Win, Lose Or Draw (ITV, 1990-1998)
Win, Lose or Draw is an ITV daytime game show that I was very fond of and I always watched it as much as I could. When it started it was shown in the afternoons, but in later series it was moved to the classic 9:25 slot, and the format was based on an American show.
Win, Lose Or Draw was a rather daft panel game where “only a doodle will do”. Every day two teams of three would take part. There would be the male team and the female team, consisting of two celebrities who stayed for the whole of the week, so there was a battle of the sexes element, along with a member of the public who played for some of your actual Earth pounds.
The show was sort-of like Give Us A Clue but with pens. Contestants were given a phrase that they had to draw on a piece of paper. Their teammates had one minute to guess what it was, with more money on offer for the quicker they got the answer. If they didn’t get it though, it would be thrown to the other side for a bonus. Cue lots of what I remember being described as “stickmen on a flipchart”-style drawing.
In the final round one of the team members was nominated to draw various items for two minutes, and whoever got the most won a bonus to determine the winner of the game. All of this was rather good, but it was the hosts and choice of celebrities who took part that really made this show stand out.
The first host was Danny Baker, who can turn any type of nonsense into something entertaining, and he also had about 20 other shows on the go at the time. Watching some old episodes on YouTube (before STV took almost all of them down again), I noticed that one week during Danny’s hosting of the show the male celebrity team featured Peter Simon and Tommy Boyd, and it was terrific seeing three of my favourite TV personalities all taking part in this show and enjoying themselves, and Tommy has gone on to be widely regarded as one of the best players of the game.
The third and final host was good old Bob Mills, who again was very good and had his own quirks, including the fun of “Waistcoat Wednesdays” and telling us about the all-important phone-in competition for viewers at home.
Win, Lose Or Draw ran for nine series and featured many great celebrities who all joined in the fun and the show never took itself too seriously making it one of the more enjoyable game shows of its era. There was also a teen version in the 90s, and a late-night version six years after the original run ended, but both of these variations were rather disappointing and not as good as the main show. And of course, every episode ended with contestants throwing cushions at one another.