Incognito (BBC1, 1995-1997)
This is another BBC daytime game show that I watched in the mid-90s. There doesn’t seem to be a full edition online unfortunately, but I shall try to put together as much as I can remember about the show for this piece. Incognito was hosted by Peter Smith, who at the time was best known for being the smooth news presenter on Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast.
Three contestants took part and played various rounds where they had to find the words that were hidden in the wheel (this is a similar idea it seems to the game show Now You See It, although I’ve never really seen that one myself). The first round was called the Quiz Wheel. There were six general knowledge questions on offer and the contestant would have to pick one, the wheel would then slowly spin round with the answers hidden somewhere, with ten points for a correct answer. Getting it wrong gave an opponent a chance to steal.
The next round was the Puzzle Wheel, where this time there was a choice of six cryptic crossword-style clues instead of quiz questions, with again ten points on offer for a correct answer. Then there was the Word Wheel, where contestants had 30 seconds to make and spell as many words as they could see in the wheel, with one point per letter for every word that was accepted (this round was a little similar to one played on Catchword).
The final stage of the game featured the Quiz and Puzzle Wheels again with six questions, but this time every question was on the buzzer, with ten points for a correct answer, and ten points now deducted for an incorrect answer. Whoever was in the lead when time was up progressed to the next round, with the losers taking away the consolation prizes of a dictionary and polo shirt.
If I had one criticism of Incognito it would be that there was clearly no live studio audience because every correct answer seemed to be greeted by the same prerecorded applause over and over again to the point where it did begin to get irritating. Also, the set design featured what appeared to be a lot of oversized gold coins that did remind me of that other BBC daytime game show Going For Gold a little.
Incognito worked on a knockout format, with the final featuring three contestants competing against one-another to win the overall series star prize of a trip around the world. Incognito ran for only two series on BBC1, and it didn’t achieve the fame or longevity of shows such as Going For Gold, but it’s yet another 90s game show that has stayed with me.