers informally, but I don't think there was a trophy or anything at stake.
It was quite an experience (I was 16 at the time). I remember touring London, the Abbey, St. Paul's. Once of the London kids took us to a pub called the Sherlock Holmes (he was quite the Sherlockian). We went to Warwick Castle, Holyrood House, Edinburgh Castle. We were in Belfast, but I guess it was shortly before the Troubles broke out. I still have fond memories of the city.
In Canada, we hit Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. I remember a game of touch football (American-style football) in Montreal that became an odd mix of soccer, rugby and our version.
I also remember one of the Brits (a Londoner) looking around Montreal and observing: ``You colonials have done quite well for yourself." We almost fell down laughing.
I seem to recall a set of desperate teen romances that broke out, as well (hormones again), but nothing really out of hand.
All in all, it was a wonderful time.
By the way, I seem to remember that the British producer was Bill Wright, a very nice fellow. I suppose he's gone now. I know the original Canadian producer Sandy Stewart died a decade or more ago.
The following year, the CBC ran another international tournament with kids from Canada and Hawaii and I was lucky enough to get on that, too.
It, too,  was very enjoyable (if much warmer)."

This was back in 1968 - can you imagine even today, as a teenager, getting to go to all these places just to take part in a TV quiz show ? Amazing.

John Ward

I salute you, and am proud to include your name on the roll of honour.

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