The Pyramid Game

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The Pyramid Game
Created by Bob Stewart
Presented by Steve Jones (ITV)
Donny Osmond (Challenge)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 6
No. of episodes 156
Production
Running time 30mins (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) LWT in association with Bob Stewart Productions and Philip Hindin (5 September 1981 – 18 August 1984)
TVS in association with Chapter One and Talbot Television (9 January - 10 March 1989)
TVS in association with Talbot Television (19 February - 6 April 1990)
SPTI (7 May - 15 June 2007)
Distributor ITV Studios
ABC Family Worldwide
Broadcast
Original channel ITV (1981-90)
Challenge (2007)
Picture format 4:3 (1981-90)
16:9 (2007)
Original run 5 September 1981 (1981-09-05) – 15 June 2007 (2007-06-15)
Chronology
Related shows Pyramid (US version)

The (£1,000) Pyramid Game was a United Kingdom game show based on the American format of the same name that was originally shown on ITV from 1981 to 1984 then 1989 to 1990 hosted by Steve Jones, then revived by Challenge in 2007 hosted by Donny Osmond.

The show first appeared in 1978 as a segment of Bruce Forsyth's Big Night, before becoming a segment in The Steve Jones Games Show in 1979,[1] before becoming a show in its own right in 1981.

Format[edit]

Front game[edit]

The Pyramid's game boards, both in the main game and in the Winner's Circle bonus round, featured six categories arranged in a pyramid, with three categories on the bottom row, two on the middle row, and one on the top. In the main game, a category's position on the board was not an indicator of its difficulty. In the Winner's Circle, categories became progressively more difficult the higher they were on the board.

The game featured two teams, each composed of a celebrity and a "civilian" contestant. At the beginning of the game, the teams were shown six categories, whose titles gave vague clues to their possible meaning (e.g., "I'm All Wet" might pertain to things found in the water). Once the category was chosen, its exact meaning was given. For up to 30 seconds, one player would convey to the other clues to a series of seven items belonging to a category. One point was scored for each item correctly guessed. If a word was passed, the giver could not go back to that word, but if the receiver knew the word later on and guessed it, the team still earned a point.

Using any part of the answer in giving a clue resulting in the item being disqualified with a "honk" sound effect. The celebrity gave the clues in the first round and the contestant gave the clues in the second round. The teams alternated choosing subjects in the first two rounds. If the game hadn't been won yet the teams then chose which member would give the clues in the third round with the lower scoring team going first.

A team won the game when either: it was impossible for their opponents to surpass their score or by having the higher score after three rounds.

If there was a tie score at the end of the third round, a tie breaking round was played. The team which had just played its third round and had thus created the tie was given a choice between two categories, all answers of each of which began with a certain letter of the alphabet. The other team would then select whichever letter the first team did not pick. The objective was to score as many words as possible within 30 seconds. The team with the higher score won. If they were tied then it was the team with the faster time.

Behind one of the subjects each day was a 'Lucky 7' symbol (replaced with a 'Mystery 7' symbol during the Osmond run). If they could get all seven correct within the time they'd win a bonus prize (a Pyramid Clock in the first two runs, various prizes during the Osmond run).

Winner's Circle[edit]

The Winner's Circle included a larger pyramid, also composed of six boxes. Each box contained a category, such as "Things You Plan" or "Why You Exercise", and would be revealed one at a time. One player (usually the celebrity, though the contestant always had the option to give or receive) gave a list of items to the other player, who attempted to guess the category to which all of the described items belonged. Each category was worth a small amount of money. Correctly guessing all six categories in 60 seconds earned the cash bonus.

An illegal clue would disqualify the category and end the player's chance to win the large bonus. However, if other categories remained in the game, the smaller amounts could still be won and play would continue until time ran out or until all the remaining categories had been guessed. Illegal clues included giving a clue that was "the essence of the category" (i.e., the category itself or a direct synonym), describing the category itself rather than listing or naming items, clues that did not fit the category and made-up expressions.

Each category on the Pyramid paid as follows:

Version 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
The £1,000 Pyramid/The Pyramid Game
£25 £50 £100
Donny's Pyramid Game
£50 £75 £100 £125 £150 £250

The cash bonus format for a successful trip to the Winner's Circle varied on different versions of the show. On both The £1,000 Pyramid & The Pyramid Game, the first trip to the Winner's Circle was worth the amounts of each category, up to £275. But if some won the endgame both times, the total would be augmented to £1,000. On Pyramid Game the first trip to the Winner's Circle was worth £1,000. If that was won, and the same player won the second game, the Winner's Circle was worth £2,000. Otherwise, the second Winner's Circle was worth £1,000 for both players.

On the first two versions, whoever had the most money returned the next day. On Pyramid Game, assuming both games are won each time, a player could return for up to five shows, for maximum possible winnings of £15,000.

Transmissions[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1
5 September 1981
5 December 1981
14
2
11 September 1982
26 December 1982
16
3
27 April 1984
10 August 1984
16
4
9 January 1989
10 March 1989
45
5
19 February 1990
6 April 1990
35
6
7 May 2007
15 June 2007
30

References[edit]

External links[edit]