Game Show Memories – Famous People, Famous Places.

Famous People, Famous Places (ITV, 1992)

If you are a regular visitor, you will know that I have been a fan of Fifteen-To-One for many years, and I have reviewed several variations. But did you know that William G Stewart hosted another game show in the 90s? Famous People, Famous Places mostly centred around questions on historical figures and world landmarks (Stewart had a keen interest in history and wrote most of the questions on that topic for Fifteen-To-One himself).

Five contestants took part, and they all started with 100 points, but there’s no question or nominate here. There are six rounds, and questions are asked in three parts. After one clue is given, they are worth five points. After two, they are worth three points, and after all three, they are worth one point, by which point the answer should be fairly obvious. So the earlier they get it right, the more they score. vlcsnap-00507

In the first round, contestants are asked two questions each (similar to the “who am I?” ones on Going For Gold). If they get it wrong though, their opponents have a chance to steal. This would also be accompanied by a split-screen effect, with the contestants appearing in close-up and a wide shot at the same time. Correct and incorrect answers were indicated by some rather familiar sound effects. I don’t remember if any of the questions were about “my good friend Nick Parsons” or “Frostie” though (as Stewart called Nicholas Parsons and David Frost). vlcsnap-00508

In the next round, questions are asked on the buzzer. Whoever gets it right gets the points, and they can also deduct the same number from one of their opponents. Getting it wrong passed it over to the contestant who buzzed in second. This meant that there was plenty of scope for some strategic play. After ten questions, the contestant with the lowest score is eliminated. They are simply told “your light goes out” and they have to sit there in silence. It’s hardly The Weakest Link, is it?vlcsnap-00511

After ten more questions, a second contestant is eliminated. After the break, the three remaining contestants face more questions, although this time there is the addition of some categories to choose from, and also some picture clues. The highest-scoring contestant is declared the winner. There were no prizes on offer or knockout stages, simply the honour of knowing that you beat all your rivals. vlcsnap-00491

There were only eight editions of Famous People, Famous Places, compared to almost 2,500 of Fifteen-To-One. It was a Regent Production (Stewart’s own company) for Thames, and shown in December 1992 which was their final month on air (which might explain the small number of editions) in a daytime slot when they’d had enough of Blockbusters. I’m fairly sure that there was also a repeat run on Channel 4 not long after.


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