The Hydra Files Rant 'n' Rave: How Do They Do That?

So, how do they do that? Do what? You may well ask! Well, wait for it, how do the How Do They Do That team manage to make that television show so naff. Got that? Good.

Mid January. Jacko went to a Hydra meeting. Wow! Great! Wonderful! Dead interesting! Anyway, the upshot was that I said I'd write an article. You could say I got conned into it, in much the same way that I got conned into taking Further Maths by Doc Martin. So using my apparent talent in writing sarcastically (according to a bloke called Andy Crawford anyway) I put pen to paper, and created Rant 'n' Rave, a chance for me to put down some thoughts that have been living, rather disturbingly, in my head for the past few months. So for the first (and most likely last) edition of Rant 'n' Rave we present, How Do They Do That?

So, how do they do that? Do what? You may well ask! Well, wait for it, how do the How Do They Do That team manage to make that television show so naff. Got that? Good. Yes. Indeed. Its a question that has just been waiting to be asked. In theory the concept is good. You've got a question you've always wanted to know the answer to. The program answers it. Good? Not really.

Unfortunately How Do They Do That is presented by a sports presenter and some woman no one's ever heard of. Why not choose Andi Peters or indeed, Danny Baker? Everyone else does. No, don't be silly. Lets get Des and Jenny!

Jenny, is some woman put in front of the camera to make Des look good, and to help make Des look like sex on a stick. Hard task. Made easier by the fact the audience members who ask questions are either old age pensioners or stupid boys aged ten. Jenny is there to make Des look funny, and to con us, the audience, into believing that good old Des can actually do an entertainment show.

Des isn't, luckily, sex on a stick. Des is a sports presenter who, and lets be honest, isn't very good at this leisure program presenting. Des, get back to Sportsnight. you can do it. You can pull it off. You know it makes sense. Leave Wednesday nights and take How Do They Do That with you.

Perhaps the most unfortunate mistakes with 'HDTDT' are the questions. True, some are interesting. Most aren't. Questions like, how do the Red Arrows get that bit of coloured smoke out of the plane, or how shops manage to open 24 hours (its by not locking the door you know!). OK, so I nicked that last one from the Steve Wright Breakfast Show, but you know what I'm saying.

Hey, what am I saying, Hit me over the head with a rolled up copy of the Independent On Sunday's informative and interesting 'Review' section. I've always wanted to know the answers to those questions, that Red Arrow question especially. Do they have an industrial dry ice machine board, like the ones on Top Of The Pops, or is it just one man smoking a bright green fag?

Hey, I digress. Run for your lives, Bods is talking waffle again. No surprise there! Waffling is what I do best. I could waffle for hours at a time given the chance. Waffle about this, waffle about that. I'm waffling again, aren't I. Why didn't you stop me? Perhaps one thing we should ask is, how do the How Do They Do That crew manage to get the audience to laugh at Des' jokes? Every week, do I fall down in hysterics when Des does one of his witty little numbers. Yeah right, in his dreams. Even the audience can only manage a half hearted guffaw. Des, this begs the question of, why do you bother? Give up now! Do you do little wisecracks when your telling the nation about Will Carling or Lester Pigget? No. So why on 'HDTDT' do you start little routines about the current pop sensations (you know, The Troggs, The Supremes and The Beetles etall). WHY DO YOU BOTHER???

Probably the ultimate answer of why How Do They Do That is so naff, lies in the people behind the program, i.e. for those not in the know, the production company, which is Reg Grundy Productions. Who? Good question? Well Reg has a certain off-shot in Aussie and also makes a few programs in good old Blighty. In Aussie, Grundy Productions makes such classics as Neighbours and Prisoner Cell Block H, and all the rest of the soaps that star the same actors and use the same sets (the Lassiters complex in Neighbours has been used already in at least two soaps). In Britain, Reg is responsible for perhaps the worst game show in game show history, Going For Gold! Case solved.

In February 1995 Edition

Background Information

This was probably the first article I wrote for Hydra - the introduction giving it away, cos I can't remember!

It was a piece on TV programme of the time, How Do They Do That? which went out and tried to explain things. It was presented initially by a very wooden Des Lynham and Jenny Hull who I don't think I've ever seen on TV since, but apparently went on to present local news in the South West, before doing corporate videos.

Anyway, it was a bit naff really.


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