Blockbusters was created by Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions and originated as an American series in 1980, but had a more successful run in the UK, where it lasted over eleven years (between 1983 and 1994) with the host Bob Holness (1928–2012). Holness played up the role of being an ‘old duffer’ to the young contestants, which helped win him a cult following amongst students, with catchphrases that included ‘Can I have a ‘P’ please, Bob?’. The UK version was created after Central Independent Television producer Graham C. Williams spotted the show in 1981 and produced a pilot in which two teams of sixth form students competed.
In the final episode of each day, the contestants were allowed to do a ‘hand jive’ during the end credits, therefore only appearing on each Friday’s episode. The hand jive first appeared in 1986 after one of the contestants was bored while sitting through filming several shows a day waiting for his turn.