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Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars is a UK television comedy game show. Created by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, it is both a parody of the game show format, and an experiment in dadaist television. As such it is possibly one of the most bizarre programmes ever regularly aired.

The basic format of the show is that of a conventional panel game - the hosts and the two teams of four each sit behind desks. The hosts ask questions of the two teams, and there are points awarded for "correct" answers, but as is common with panel games, the points scoring is largely arbitrary and merely a device to give a structure to the proceedings. Each team has a regular team captain, which were Mark Lamarr and Ulrika Jonsson in the first series, with Lamarr being replaced by novelist Will Self in the second series. Each team also has a regular member, and two other guests. The "score" is kept by George Dawes, a drumming baby played by comedian Matt Lucas.

Rounds include "true or false"; the filmclip round; the impressions round, where contestants have to guess what song Vic Reeves is singing in the club style; "The Dove from Above", and so on. The winning team then nominates one of its members (usually one of the bewildered guest stars) to perform the finale game, which is generally something completely bizarre and different for each show. For example, Jarvis Cocker was given the task to throw mini Baby-Bel cheeses at a giant blow-up poster of Judy Finnegan, with 5 awarded for each hit to the eyes, and 10 to the mouth, with the additional proviso that Cocker had "to throw them in the style of a girl".

Of course the true purpose of the show is as a vehicle for the surrealist humour of the hosts, Vic and Bob. Some guests "get it", others do not - in many cases these often provide the best comedy. The title of the show is a pun on the fact that much of the humour is at the expense of the guest stars.

The show is shown on BBC 2, the first series first broadcast in 1995, the most recent in 2002.