Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Simon, sidestep to your left
[Lexicon Entry #800]

Among fans, some of Knightmare's most popular quotations emanated from the antechamber, such as Treguard's post-mortem catchphrase "Ooooooh Naaasty!" and Pickle's "I say, you lot. Bog off." But one of the most cherished utterances came not from the Dungeon Master's part of the room, but from the advisors'.

Team 4 of Series 4, finding themselves in the Block and Tackle chamber with floor collapsing, walls sliding and exits not near, had to get their dungeoneer moving. So it was that Andrew Bebb gave his teammate Simon a bold sidestepping command that would live on infamy among Watchers.
 [Related Image] "Simon."


"Sidestep to your left."

However, to Simon's left was a large hole in the unstable floor. It was a sidestep to the right that was needed, and this mistake meant a higher price than other teams paid for the same simple mix-up: the end of the quest. Adding to the potential hilarity of this accidental self-sabotage were Treguard's attempt to describe the blunder with tact ("You were never very good at manoeuvring, were you?"), and David Learner's apparent struggle to keep a straight face, as he placed his hand strategically over his mouth. (It has also been noted that Andrew seemed to confuse left with right in the room before the Block and Tackle, telling Simon to sidestep left before recanting, though that may have been a misunderstanding of the layout of furniture in the room.)

Over a decade later, the comic power of this scene was recalled and rediscovered when Series 4 was first repeated on Challenge in June 2003. Numerous comments by members of the Discussion Forum, including personal anecdotes, illustrate how and why Andrew's instruction has become a classic KM quotation.

'My granny and I were watching it (we do every day) and I told her to look, as I knew what was coming. Advisor: "Simon - sidestep to your left..." (Long pause) Granny: "What did they do that for?" Classic. ;D' - Pooka

'Me and my Mum were killing ourself laughing for about half an hour!' - Emii

'Was'nt [sic] it just the best Knightmare moment ever, I was in fits of laughter for ages ... I still feel it was a shame the way they died though because they were a good team and were doing very too. I wonder how far they would have got if they didnt cock up.' -Porsmond

'i think they should be awarded a perfect 10 for entertainment value. At least they'll never go unforgotten [sic]' - Aldude

'I loved seeing that again! The fact that it happened so quickly and that the Andrew in the red shirt could clearly see that the gap was on the left were what made it funny for me! ... absolute class!' - Velda

'5:53. I floated to the nearest chair, preparing to watch the greater game [starting at 6:00], when I'm asked to go to the shop briefly. AAAARGH. So I do - Breaking every goddamned speed record possible to make a 10 minute trip fit into a 2 minute jog there and back ... I get back in, and turn the TV back to the right channel, barely making the start of the beginning credits. Ten minutes later, Me and my mum laughed ourselves stupid, as 'Simon' and his advisors had a lapse of directional sense, and were sent plunging into the depths of the pit at Block and Tackle...It was worth all the hassle. ;)' - The White Floating Skull

'I also like the way the advisor on the left started scribbling out his notes furiously after Simon's fall.' - Crispin

'That moment is literally one that every avid Knightmare fan recalls time after time: ;D' - James Aukett

'If you can’t win at least make sure we can remember you!' - Harvey Towers

'It's hard to watch Simon's last few rooms in this episode without sniggering in anticipation at what's coming.' - Billy

'"Sidestep to your left" remains the funniest moment in Knightmare... partly because it was so unexpected, and partly from seeing the team's reaction after it happened..." Heh, that didn't just happen did it? Wheres Simon gone? Simon...?"' - Werewolf

'Perhaps the best part of Knightmare ever.' - David Newton (Wong)

It has also been nominated over and over in forum discussion threads on funny/funniest/favourite deaths, favourite overall KM moments, worst teams, Knightmare's biggest blunders and laugh-out-loud Knightmare moments.

The incident can be seen in multiple videos on YouTube (including Episode 2 of The Born In The 70s Show, which featured both the clip and a parody), with many comments there reflecting the widespread amusement and disbelief it continues to bring, including the following:

'Pure gold. PURE GOLD!' - EvilDMMk3

'It's a great pity that this one mistake brands him as one of the dumbest advisors tho. If you watch before the death, how he solves most of the riddles he actually is quite intelligent... he just needs to learn his left form [sic] right!' - dementedgiant

'ROFLMAO, funniest death I ever remember seeing.' - SpinDizzyMR

'It took me 5 minutes to stop laughing after watching? that!!' - AnfieldRed08

'that 'sidestep left' navigator kid must've had nightmares of his own for ages' - icecutter19

'Simon, backtrack back to your town and find some smarter friends to bring along.' - TerminalCriticism

'Sidestep to your left = Epic fail' - ScreamingTc

'The phrase "Simon, side step to your left" became a comedy saying for weeks afterwards in the playground!' - Alsmiff

Discrepancies have been observed between Simon's appearance and position just before and after the sidestepping command (pictured), suggesting that filming of the scene was not continuous, but took place over more than one take. It might also be noted that while the hole that appeared next to Simon appeared in every Block and Tackle visit, not all dungeoneers had entered the room as close to its location as Simon did, meaning that for other dungeoneers, such as Helen of Team 1 of Series 4, a single sidestep to their left would not have caused a fatal drop.

A clip of Simon's demise, preceded by the end of his encounter with Brother Mace, was shown on Richard Bacon's Beer And Pizza Club in November 2010, with advance notice having been given on XFM. The segment in its entirety can be watched here.

A clip was also played on Absolute Radio's Dave Berry Breakfast Show when Knightmare was discussed on 27th August 2020.

Finally, there is irony to be found in the origins of Knightmare sidestepping. After two teams who restricted their dungeoneers' movements to turning and walking forward, the first sidesteps were taken by Team 3 of Series 1 during their exit from the Giant's chamber. The direction was to the left; the dungeoneer's name was Simon.

[Earlier versions: 2013-05-21 17:59:42, 2009-06-21 12:43:09]

Provided By: David, 2024-05-06 16:46:36
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