Game Show Memories – Perfect Recall.

Perfect Recall (Channel 4, 2008-2010)

The afternoon weekday game show that was a test of memory skills and general knowledge that was hosted by none other than Terry Wogan. Every day four contestants took part. They would be asked 20 general knowledge questions where the answer consisted of one word. Every time they buzzed in and got an answer right it appeared on the board, but the contestants couldn’t see it, it was just a guide for viewers at home. When all the questions have been asked the lowest-scoring contestant is knocked out. vlcsnap-00682

The three remaining contestants then go into the next round, where 20 different and slightly more difficult questions are asked but the answers are the same, so if they can remember what the answers were from the previous round it will help them to get more points. Again, the lowest-scoring contestant is eliminated at the end of the round. vlcsnap-00683

In the third round, there are two contestants remaining so the game becomes a straightforward head-to-head. Once again, 20 different questions are asked that have the same answers as the previous two rounds. The highest scorer at the end of this round then goes through to the final to play for the money. vlcsnap-00684

In the final, 20 different questions are asked that yet again have the same answers. Because the answers should now be familiar to the contestants after the three previous rounds they are given 60 seconds to get as many right as they can. They have to bid how many correct answers they think they will get, with the cash amounts increasing for how many they will choose. If they match or better their bid, they win the money that was on offer. If they fail to match their bid they win a small consolation prize. So for example, if they bid that they will get 16 correct answers and they score 18, they win the cash amount that was on offer for 16. However, if they have perfect recall they win the biggest prize of £100,000. vlcsnap-00685

I don’t think anybody went all the way on the show and won the highest prize but I do remember reading an interview where Wogan insisted that a contestant did get all 20 in the unaired pilot but then that always happens doesn’t it. Channel 4 have shown a lot of game shows in the afternoon slot over the years, with Countdown, Fifteen-To-One and Deal Or No Deal being the most successful and longest-running with many others being short-lived and less remembered. Although it only ran for a couple of years Perfect Recall was a good attempt at a general knowledge game with a twist, and of course Terry Wogan hosted the show very well, keeping the pace moving and things entertaining, and a few contestants did go on to win a lot of money.

One thought on “Game Show Memories – Perfect Recall.

  1. Des Elmes says:

    I didn’t watch all 150 episodes – but I do recall (see what I did there?) three contestants getting all 20 correct answers in the end game.

    However, their respective bids were 15, 16 and 17 – so their respective wins were only £3k, £5k and £10k.

    I recall at least one other contestant winning £10k for completing a bid of 17, while the highest I saw anyone bid was 18.

    Certainly, no-one won the £100k.

    The small consolation prize, meanwhile, was an elephant trophy – because, of course, elephants never forget.


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