You Bet!

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This article is about the British game show. For the American mining town, see You Bet, California.
You Bet!
Genre Game show
Created by Frank Elstner
Presented by Bruce Forsyth (1988–90)
Matthew Kelly (1991–5)
Darren Day (1996–7)
Starring Ellis Ward (1988–91)
Diane Youdale (1996)
Sarah Matravers (1997)
Voices of Bobby Bragg (1996–7)
Composer(s) Alan Lisk (1988)
Jonathan Sorrell (1989–96)
Simon Webb (1997)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 101 (inc. 5 specials)
Location(s) Shepperton Studios
Running time 60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) LWT
Distributor ITV Studios
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original release 20 February 1988 (1988-02-20) – 12 April 1997 (1997-04-12)
Related shows Wetten, dass..?
Wanna Bet?

You Bet! is a British game show based around the format of the German show Wetten, dass..? developed by Frank Elstner. You Bet! ran on ITV, mostly on Saturday nights but sometimes on Fridays, between 20 February 1988 and 12 April 1997, initially hosted by Bruce Forsyth from 1988 to 1990, then by Matthew Kelly from 1991 to 1995 and finally by Darren Day from 1996 to 1997. It was replaced the following year by Don't Try This At Home!, which emulated the challenges of You Bet!, but were considerably more risky and dangerous.


A panel of celebrities would bet on the ability of members of the public to achieve unlikely challenges and stunts, which they had usually planned and rehearsed many times, within a limited amount of time. The studio audience would also place a bet on the outcomes. The panellists would receive points for each outcome they predicted correctly, based on the percentage of the studio audience that also placed a correct bet. The celebrity sponsoring the challenge (see below) always had to bet that their challenger would be successful. The accumulated total of points achieved by the celebrities would be added to the points totalled by the studio audience, increased several times over, converted into pounds and donated to a charity chosen by the celebrity panellist who had achieved the highest score.



Each week there would be four challenges, some in the studio and some on location presented by Ellis Ward. The panellists would each "sponsor" a challenge, and Bruce Forsyth would also sponsor one. If the challenge sponsored by the panellist or Bruce Forsyth was not achieved, that sponsor would have to do a forfeit. (e.g., being a golf caddy or air steward for the day). (In the case of Forsyth's challenge, the majority vote determined Forsyth's prediction; an incorrect prediction forced Forsyth to do his forfeit. His explanation for this part was usually, "You're now betting for the fate of Forsyth in the form of a forfeit. If you're right, I'm alright; but if you're wrong, I'm right in it!") It was either broadcast in the studio on the same show or broadcast on location on the following week's show. The show dropped the talk show aspects of Wetten, dass...? and concentrated on the challenges, thus reducing the running time from 2 to 3 hours to 1 hour. The original theme tune was composed by Alan Lisk, better known for penning the theme tune to Men Behaving Badly. The show's airing slot was originally on Saturday nights.

The show closed with Forsyth doing the rap. "Do you wanna bet on it? You bet! Do you wanna bet on it? You bet! Don't fret, get set are you ready? You Bet!"


A new theme tune was introduced, composed by Jonathan Sorrell.

Spring 1991[edit]

The show made some massive changes due to the departure of Bruce Forsyth. A new logo was introduced, Matthew Kelly stepped up as host to replace Bruce Forsyth. Also, the challenges went up from four to five, which meant that Ellis Ward got involved, with her sponsoring challenges as well. Matthew Kelly also got involved in doing the work on location challenges, as well as Ellis Ward. Finally, if Matthew Kelly's challenge ended in failure, he had to do his forfeit, regardless of the audience's prediction.

Autumn 1991[edit]

The show's airing slot was moved from Saturday nights to Friday nights.


The departure of Ellis Ward as co-host led to the number of celebrity guests being increased from three to four per show and Matthew Kelly doing all the work on location challenges.


The show's airing slot was moved back to Saturday nights.


The show decided there would be no more forfeits for the celebrities and Matthew Kelly when sponsoring their challenges until 1996 when Darren Day planned to take over. Instead, they introduced the celebrity challenge, where the lowest celebrity scorer would do only one forfeit challenge, which would be broadcast the following week's show. The public then got to vote in at home to donate £1,000 to a charity of their choice if the celebrity succeeded or failed the challenge. The set was replaced by a new "arena" that allowed much more floor space for the challenges. Matthew Kelly announced his intention to leave the show and concentrate on hosting Stars in Their Eyes after transmission of Series 8. The viewers' phone vote was dropped after Series 8 was shown.


Actor Darren Day took over as host, and the co-host was reinstated for all the work on the location challenges. For this penultimate series, it was Diane Youdale, better known as Jet from the UK series of Gladiators. The forfeits also returned to the show, but they were not chosen by the celebrity guests. They were automatically chosen by the crew at the end of each show for the celebrity who got the lowest score in the show.


The show introduced a new item for the celebrities, they could play their YOU BET! BONUS CARD, which meant their points would be doubled if they successfully guessed the outcome of a challenge (which can only be played once in the entire show). The celebrity challenge returned to the show, and the audience got to choose which challenge they would choose for the lowest scoring celebrity at the end of the show from two choices with cryptic clue titles (e.g., "Ooh! That's better!" or "Dangling Down"). Sarah Matravers, well known as a gong girl from Take Your Pick, replaced Diane Youdale as co-host for this final series. A new theme tune was introduced, composed by Simon Webb.

Celebrity guests[edit]

The number in brackets indicates the number of times the celebrity was on You Bet! while the celebrity in bold indicates who won the show.

Series 1 (1988)[edit]

Series 2 (1989)[edit]

Series 3 (1990)[edit]

Series 4 (Spring 1991)[edit]

Series 5 (Autumn 1991)[edit]

Telethon Special (1992)[edit]

Series 6 (1992)[edit]

Christmas Special (1992)[edit]

Series 7 - Part One (1993)[edit]

Series 7 - Part Two (1994)[edit]

Celebrity Special (1994)[edit]

Series 8 (1995)[edit]

Series 9 (1996)[edit]

Series 10 (1997)[edit]



Series Start date End date Episodes
1 20 February 1988 26 March 1988 6
2 28 January 1989 1 April 1989 10
3 17 February 1990 21 April 1990 10
4 16 February 1991 20 April 1991 10
5 6 September 1991 15 November 1991 10
6 4 September 1992 6 November 1992 10
7 - Part One 10 September 1993 22 October 1993 7
7 - Part Two 12 March 1994 30 April 1994 8
8 25 February 1995 29 April 1995 10
9 1 June 1996 17 August 1996 10
10 8 February 1997 12 April 1997 10


Date Entitle
30 August 1991 Series 4 Compilation
18 July 1992 Telethon Special
26 December 1992 Christmas Special
5 March 1994 Celebrity Special
6 May 1995 5 Minute Recap

External links[edit]