Every Second Counts (UK game show)

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Every Second Counts
Genre Game show
Presented by Paul Daniels
Voices of Philip Talbot
Jonathan Booth
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 9
No. of episodes 142
Location(s) BBC Television Centre
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Talbot Television and Group W Productions
Original network BBC1
Picture format 4:3
Original release 8 February 1986 (1986-02-08) – 29 October 1993 (1993-10-29)
Related shows Every Second Counts (US version)

Every Second Counts is a British game show based on the American game show of the same name. It aired on BBC1 between 8 February 1986 and 29 October 1993 and was hosted by Paul Daniels.


Gameplay was almost identical to the American version. Each week, three married couples competed against each other to win seconds of time. In each half of the game, one member of each couple sat in the "driver's seat" and answered questions (which were all statements, each with two possible answers). Each correct answer earned seconds, while an incorrect answer eliminated that player from the round. Correct answers in the first half won two seconds, and correct answers in the second half earned four seconds. Players had a choice of two categories of questions for each round.

Bonus round[edit]

Each half of the game also had a bonus round in which each couple had a chance to earn up to ten additional seconds. Each couple, starting with the couple in third place, chose a category, and a question with one right answer was read. Once the question was read, the couple had ten seconds and as many guesses as they needed to give the correct answer. If they gave the correct answer, the leftover time was added to their score.

The couple with the most seconds of time at the end won the game. If the game ended in a tie, a toss-up tiebreaker question was asked and the first player to buzz-in with the correct answer scored one additional second and won the game. The winning couple won a chance to play the final round. The two losing couples received a pair of Every Second Counts watches and an Every Second Counts clock (strangely depicted with the US version's logo).

Final round[edit]

In the final round, the winning couple used the time they earned in the game to win prizes. To start, the couple choose one of two categories from which to complete statements. Each category had three possible answers that could be used to complete the statements. For every statement completed correctly, a light was extinguished, and extinguishing all lights won a prize. The couple won the first prize for the first four lights extinguished. The couple won a second prize after extinguishing the next five lights. The third prize required six lights to be extinguished. The final prize, a holiday, could be won if the next seven lights were extinguished. The clock ran whilst the couple was answering and stopped when they had extinguished the relevant number of lights. If time ran out during a segment, the game ended. If the remaining time after a segment was so short that the couple would have no chance of getting the requisite number of answers for that segment, the game was also ended and the couple received £20 (later £50) for every second left over. It did cause some confusion, however, in that only two prizes could be won. The first (4 lights) was kept automatically and then a second increasingly 'valuable' prize was added (5, 6 or 7 lights extinguished)


Series Start date End date Episodes
1 8 February 1986 24 May 1986 16
2 6 September 1986 31 December 1986 13
3 18 April 1987 21 August 1987 17
4 4 March 1988 17 June 1988 16
5 17 March 1989 30 June 1989 16
6 8 September 1990 22 December 1990 16
7 10 September 1991 31 December 1991 16
8 30 April 1992 3 September 1992 16
9 14 July 1993 29 October 1993 16

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