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Kick Start

  • Ended
  • BBC One
  • 1979-08-06T00:00:00Z
  • 25 mins
  • English

Kick Start was a popular series on BBC television screened between 1979 and 1988. The show began originally as a summer replacement to fill in the slot vacated by Nationwide for the summer and was hosted by Dave Lee Travis.

For the following series, Travis was replaced by Peter Purves of Blue Peter fame. The show was the first (and most popular) television series to feature the sport of motorcycle trials. In later years, a similar programme, Junior Kick Start, was also screened. Of a similar theme, this programme was for younger contestants, notably Dougie Lampkin. Perhaps the best remembered incident from both versions of the programme was when a ten-year-old competitor in Junior Kick Start, Mark Scofield, fell from an obstacle into a ditch. Two volunteers from the St. John Ambulance attempted to help but themselves fell into the ditch in comical fashion; commentator Peter Purves had to apologise as he struggled to hold back laughing at the incident.

In both programmes, contestants on a trials bike attempted to complete a course against the clock featuring a variety of obstacles to be overcome. Typical obstacles included riding over a VW Beetle or ascending a steep banking or cliff-face. Penalties, in the form of time added to their round time, would be given for putting a foot on the ground while tackling an obstacle or touching or knocking over specified parts of an obstacle (such as the "bunny hop"). The courses and obstacles were designed to be slightly easier for the younger contestants in Junior Kick Start.

The other notable contestant to appear on the show is Jean-Pierre Goy, who later became a stunt motorcyclist, most notable for his stunt sequence for the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.

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