Basil & Barney's Swap Shop is a children's television series produced for CBBC that runs on Saturday mornings. Based on the BBC Saturday morning show Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, which ran on BBC One from 1976 to 1982, it is hosted by television presenter Barney Harwood (ex presenter of CBBC) along with veteran puppet character Basil Brush, from whom the show takes its title.

New Format

The new version of Swap Shop is broadcast live, and features games and comedy sketches, as well as the "swap shop" itself (the studio audience bring items to exchange for this feature). Unlike the original series, this new format regularly features gungings for those taking part in the games. There have been two series and the third one is currently in production with children being able to apply on the CBBC website. As of Series 3, the name of the programme has been changed to 'Basil and Barney's Swap Shop'.


Series 1

The first series ran for thirteen episodes of one hour. In addition to main presenters Basil Brush and Barney Harwood, Melvin Odoom (ex regular of Dick and Dom in da Bungalow and regular of The Slammer) was a featured performer who took a central role in many of the comedy sketches and games. Celebrity guests included David Schneider and Joe Pasquale.

Series one of Basil's Swap Shop featured gungey games. "Question Line", a game where children ask the celebrity guest questions and if the celebrity chooses to answer it the child doesn’t get gunged. If however, the celebrity chooses not to answer the question the child asking the question slides in to the gunge tank (a pool of gunge similar to the one on Waaa!!!). The children move as they are sitting in or lying across a rubber ring on a ramp with their legs hanging out on the "gungeulator" a red and white travelator. If the child does slide into the gunge tank then they have to move over and sit in the gunge tank until the game is over. Another game called Dunk Beds, is where there are 3 teams of 2 children, 1 is on a bed attached to a platform and the other child is off the bed. The child off the bed pushes the bed off along the platform , where along the platform are scoring zones. Up to a point, the points are negative then past a certain point, the points become positive until finally off the scale. If the bed goes off the scale the child on the end of the bed slides into a tank of green coloured water. 0 points are awarded if the child gets dunked. Each child from each team is on the bed once during the duration of the game. In the final Game, the final 2 children, left over from the previous game, play on a moving platform called the gungeulator collecting objects, avoiding obstacles, to get them back to the start of the "gungeulator". If a child falls then he/she is automatically gunged and the child that is left continiues the game. However if the child left wins then prizes are awarded to both the children but if both children are gunged the game is over and no prized are awarded. Whilst playing these games the children are barefoot except the final game where the children are dressed in fat suits wearing trainers on a moving platform

Series 2

Series Two began without Melvin O'Doom on the presenting team. However, the show did feature a new comedy character, Ugly Yetty. The first two episodes did not have Basil live in the studio as he was ill in hospital. The amount of live swaps was reduced from 10 to 5 and popular sketch Zeroes did not return. Celebrity guests included Tom Daley. The credits for the show list Ugly Yetty as being played by Marcus Garvey. This was rumoured to be a reference to Rastafarian leader Marcus Garvey, since some early reggae is played as background music on the show. The "question line" and "gungeulator" segments no longer featured. The "Gunge Gallery" along with a tweaked "dunk beds" featured instead. The "Gunge Gallery" is five gunge tanks in a row in which children (members of a karate club, football team etc) sit in and throughout the show after a swap has been completed a child is gunged. The gunge used was either very watered down gunge or custard.

Series 3

Marcus Garvey returned to play Ugly Yeti and the name had been changed to Basil and Barney's Swap Shop, not to forget the studio set refurbished. Dunk Beds and Yettis In Space returned, and 'Gold Brush Gold Rush' became the second game during the show. 'Gold Brush Gold Brush' is set in aa western style town and the two teams have to power a conveyor belt with buckets of gunge up to a holder - the team who fills their holder goes through to the next game. This series saw host Barney Harwood absent for a few editions for some unknown reasons. Johnny Pits (of CBBC's Roar and Help! Teach is Coming to Stay) was the official guest presenter filling in for Barney. Marcus Garvey who plays the Ugly Yeti had often been absence too. Special features in the series included 'Brtain's Swaps Talent' where presenter Barney had to swap a talent of his with one of another person or two who performs a talent for him. Also the series included more comedy sketches featuring a wide range of characters, from Quiz Show Colin to Big Parrot, Little Pirate.

Basil's Game Show

On Fridays an edited 30 minute version, Basil's Game Show, is broadcast. This show consists of only the games, and some comedy, from the previous Saturday telecast; this show does not feature any swaps, or the celebrity interview. The show is advertised as "Basils Swap Shop" in some listings, though on air it is titled Basil's Game Show.

Dunk Beds

Dunk Beds is a regular game on Basil's Swap Shop. One member of a team must push a bed along a track with each part of it scored depending on how far it goes. If the contestants push too hard, the bed falls into a pool of green gunge. George Sampson was a contestant on the game before he was known as a contestant on the second series of Britain's Got Talent. Winner of BBC's Election (CBBC) Quincy Washington was also on Basil's Swap Shop competing against George Sampson. It returned for series 2 under the name "Dunk Beds: Dunk Harder", with contestants pushing a bunk bed.


The series is filmed at The Maidstone Studios in Kent, which was previously home to past Saturday morning shows such as Motormouth, What's Up Doc? and Holly and Stephen's Saturday Showdown. The production company who produce the programme are The Foundation, who are known for producing a number of children's programmes for the BBC and ITV.