Game Show Memories – The Pyramid Game.

The Pyramid Game (ITV, 1978-1984, 1989-1990) pyramid0001The entertaining game that was based on an American format which was hosted by Steve Jones and his glasses who has also had a long career in radio and voiceover work as he has a great voice. “It’s fun and exciting” said Steve in one of the trails for the show, so let’s see if he was right as I review what actually happened. vlcsnap-01089Every day two teams of two took part consisting of one contestant and one celebrity, and lots of famous faces turned up to take part including Kenny Everett, Andrew O’Connor and many others who brightened up the show. There were six categories arranged in a pyramid shape on the board and one was picked. There were 30 seconds on the clock and one player had to describe to the other seven word clues, with one point scored for each one correctly guessed. Some of the descriptions were very amusing. They couldn’t use any words similar to the one that they were describing though, if they did there would be a loud “honk” noise and they’d have to move on to the next clue. vlcsnap-01093Then in the next round they swapped over, with also a “Lucky 7” bonus prize on offer for anyone who got all seven clues right in one particular category. After three rounds the highest-scoring team go through to the final called the Winners’ Circle to play for the money. There would be six categories which increased in difficulty and 60 seconds on the clock. The categories would have to be described by the celebrity and the more clues the contestant guessed right, the higher they worked their way up the pyramid and the more money they won. vlcsnap-01095The scheduling of The Pyramid Game was rather curious. It first appeared on ITV in 1978 as part of the unsuccessful Saturday showbiz spectacular Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night. It then returned in 1979 as part of The Steve Jones Games Show as one of three games played during the show. It finally became a primetime standalone show in 1981 (at which point it was renamed The £1,000 Pyramid Game as that was the star prize on offer which was rather impressive at the time). This version was produced by LWT and came to an end in 1984 and that seemed to be it. vlcsnap-01092Then curiously five years later in 1989 The Pyramid Game returned to ITV, still hosted by Steve Jones but now produced by TVS and shown in the weekday 9:25 slot which is where I remember watching it. The reason I remember so many 9:25 shows by the way isn’t because I never went to school or anything like that but because I always tried to watch the slot whenever possible when I was at home such as during the half-term holiday and so on. The final series was in 1990. vlcsnap-01090The Pyramid Game has not been repeated on Challenge in recent years partly presumably due to the TVS archive situation, but they did attempt a revival in 2007 which was hosted by Donny Osmond and carried on in the same style of the original version of the show but with lots of money on offer.

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