The co-host of the UK's best video games TV show is becoming the host of its most beloved one, as Channel 4 have named Robert Florence lead host of their rebooted GamesMaster. You know, Rab from VideoGaiden and Consolevania, and from BBC Scotland sketch show Burnistoun, and from RPS board games column Cardboard Children. Honestly, he's a great shout. But no, he's not going to be the actual GamesMaster.
GamesMaster had seven series on Channel 4 from 1992 to 1998, hosted by Dominik Diamond aside from a brief blast of Dexter "Baby Face" Fletcher. Episodes had reviews and tips as well as game-playing challenges with celebrities. It was good fun, one of the better video game TV shows we've had, playful and cheeky.
I wasn't much interested in the resurrection but I'm definitely curious with Rab hosting. He's a "creative consultant" on the revival too. His co-hosts will be Frankie Ward, an event host you likely know from the PC Gaming Show, and actor and comedian Ty Logan. Channel 4 haven't yet announced who'll replace Patrick Moore as the eponymous giant severed head.
"I'm hugely honoured that I've been trusted with ushering a new generation of challengers to their glory or humiliation, under the unflinching gaze of the GamesMaster," Florence said in today's announcement. "I look forward to finding out how much I can get away with."
GamesMaster is coming later this year as three 60-minute episodes which will air first on E4's YouTube channel before hitting the TV channel. Sounds like it'll run with the original's challenges.
"The series will see celebrities, gaming stars and super fans all take part in challenges, races and epic fights," Channel 4 say. "Through virtual battles across a range of games, the competitors will try everything in their power to claim a legendary Golden Joystick Trophy. But whilst they play, they'll be watched over by the all-knowing GamesMaster."
This does now make me also want a Taskmaster sorta show where you have to accomplish daft tasks in games, not just win. Taskmanager, they could call it.
Anyway, here's Rab on Consolevania way back when, poking fun at RPS co-founder Kieron Gillen and his fellow New Games Journalists:
Disclosure: Like, yeah, Rab wrote for RPS for years.