Winner Takes All (Challenge TV, 1997)
A while ago, I looked back at the game show Winner Takes All, which ran for over a decade on ITV, and was hosted for the majority of that time by Jimmy Tarbuck. This was a show that was notable for the questions being asked by a host who was out-of-vision (Geoffrey Wheeler, who became the main in-vision host after this was moved to a daytime slot).
About a decade on from the end of this, the newly launched satellite channel Challenge TV were rather ambitious (yes it did happen once) and wanted to feature some specially-produced game shows along with the repeats in their schedule. And for some reason they decided to do a revival of Winner Takes All. The host for this was Bobby Davro.
He had somehow managed to put up with working alongside Peter Simon on CBBC’s Run The Risk for a couple of years, watching on as he fell into the gunge about three times a show (and it was still funny). The days of Bobby having his own comedy sketch show on ITV might have been behind him by this point, but he always took the chance to fit in as many of his impressions and silly jokes as possible.
The studio audience seemed to consist of about four people, but they all seemed to be having a good time. The format was slightly different to the original. Two contestants took part, and began with 50 points (no pounds here). They went back to having an out-of-vision host asking the questions (“the voice with the choice”) who was Gaynor Barnes, at this time also a host in the Yorkshire region.
Five questions were asked. They all had five possible answers, from a safe 2/1 to a risky 10/1. They could bet up to 50 points on a question, so they had better get ready to gamble. Get it right, and they win the points multiplied by the odds. If they choose different answers, Bobby says “they’ve agreed to disagree”, instead of the more famous catchphrase “a difference of opinion here”. But if they get it wrong, the points are lost.
Eliminated contestants took away a rather generous set of consolation prizes, including a compendium game (so you can play chess and draughts at the same time), a paperweight (just like on Wipeout), and a watch. And they’d had a lovely day. This is then done again with two more contestants. The two winners then play each other in the final round, which is played in the same way.
The overall winner becomes the defending champion, and they can stay for up to five shows, with a bigger prize on offer for the more shows that they win, including a computer, a TV, and a holiday. There was only one series of the revival, which was cheap but cheery stuff, and everyone seemed satisfied in the knowledge that this would be repeated at around 1am for the next decade.