Digital Media Concepts/Spelling Bee (1938)
Spelling Bee was a television show that featured two teams competing to spell the most words correctly. This show is recognized as the first game show broadcasted on live television. It was filmed at the Alexandra Palace in London and broadcasted on BBC television, and sometimes partnered with NBC. The show is hosted by Frederick Henry Grisewood, along with other guest hosts. Among some of the competitors are celebrities such as actors and some politicians. The game show was originally recorded as a radio show, which was also hosted by Grisewood, and ran side-by-side with the television version of the show. The television version of the show started on May 31, 1938 and ended broadcasting on September 1 of the same year. The radio version of the show ended not too long afterward, on March 7, 1939. A large reason that the show had ended early, despite great reviews and responses from viewers, was tension between various countries due to the future war.
The television version of Spelling Bee only had five episodes. The first televised episode of this show does not have much information on it due to the show not gaining popularity until its radio counterpart started to gain followers. On the second episode of the show, the two teams were comprised of viewers of the show going up against artists. In some of the other episodes, the show usually went with some type of theme for the teams. For example, one episode featured people from The United States going head to head against people from Great Britain. The show was setup very simply and easy to follow. The host/announcer will say the word and one contestant from one team will go up to the microphone and attempt to spell the word. If the competitor spells the word correctly, then their team will receive a certain amount of points, however, if they spell the word incorrectly, then they do not receive any points. The words go by the spellings listed on the Oxford Dictionary. The teams take turns after every word. In the end, whichever team has the most points ends up as the winner.
The main host of the show is Frederick Henry Grisewood. The show did feature some "guest hosts" as well. Some of the other hosts included Paul Wing and Thomas Woodroofe. The host of the show has a very simple role, but also a very important role. They are the main narrator(s) of the show and get the task of presenting the words to the contestants. They, also, get to open the show and introduce the contestants, announce the scores, and, finally, close the show.
This show features a number of contestants from places like the United States, Great Britain, and Scotland. It also features a number of well known public figures and celebrities. Among these people is the host, Grisewood, who was an actor and narrator for a number of films. Out of the contestants, some notable names include Sara Haden (actor), Fabia Drake (actor), Howard Marshall (broadcaster), and Bernard Darwin (athlete). On the first broadcast, team USA was victorious over team England, while on the second, team Great Britain defeated team USA. In later episodes, team "Over Forties" defeated team "Under Twenties" and team Women defeated team Men.