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
Production company(s) Yorkshire Television (1999-2003)
Granada Kids (2004-2006)
Distributor ITV Studios
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 the "Jungle Guide": Dominic Wood from 1999 to 2000, Chris Jarvis from 2001 to 2002 and Michael Underwood from 2003 to 2006.


A team of children complete five challenges in the jungle (four for the celebrity guests). Originally, bananas win them time in the final challenge. In later series, these are replaced with silver monkey statues which give them ten seconds of time inside the Temple of the Jungle King; in each episode, there is one ruby statue worth 20 seconds.

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. Boy band Triple 8 made an appearance on a Christmas special in 2003 (for which the statues were replaced with present sacks).

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


Challenges took place in various locations. Some were swamps or waterfalls; others were obstacle courses or mazes, and some were just places out in the open. The same location could be used for multiple challenges, but each task could only be played in one place.

Usually, four or five statues were available in each of the challenges. Occasionally, members of the team could be trapped by running out of time in an obstacle course or failing to complete a game involving cages; the rest of the team would then decide if they wanted to pay two statues to release them, or leave without them. In some games, Sid and Elvis (a pair of monkeys) would try to distract contestants by throwing coconuts or other objects in their direction.

Games took roughly two to three minutes each, and included challenges such as:

  • Grabbing statues while going down a zipwire.
  • Finding bananas/statues in a maze or obstacle course; usually one member of the team would complete the course while others would provide assistance by using tools on the other side of the wall, or by providing directions from above.
  • Collecting bananas/statues hanging above a swamp, using lilypads or a bridge.
  • Climbing up a wall and collecting bananas/statues hidden in ridges.
  • Diving underwater to get statues hidden in treasure chests.
  • Filling shrines with water, so statues would float within reach.
  • Using bamboo poles to hook baskets containing statues.
  • Finding and using a series of keys to unlock cages where contestants were imprisoned. (Statues were released by using the same keys in a machine.)
  • Remembering pairs of symbols on a board, and matching the symbols to win bananas/statues.

The Temple of the Jungle King[edit]

The final challenge involves contestants making their way through the Temple of the Jungle King, their time inside varying based on the number of bananas/statues collected. 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 first few episodes, teams would only win one prize (based on the chamber they advanced to), but following this, teams won one prize per chamber completed. There were four challenges and one statue for each chamber: Stone, Bronze, Silver and Gold Monkey Idols.

When a team has only 10/20 seconds left (depending on the series), a warning sound (such as a chimp screaming) would be heard, signalling that they should make their way out of the temple. If some members or the entire team fail to get out in time, those people are locked in the temple and they receive no prizes other than a monkey teddy, regardless of tasks completed.

Challenges could involve:

  • Getting a ball in a hole by lifting up and rotating a maze.
  • Completing a jigsaw.
  • Each contestant matching their hands and feet to the correct symbols.
  • Solving an abacus puzzle.
  • Turning cogs.
  • Getting across a pit without touching the sand.
  • Spelling the solution to a riddle by standing on the right tiles.


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]