Mr & Mrs TV Game Show Program (Canada & UK)
The Mr & Mrs television game show was one of many programs written, produced, and emceed by Roy Ward Dickson. Mr. & Mrs. was popular during the 1960s and 1970s when early TV was approaching its zenith, well before feminist and gay rights movements had begun to challenge heterosexist social values.
Mr & Mrs in Canada
The Mr. & Mrs. show originated in 1963 when Peter McFarland, Program Manager at Canada's CFTO Television, asked Roy to come up with "something different." Roy returned to Peter with the now well-known TV game show format for his consideration. Peter jumped at Roy's idea, and Mr and Mrs was launched. The show's format was based on married couples' knowledge of one another, with husbands and wives alternately questioned about each other's habits, preferences, beliefs, and attitudes. Roy's original show, which avoided the lewd suggestiveness seen in later imitations, was a phenomenal success. It ran non-stop in Canada for seven hundred and eighty episodes, leading to many imitators.
Mr & Mrs in Britain and the UK
After the show's first few weeks in Canada, Bryan Michie at TWW in Britain decided to run it. The British version was conducted by Alan Taylor, along with a concurrent Welsh version called Sion a Sian. Later, other regional contractors in Britain launched their individual versions of it, notably Carlisle's Border Television, where Derek Batey produced and emceed it.
TWW's franchise was eventually taken over by HTV. Both Mr & Mrs and Sion a Sian were retained on the schedule by popular demand. After some fourteen years, Mr & Mrs, in series alternately produced at Bristol (by Derek Clark) and Carlisle, and hosted variously by Alan Taylor and Derek Batey, was carried weekly on the entire ITV network.
Mr & Mrs. Today
Ultimately, Derek Batey became synonomous with Mr. and Mrs. in the UK, where it enjoyed over twenty years on the air. In 2006, Celador International, through Derek Batey, licensed the rights from Roy's estate to update the Mr and Mrs format and market the show globally. (Celador has since been acquired by 2WayTraffic.)