GamesMaster was a Channel 4 video game show which ran from 1992 to 1998.

Strangely, despite the obvious popularity of gaming it was one of only two UK video game programmes to be shown during the day on a terrestrial station. (The other one was 'Bad Influence' by the way).

The main elements of the show were:

The studio changed every series.

Series 1 ('92) - Church
Series 2 ('92) - Oil rig
Series 3 ('93) - Prison
Series 4 ('94) - Hell
Series 5 ('95) - Heaven
Series 6 ('96) - Atlantis
Series 7 ('97) - Desert island

Series' 1,2 & 4-7 were presented by Dominik Diamond. Series 3 was presented by Dexter Fletcher.

What made GamesMaster so watchable was the way all the elements came together. It was pure fun.

On the one hand you had Dominik giving the nation's youth all-new words to use in the playground the next day ("pants"). You had way too competitive kids playing short challenges against each other for a (hideous) 'Golden Joystick' award. You had the priceless sight of 'king of games' Dave Perry fucking up on Mario 64 within seconds and throwing a wobbly.

For me though the best feature was the GamesMaster himself. Patrick Moore. Yes, the senile old astronomer.

A confused young boy would walk up to a huge pixelated face of the GamesMaster and ask 'GamesMaster! On Zelda, how do I do such-and-such?'

At which point the GamesMaster would belittle the boy for not knowing an obvious answer, or refuse to answer the question because they were not polite enough!

Amongst all this fun, celebrities would be invited on the show to take part in challenges.

One of the most memorable ones was Jimmy White trying to clear a snooker table before the on-screen demo of his own video game cleared the virtual table.

Pop star Whigfield appeared on one of the last shows and was forced to marry Dominik.

And many other equally hilarious situations.

The only low point in the show was the entire series 3. Not only was it presented by charisma-free Dexter Fletcher, but it was just a huge knock out championship. No features, no reviews, just endless challenges. Yawn-o-rama.

During the boom years of 94-95, a GamesMaster magazine was launched.


With the passing of the show in 1998, the UK was left with no gaming on the telly.

I believe Dominik Diamond is now writing for the Daily Star. Patrick Moore is still presenting The Sky At Night. Dave Perry is now spending his life convincing TV home shoppers to buy VCR's.

The show also featured reviews of the latest games, any review scoring under 88% indicating a game with few or no really interesting features. Most episodes also saw kids ask the Gamesmaster himself – an animated head of Patrick Moore, an advocateof computer games (not to mention astronomer), viewed in a hall of mirrors – for tips or cheats on all types of console games.

Some episodes had random features, usually with Diamond sunning himself in some out-of-place and/or game-related area. Each series was set in a different location: churches, submarines, dungeons, desert islands, heaven, hell, Milton Keynes, etc.

I remember this show had some crazy challenges such as "Who can discover the best secret moves on Tekken II?" and also watching two-year-old kiddies competing on funny little educational games.

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