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Radio / Tim Fitzhigham: The Gambler

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Tim Fitzhigham: The Gambler is a non-fiction comedy series broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in which Tim Fitzhigham locates unusual wagers in the old letters, newspapers and the records of gentlemen's clubs, and attempts to re-create them. For example, the pilot episode revolved around a bet that a letter could be sent 50 miles in one hour, using only what was available to the original gambler in the 18th century.

I bet these tropes are present:

  • Anti-Climax: Fitzhigham certainly seems to feel that the outcome of the Pig vs Rower bet is this, considering how much trouble, time, and red tape was involved to get it set up.
  • The Bet: The whole point.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Pig vs Rower. The bet is that a pig can cross a bridge faster than a rower can row from bank to bank. It's a comprehensive victory for the pig, which runs across in a third of the time it takes the rower.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • One gentleman bet that he could travel across water at 25mph. This was before motorboats and the like... but ain't no rule says the water can't be frozen - as snow on a steep mountainside, say.
    • Another episode involved a bet that one person could travel from London to Dover (about 80 miles) and back before another person could draw one million dots. But ain't no rule says the dots have to be drawn one at a time. You could, for instance, stick 105 pens together...
  • New Rules as the Plot Demands: Fitzhigham is usually rather stringent about only using technology existing at the time of the original bet. Then in the final episode, he re-creates a bet from 1815 using a bicycle, gaffer tape, and 105 felt-tip pens.