Jungle Run

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Jungle Run
Created by Lesley Oakden
Starring Dominic Wood (1999–2000)
Chris Jarvis (2001–2002)
Michael Underwood (2003–2006)
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 8
No. of episodes 100
Producer(s) Yorkshire Television
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel ITV Network (CITV)
Picture format 4:3: SDTV (1999–2000)
16:9: HDTV (2001–2006)
Original run 10 September 1999 (1999-09-10) – 29 November 2006 (2006-11-29)
Related shows Fort Boyard
The Crystal Maze
Naked Jungle

Jungle Run is a British children's television series which aired on CITV as part of the ITV network from 1999 to 2006. It was a game show similar to Fort Boyard and The Crystal Maze and is still repeated on the channel (as of 2014). The show has had three presenters, referred to as "Jungle Guide": Dominic Wood from 1999 to 2000, Chris Jarvis from 2001 to 2002 and Michael Underwood from 2003 to 2006.


In the game, a team of young explorers makes their way through five places in the jungle (four for the celebrity guests). In each destination, they have to collect silver monkey statues which gives them an extra ten seconds of time (and twenty seconds of time if they manage to find the ruby, often seen at Pyramid Maze and Lost Cave) inside the Temple of the Jungle King.

In some editions between 2003–2005, the show features celebrity teams playing, including some of the cast of Emmerdale, Coronation Street, My Parents Are Aliens, and Girls in Love. Also, boy band Triple 8 made an appearance on a Christmas special in 2003 (for which the Sacred Idols were replaced with present sacks).


Jungle Run was shot at a disused air base - RAF Newton, near Nottingham.[citation needed]

The areas below have existed and most challenges are in their correct location, however this lacks citations, also during the first Dominic Wood series there were no monkey statues and hence those challenges must exist after series 2.

Introduced in series 1[edit]

Marshes (Removed)[edit]

The person that falls in the water cannot get to The Temple Of The Jungle King, and all statues they collected are lost. On this game there was no jungle guide, but there was a voice over.

Tiger Point (Removed)[edit]

The shows 'Start' during the Wood era, before moving to the first challenge. Deep upon a hill overlooking the jungle. To descend was a steep but soft leaf furnished slope.

According to some sources mini challenges include:

  • Trampoline challenge
  • Climb down a rope and jump down.

Rapids (Removed)[edit]

The location 'Rapids' is a place the jungle king likes. The rapids was closed in 2002 and has changed to Angel Falls. Challenges in this location include:

  • Go through the tunnel and collect bananas on the way to the end
  • Climb across the wall to collect the bananas
  • Row a lily pad and collect the bananas from the wall
  • Fill the basket with water to open the cave,there are bananas inside
  • Walk over the bridge to collect the baskets

Swamp (Removed)[edit]

The location 'Swamp' is Sid and Elvis' first favourite place, as they used to like this place in the earlier series. It was replaced by the Dark Swamp. Rumours have it that Sid and Elvis made it that colour. Challenges in this location include:

  • Steal and collect the bananas and collect them on the lily pads (Removed)
  • Climb up the rope ladder to collect the baskets (Removed)
  • Make your way across the two ropes to go across the swamp and steal the bananas from Sid and Elvis (Removed)
  • Dive in the swamp to open the boxes. (Removed)
  • Collect baskets on some floating logs.

Abandoned Camp (Removed)[edit]

The location 'Abandoned Camp' was the longest running area throughout the series of Jungle Run. The location was based around a crashed airplane. Challenges in the location include:

  • Move the electric ring from one side to another side of the circuit. The team must then decide if they want to unlock the red box and take the monkey statues inside, or unlock the green box and continue through the circuit. There are 3 red boxes. (The first one has 1 monkey statue, the second one has 2, and the third one has 4.) If the electric ring touches the metal circle, an alarm goes off. If the alarm goes off four times, the whole system shuts down and the team gets nothing. (Removed)
  • Three way hook above the circle of fire [2 of them will have to do that challenge on the bridge.1 of them will be doing that on the plane. (Removed)
  • Pungey and bungee challenge (Removed)
  • Oil rig challenge (Blocked off By the Jungle King) (Removed)
  • Find the key to open cages, collect bananas on the way (Removed)
  • Opening boxes in alphabetical order in order to find monkey statues. In one of the episodes, a few complaints were received when a girl was trying to complete this challenge when Sid came close to her and started taunting her.

Lost Tomb (Removed)[edit]

  • One person enters the tomb, and the rest of the team are outside trying to help in any way possible. Usually helping with planks, ropes and nets, the one brave contestant inside the Lost Tomb must reach the exit while finding bananas or later on, Monkey Statues.The person can also get locked in.

Deep Chasm (Removed)[edit]

  • Collect the bananas

Introduced in series 2[edit]

Angel Falls[edit]

The location 'Angel Falls' is based around a series of waterfalls, a pool of water and the Jungle King's favourite place the team must explore. Angel Falls is the newer version after the closure of the location 'Rapids' with earlier editions of the show.

The sets for Angel Falls have changed a number of times throughout the history of the show, and the final version of Angel Falls was somewhat smaller than before. In the Chris Jarvis series, the basket challenges had the baskets with holes in to indicate where to find the statues and the statues in that series floated in contrast to the later series where they could sink.

Challenges in the location include:

  • Swinging on a rope to collect baskets (4 Statues)
  • Dive for the treasure chests. (4 Statues)
  • Scale the Angel falls wall and collect the baskets (4 to 5 Statues). (Removed)
  • Fill the shrines with water. The material of the shrines has changed from wood, to stone, to crystal and back to stone in 2008. (4 Statues)
  • Climb the Angel Falls wall and collect the monkey statues before they disappear into the rock. The ruby statue has appeared twice in both versions (4 Statues in the third series, 5 in the fourth) (There used to be a fake monkey statue in this challenge, but it got removed in the final series).

Monkey Trees (Removed)[edit]

This is were Sid and Elvis hang around. Replacing the Abandoned Camp temporarily with only small changes, one of which is that the crashed plane has been replaced with a helicopter where the skeleton of the driver still sits.

  • Swinging on a rope to collect baskets (4 Statues) (Removed)
  • Three way hook challenge, where they must get monkey statues on bamboo poles, without waking up Sid and Elvis within 2 minutes (2 of them will have to do that challenge on the bridge.1 of them will be doing that on the helicopter). (4 Statues) (Removed)
  • Opening boxes in alphabetical order in order to find monkey statues. (4 to 6 Statues) (Removed)

Dark Swamp[edit]

The location 'Dark Swamp' is based around the two monkeys' favourite location, a swamp centered the heart of the jungle. The Dark Swamp is the newer version of the location 'Swamp' from earlier editions of the show. Challenges in this location are usually made more difficult because Sid and Elvis bombard the team with coconuts. Challenges in the location include:

  • Ride in the boat and collect the baskets (4 Statues, 8 to 10 Baskets)
  • Jump across the Dark Swamp back wall within 90 seconds before the entrance gate locks. (4 Statues)
  • Memory test with the Stone Throne: In its debut series, Michael Underwood flipped over a 16 squared tile with items on each time. The team had 10 seconds to take account to which item was where. Afterwards, the memory test would commence with the team having to match up the item to the last tile they saw it on. If they were correct, they would get one statue from the throne. If not, the team member sitting on the throne is dunked in the swamp. This version was also time limited leaving the team to retreat once the Jungle King's thunderclap goes off. In the last series, it had the same rules only there was no time limit, it was a game of matching pairs on the 12 tiles and they had 5 turns to try and get as many of the 4 statues as possible. (4 Statues NOTE: In the original version, the ruby statue appeared at least once)
  • Make your way across the two ropes collecting baskets (4 Statues, 8 to 10 Baskets)
  • Use the three part bridge to collect the baskets (Later changed to 5 parts) (8 Baskets, 4 Statues, 5 Statues in the Corrie Girls Special)

Old Pyramid (Removed)[edit]

The location 'Old Pyramid' was based around the pyramid, the highest point in the jungle. The Challenges in the location include:

  • Pyramid Maze (5 Statues in Chris Jarvis Series, 3 in Michael Underwood Series): One of the team members has to go into the pyramid to find monkey statues. There are lots of doors inside the pyramid, which have a picture that matches another on the top base of the pyramid where the other team players have to press, to open the door inside. (The person in the pyramid has a walkie-talkie to communicate with the rest of the team, and tells them the picture, they stand on it, and the door opens.) The person in the pyramid can also get locked in. Blue lights for Silver monkey staues and the Ruby Monkey has a red lights. In the Chris Jarvis series there is a secret door and trapdoor from rooftop of the tunnels to open the secret door is star piece and the symbols are snakes with three colour combinations.
  • Shoot down the Air pods with a peashooter (4 Statues) (Removed)
  • Pyramid Steps challenge (4 Statues): The team must rotate the steps to make the picture on the steps match the pictures on both sides of the steps. As they work, the monkey statues sink into the altar. If the statue disappears before the team completes the puzzle, that monkey statue is lost.
  • Pyramid Wall challenge (5 Statues): One of the team members climbs the wall and grabs the monkey statues before they disappear into the wall. One team member belays the climber and the other one guides the climber.

Introduced in series 3[edit]

Lost Cave[edit]

The location 'Lost Cave' is based around a cave hidden amongst the borders of the jungle. The Lost Cave was introduced into the show after the closure of the location, Lost Tomb (although the Totec's Tomb and Rat's Nest challenge used the Tomb's location due to the lock in door). Challenges in the location include:

  • Totec's Tomb: Once the scroll is taken from the mummy, a laser beam appears pointing to where a monkey statue is. Most of the team members are wearing protective goggles that prevent them from seeing it, so one member has to guide the other team members from a safe distance. Once a statue is found, they must be placed to uncover mirrors that point the beam to the next statue, the last one being in Totec's grasp. The team must avoid disturbing Totec (although they will have to do so to get the last statue) - should he wake up, they will have about 10 seconds to grab the statues and get out before the tomb door closes. (4 Statues, Sometimes the Ruby Monkey is in Totec's Grasp)
  • Rat's nest (Inside are 8 pods,4 of them are red and the rest are black. The red pods have monkey statues inside, If a black pod drop the door will close a bit. If a third black pod hits the floor, the door will close shut (Removed) (4 Statues)
  • Cabinet of Chance: Designed by a mind mathematician called Ananda, he burnt the plans to keep the machine a secret so the Jungle Guide and the team have little knowledge about it until the game begins. The game starts when two members of the team place their arms into two holes of the machine unintentionally locking themselves in. Then, the remaining teammate places one of their statues into the wheel starting a 90-second time limit before the machine's locking mechanism stays permantly active. By having the remaining two members turn the wheel, they have to get the statue out of one of three coloured holes to reclaim the statue along with an additional 2. Sometimes, there is a black hole in the wheel which the team can lose a statue through. Once this happens successfully, the teammate at the front of the wheel can choose whether or not to continue the game. If they choose not to, the time limit stops allowing them to release both teammates from the machine at no cost. If they fail, any statues still in the machine are lost. Should this happen, they can release one team member for free without the cost of any further statues. (Infinite Number)
  • Volcanic vent statue collection (Removed) (3 Statues)
  • Swinging pendulums of doom. When the Abandoned Camp was still around, after this challenge, access to it is blocked. And in episodes where this challenge appeared in the final series, the Wrecked Boat would also not be accessible. (3 to 4 Statues, Ruby Statue has appeared once in the final series)
  • Collect baskets from the mythical creatures back without tossing them in the direction of Sid and Elvis as one team found out. (10 Baskets, 4 Statues)

Temple Wall[edit]

The location 'Temple Wall' is based around the Temple of the Jungle King's side wall. The Temple Wall was used more towards the later series of Jungle Run. Challenges in the location include:

  • The Monkey Traps (Previously from the Abandoned Camp)(4 statues, 5 statues for the celeberity team "The Corrie Commandos" from Coronation Street).

Old Fort[edit]

The location 'Old Fort' was introduced into the show after the closure of the location, Old Pyramid. Challenges in the location include:

  • Zip wire challenge (6 Statues)
  • Fort Maze (If this game occurred after the Zip wire challenge, instead of the location title reading 'Old Fort', it would read 'Fort Maze'. However, if the Fort Maze was the only time the Old Fort was visited, it would read 'Old Fort'.)(4 Statues, sometimes have Ruby statue)

Wrecked Boat[edit]

The location 'Wrecked Boat' was introduced into the show after the closure of the location, Monkey Trees. The location was based around a run down boat in the centre of the jungle. Challenges in the location include:

  • Shoot the canisters (4 Statues, 6 in the Emmerdale Special)
  • Collect the tins from around the ring of fire (they're both Identical except 1 on the boat and 2 on the bridge (4 Statues) (Same in the abandoned camp only it had 5 canisters and 3 Statues)

Mine Shaft[edit]

Replacing the Lost Tomb challenge, this challenge involved a contestant entering the mine. The mine was originally opened in 1897 by gentleman explorer Sir Atkinson Belworthy. It was closed after a series of disasters but not before leaving behind booby traps for trespassers.

  • Once contestants enter the Mine Shaft they only have a limited amount of time until the 2nd entrance (the original entrance will be blocked), the others must remove bamboo poles (one of hiding a monkey statue) and open a door leading to the key to the Ruby Monkey cage and the second entrance like the Lost Tomb challenge. This is the only challenge in the final series where the maximum amount of statues inside was 3. (3 Statues)

Sid and Elvis[edit]

Sid and Elvis are a pair of monkeys, the Jungle King's most loyal servants. They will do anything it takes to stop the contestants from reaching the temple. They even make some challenges harder, especially the Dark Swamp challenges, as they seem to like hanging around near the swamp.

On rare occasions Sid and Elvis will kidnap a member of the team and lock them in a cage, to be discovered by the rest of the team and rescued. If the rescue attempt fails, a monkey statue is sacrificed. Previous kidnappings had the entire team locked in a bamboo cage high up in the trees - if the team failed to escape they each sacrificed a monkey. (Removed)

At the end of each show, the monkeys lounge around outside the temple of the Jungle King, and without fail Underwood tells them to "clear off". They do so in a most obedient fashion. They follow the orders of the Jungle King, which usually involves thwarting the jungle explorers. For example, they yank the ropes which control the baskets movement upwards while people jump (or swing) for them. They always disobey the Jungle Guide's commands.

In the rope swing challenge in Monkey Trees, Elvis is always caught playing on the swing while Sid is on the bridge. To get him to return the jungle guide has to either chase him, bribe him with a banana (which he never ends up actually getting) or tell him that Sid is stealing his bananas or has taken his monkey nuts.

Sid and Elvis have changed colour throughout the series of Jungle Run. Sid and Elvis used to be Red and Blue in the earlier series, but then Elvis became orange and Sid became yellow. In the later editions of the show, Sid changed colour again to orange (like an orangutan) and Elvis changed to be black and white (as in Elvis Presley and making him resemble a colobus).

There have been a notable number of complaints directed to ITV due to the alleged racism by Sid and Elvis to one of the contestants. The contestant in question was of Afro-Caribbean origin and when trapped in the 'monkey cage' shots, Sid and Elvis were feeding and taunting them with bananas. However, with both the presenter and one of the primate pair of afro-caribbean extraction too, any accusation of racism is probably misplaced. This edition of the show originally aired in 2005 and was re-aired on 25 January 2007, on 28 August 2008 and on 6 May 2013 and again on 16 February 2014.

Monkey Statues[edit]

There are silver monkey statues inside all the locations in the jungle. When a team gets a silver monkey statue, they get 10 seconds in the Temple Of The Jungle King. The red monkey statue is the Ruby monkey that gives the team 20 seconds. It used to give them 30 seconds, but they removed that after 2 episodes. The ruby statue often seen in at the old fort,old pyramid and the mine shaft. The more monkey statues they get the more time they have for the Temple Of The Jungle King, with a maximum of 3 minutes and 20 seconds. In 2007 the name monkey was swapped for sacred statue. Altogether the maximum is 18 silver monkey statues and the ruby monkey statue. If the ruby monkey is in the next location the jungle guide can feel it.

In the early series the team got yellow bananas. In one of the early locations is the golden banana. The team must find it and they will get 50 more bananas. Sid and Elvis like bananas. If the team are going to come across the golden banana there is a "Golden banana alert". It is nearly always in the lost tomb. It is unknown how much time each banana is worth. One possibility is 30 seconds automatically plus an additional 15 seconds for every 50 bananas collected. This is true in one episode where the team collected 275 bananas and had 1:45 in the temple. That means 5 groups of 50 bananas. Each group is worth 15 seconds which equals 1:15 plus the additional 30 second is 1:45. Then again, that might not be how their time in the temple was determined.

The Temple of the Jungle King[edit]

At the end of the show, the contestants go to the Temple of the Jungle king. The jungle guide explains the rules, and once the temple doors opens, the team must enter the temple without the jungle guide. Inside the temple is a series of rooms each containing a large monkey statue. Once the challenge in each chamber is completed, the door to the next room opens. In the early series the teams could only receive one prize but that was changed so that they'd get as many prizes as the number of idols they had collected. The more rooms the contestants get through, the better the idols they collect. When a team has only 20 seconds of time left in the temple, a warning sounds (usually a chimp screaming), and they must escape before the door to the temple closes. If any of the team members do not get out in time, those team members are locked in the temple until Sid and Elvis get them out after the show[citation needed], and they receive no prizes even if they have completed tasks in other chambers.

There were several differences between the Temple of the Jungle King in the pilot and in the main series. In the pilot the puzzles were different, the temple was smaller, and it looked like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The temple changed throughout the various series. In the earlier series it was more colourful than in the later series. When the contestants collected bananas, they would put them into a basket, but when they began collecting statues instead, they put these into a stone altar. In later series, the teams would get a Jungle run monkey no matter how badly they had done in the temple, provided that they managed to escape. During the earlier series, the types of monkey idol were Wood, Stone, Metal, Silver, and the Jungle King's most precious possession, the Golden Monkey. In the pilot that was never shown on CITV, they were Wood, Stone, Metal, Sapphire, and Ruby. Later, the Wood monkey was phased out and the Metal monkey became Bronze. The Golden Monkey idol was also changed and became larger.

Stone Monkey Idol Chamber[edit]

Challenges in this chamber:

  • Get the ball in the hole 1
  • Get the ball in the hole 2
  • Series of jigsaws (either a parrot, lion or gorilla)

Bronze Monkey Idol Chamber[edit]

Challenges in this chamber have included:

  • A variety of jigsaws
  • Hands & Feet (It's one colour per person, and they must all match their hands and feet to the symbols)
  • Complete circular maze which spins (pilot)

Silver Monkey Idol Chamber[edit]

Challenges in this chamber have included:

  • Make the abacus add up to 14 on both sides
  • Turn the cogs to open the door
  • Black line puzzle (a jigsaw puzzle with no picture, and the black line must be on the edge)
  • A mathematical sum appears, but where the numbers should be (excluding the answer) there are horizontal discs with a handle and the contestants have to spin the discs a certain amount of times to make question correct (pilot)

Golden Monkey Idol Chamber[edit]

Challenges in this chamber have included:

  • Get across the pit using wooden planks (the golden monkey will get covered up if somebody treads on the sand)
  • Spell a word from the clue. 5 letters are needed to complete this challenge (the team have to step on the same letter at the same time, the monkey door opens slightly every time they get a letter right).
  • Complete a 24 piece puzzle of a monkey (pilot)

In the series hosted by Dominic Wood, all the puzzles in the temple involved placing three blocks with different pictures, symbols, or letters into the correct holes. There's a clue in each chamber that tells the explorers what they must do with the blocks.

The Jungle King[edit]

The Jungles King is shrouded in mystery, and not many people know him. All that we know is that he gives orders to Sid and Elvis.


Series Start date End date Episodes
10 September 1999
15 December 1999
6 September 2000
6 December 2000
22 October 2001
2 November 2001
3 September 2002
5 November 2002
9 September 2003
9 December 2003
7 September 2004
30 November 2004
27 September 2005
20 December 2005
18 October 2006
29 November 2006

External links[edit]