Now You See It (ITV, 1981-1986, 1993-1995)
This is another game show that I don’t really remember watching at the time, but it was based a successful format that was regularly on American TV in the mid-70s, and came to this country in the early-80s (although the majority of series were only shown in the STV region). The original host was Johnny Beattie, and this was a show that contained a lot of trivia and was a good use of observation skills (the theme music was also recycled from the American version).
This was the format of the early series. Four contestants took part. There was an electronic board (that also spun round all the time) that contained 4×14 rows of overlapping words. This meant that the answers to all of the questions are in front of them all along. When will they spot them? (sorry about the pictures by the way, this was the best quality that I could find online.)
A question was asked, and the contestant had to buzz in and give their answer as the co-ordinates of where it was on the board. Their score was determined by adding the numbers together, so for example, “line 2, position 5” would score seven points. At the end of the round, the lowest-scoring contestant is eliminated, but everyone who took part receives a decanter and four glasses.
The next round was slightly different. The scores were reset to zero and the questions were more cryptic, with the answer being revealed one letter at a time. The first two contestants to give four correct answers progress to the final. This goes back to the format of the first round, with the scores reset to zero again, but after a contestant has scored 50 points, all of their answers are for double points. The highest scorer wins the star prize of £100 (later increased to £400), the runner-up receives £100.
In the later series there were some minor rule changes. The host was now Jack McLoughlin, the board was extended to 4×16, and any question in round three could be worth double points. Prize money was increased again to £500 for the winner. There was also an extra round added at the ended for the finalist to play. There was a board with answers all on the same category. Get seven correct answers out of 12 in two minutes and win the star prize of a holiday, the destination of which is also concealed on the board.
There were 12 series of Now You See It, and at least one of them was networked (there were definitely some editions shown on LWT in a daytime slot in the mid-80s), but most of them were STV-only. After a gap of seven years, and with some more minor rule changes, the show was revived, but this time featuring celebrity contestants, and also child contestants (which was shown as part of STV’s Wemyss Bay 902101 strand). There were plenty of prizes on offer for themselves and the schools that they represented.