Bullseye’s winning double
It’s hard to believe that a TV darts quiz game that was first broadcast in 1981 has not only gained classic status but is going strong as a licensed property many years after it first appeared.
That, however, perfectly describes Bullseye, in which teams of darts player and quiz whizzes competed for prizes. In its heyday it ran continuously on ITV from 1981 to 1995 consistently drawing viewing figures that peaked at nearly 20 million. But that was not the end of the story.
Long after the series left our screens, fond memories of the show brought it back (with great success) on shows like Ant and Dec’s Gameshow Marathon and Epic Gameshow with Alan Carr. Meanwhile the advent of multi-channel TV allowed the game to take on a new life: as a top-rating show on Challenge, a free-to-air channel broadcasting classic and new gameshows – or, in the case of Bullseye, both. The new shows, broadcast since 2006, were complemented in 2012 when Challenge licensed classic Bullseye shows.
Speaking of licensing, Bulldog Licensing has enjoyed great success with the Bullseye brand in both obvious categories, like online gambling, pub quiz games, and quiz books, and less obvious ones like apparel, using catchphrases from the show like “You can’t beat a bit of Bully” and “Innnnn one!” and the image of Bully, the darts-playing bull.
And in a wonderful and entirely appropriate coming together of digital technology and a classic TV show, in 2021 Bullseye moved into console gaming, with a Bullseye Nintendo Switch game launched by Sabec.
As Rob Corney of Bulldog says: “This clever, exciting gameshow remains a hit on both the screen and at retail well beyond its fortieth year thanks to a strong fanbase that loves both 80s Bullseye and today’s incarnation. It’s a winning double!”