Family Fortunes

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Family Fortunes
Unknown2222.png
GenreGame show
Presented byBob Monkhouse (1980–1983)
Max Bygraves (1983–1984)
Les Dennis (1987–2002)
Andy Collins (2002)
Gino D'Acampo (2020–)
Narrated byPenny Layden
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series22 (Original)
1 (Revival)
No. of episodes545 (Original)
9 (Revival)
Production
Production location(s)ATV Elstree (1980–1983)[1]
Television House (1984–2002)[2]
Television Centre, London (2020)
Running time30 minutes (inc. adverts 1980–2002)
60 minutes (inc. adverts, 2020–)
Production company(s)ATV in association with Talbot Television and Goodson-Todman Productions (1980–1981)
Central in association with Talbot Television and Goodson-Todman Productions (1982–1998)
Carlton in association with Pearson Television (1999–2002)
Thames (2020–)
DistributorITV Studios (Original series)
Fremantle (Revival)
Release
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3 (1980–2002)
16:9 (2002, 2020–)
Original release6 January 1980 (1980-01-06) –
present
Chronology
Followed byAll Star Family Fortunes
Related showsFamily Feud

Family Fortunes is a British television game show based on the American game show Family Feud. The programme ran on ITV from 6 January 1980 to 30 December 2002. On 2 July 2020, it was announced that the show will return after 18 years with Gino D'Acampo as the show's new host.[3]

The game involves two families providing answers to 'everyday questions' that were surveyed by 100 members of the British public before the show (e.g., 'Name something usually done in the dark.') to win cash prizes (and sometimes mystery prizes for giving a correct answer). The top answers to the surveys are displayed on a large electronic board, known as "Mr. Babbage", which famously sounds a wrong answer "Eh-uhh" sound effect and its accompanying X to signal the strike, as well as a "ding" (for a right answer).

Hosts and presentation[edit]

Family Fortunes was first hosted by comedian Bob Monkhouse (1980–1983), then by singer and entertainer Max Bygraves (1983–1984). The show returned on 27 June 1987 with Les Dennis as presenter, and had a consistently successful run for the next 15 years. It was then moved out of peak time and became a daily daytime show hosted by Andy Collins and no longer having a studio audience, instead using canned applause (similar to Catchphrase when it moved to daytime).

The most iconic aspects of the show are the large computer screen (named "Mr Babbage" by original host Bob Monkhouse) and the famous computerised "Eh-uhh" sound used when wrong answers are given. Both were originally designed to appear high-tech but have since become regarded for being quite the opposite (as compared to the original US Feud, which has used a video board since its 1999 revival). The computer screen name, "Mr Babbage", was in recognition to the English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer, Charles Babbage. During the Monkhouse and Bygraves era, the board was also used to show the closing credits at the end of the episode. In 1987, a completely different board was used for the first Dennis series, however, a board similar to the original Mr Babbage one (using flip discs instead) was used from the following year.

Format[edit]

Two family teams, each with five members, are asked to guess the results of surveys in which 100 people would be asked open-ended questions (e.g. "we asked 100 people to name something associated with the country Wales" or "we asked 100 people to name a breed of dog"). Although rarely acknowledged in the programme, the 100 people surveyed are invariably audience members who have volunteered before the show or the families themselves who would be asked questions for the next series.[4]

Each round begins with a member of each family (in rotation, meaning all players do this at least once) approaching the podium. As the question is read, the first of the two nominees to hit a buzzer gives an answer. If this is not the most popular answer, the other nominee is asked. The family with the more popular answer then chooses whether to "play" the question, or "pass" control to the other family.

The host then passes down the line of the controlling team, asking for an answer from each member. After each answer, the board reveals whether this answer featured. If not, the family is assessed a strike (a strike is also assessed if a member can't come up with an answer in time), and the family loses control of the board after accumulating three strikes (also referred as striking out) in the round. If a family manages to come up with all the survey answers (most commonly six in the early part of the show, reduced in number after the commercial break) before striking out, they win the amount in pounds of the total number of people who had given the answers. A strike is marked similar to tenpin bowling with an X on the board accompanied by a buzzer. In later versions with a colour screen, the strike is marked with a strike chip on another Fremantle game show in the United States (The Price Is Right, from the pricing game 3 Strikes, which used the chips prior to 2018). If a family strikes out, the opponent is given the chance to "steal" by coming up with an answer that may be among those missing. Only the head family member (the first family member, the designated captain) may give the answer after consultation. If the answer is present, this family wins the round and is said to have "stolen" the money; otherwise, the family that played the board keeps the money.

On celebrity specials, each top answer added a bonus of £200 (later £250) to that family's charity.

Often, the hosts do not refer to the strikes as "strikes;" rather they will say that a "life is lost," and the family has "two lives left" or "one life left." In the early years of the show, the strikes were referred as "ducks".

Double Money[edit]

Following three rounds before the commercial break (two rounds in series 1), "Double Money" is played. Gameplay is the same as in the first rounds, but each answer is now worth £2 for each person who said it, and there are generally fewer possible answers. The family who passed £300 (£200 in series 1) first went through to play "Big Money" (known in some overseas versions as "Fast Money") for the jackpot. On the 2020 revival, the fifth and sixth questions score double points and the losing family receive £2 per point and a "Family Fortunes buzzer" doorbell. The winning family would be guaranteed ten times their winning score.

Big Money[edit]

This involves two contestants (out of the five in the family team) answering five questions that fit with those given by the "100 people surveyed", with the questions asked within a narrow time limit. The first contestant answers the five questions within 15 seconds (20 in the revival); then the second contestant (who has been out of earshot) answers within 20 seconds (the extra time is available in case the contestant repeats an answer already given. the time was also increased to 25 seconds in the revival). If they get 200 points or more from the ten answers they win the top cash prize.

From 1994 onwards, a bonus star prize was available if all five "top" (most popular) answers were found and the family had reached 200 or more points. If the family did not earn 200 points, they won £2 per point, up to £398.

In the 2020 revival, the top answers would not be revealed until after the second contestant gave their answers and their point values were shown. A Big Money loss would add £10 to their final score in addition to their prior winnings.

Cash and prizes[edit]

The top cash prize in "Big Money" during the first series (1980) was £1,000. From the second series (1981), the prize started at £1,000, then rose by £500 weekly if no one won, to a limit of £3,000 (£2,500 from 1981 to 1982) which it could stay at for more than one week if it still was not won. Once won, it reverted to £1,000 for the next edition. In the 1987 series, it started at £1,000, and if not won rose by £1,000 per week to a maximum of £3,000. From the 1988 series, the prize was stabilised at £3,000. After the abolition of the IBA's prize limits, the top prize rose to £5,000 from 1996. The money had to be shared out between contestants. By the end of its run even the top cash prize seemed relatively small compared to those available on other game shows such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.[citation needed]

The bonus star prize was always a family car between 1994 and 1998. From 1998 to 2002, contestants had the choice of either the car or a holiday for up to twelve people. The car suppliers were Honda in 1994, SEAT in 1995 and Daewoo between 1996 and 2002. On the all-star specials, scoring 200 points along with all five top responses donated £5,000 to both teams.

However, this often led the show to an anti-climax, as having won the cash prize with one or more questions unrevealed, the game had to continue to see whether the bonus prize had also been won. If not, the show would end on a low point, despite the family having won the main prize.

During the programme's brief daytime run in 2002, the prize values shrank significantly. If the contestants scored over 200 points, they won £1,000 and if they found 5 top answers, it was increased to £3,000. (As with the previous prizes, the £3,000 could only be won on top of the 200+ points.)

On the 2020 revival, 200 points wins £10,000 which would be tripled to £30,000 if both contestants named all of the top answers.

From the second series in 1981 onwards, spot prizes were available in the main game, turning up seemingly at random when certain answers were found. Typically, these prizes were music centres, televisions or video recorders (or in the later years, DVD players). Some were more unorthodox, such as a year's supply of beer, while the same short breaks away – an Agatha Christie Murder Weekend, a stay at a health spa or a canal holiday – were won on the show for many years. Notably, during Max Bygraves' era of the programme, if a music centre or Hi-fi system was won, he usually offered one of his LP albums as an add-on bonus. The actors showing the spot prizes in later series were Neil Hurst and Louise Cole.[5]

Transmissions[edit]

Original[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes Recorded
1 6 January 1980[6] 13 July 1980[7] 26 1979–80
2 9 January 1981[8] 11 July 1981[9] 26
3 12 December 1981[10] 4 September 1982[11] 29 1981
4 31 December 1982[12] 24 June 1983[13] 26 1982–83
5 14 October 1983[14] 8 April 1984[15] 24 1983
6 18 January 1985[16] 31 May 1985[17] 18 1984
7 27 June 1987[18] 29 August 1987[19] 26 1987
10 April 1988[20] 31 July 1988[21]
8 23 September 1988[22] 16 December 1988[23] 26 1988
9 April 1989[24] 2 July 1989[25]
9 1 September 1989[26] 22 December 1989[27] 17 1989
10 31 August 1990[28] 28 December 1990[29] 18 1990
11 29 November 1991 18 April 1992 20 1991
12 10 July 1992 1 January 1993 21 1992
13 10 September 1993 31 December 1993 17 1993
14 1 October 1994 15 April 1995 22 1994
15 1 September 1995 26 January 1996 22 1995
16 31 August 1996 8 March 1997 26 1996
17 13 September 1997 21 February 1998 21 1997
18 31 August 1998 25 June 1999 26 1998
19 25 September 1999 11 July 2000 26 1999
20 16 September 2000 13 January 2002 24 2000
21 8 June 2002 30 December 2004 10 2001
22 2 September 2002 6 December 2002 70 2002

Revival[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes Recorded
1 20 September 2020[30] 15 November 2020[31] 8[a] 2020

Many of the Bob Monkhouse episodes have been wiped from the archives with Episode 1 from Series 1, Episode 23 from Series 2, Episodes 2 and 5 from Series 3 and Episodes 1-12 and 15-26 from Series 4 surviving the wiping. However, Monkhouse saved over 80 episodes from his video tape collection.[32]

Ratings[edit]

Series 18[edit]

Episode no. Air date Viewers
(millions)[33]
ITV weekly
ranking[33]
1 31 August 1998 N/A N/A
2 7 September 1998 N/A N/A
3 21 September 1998 5.95 28
4 28 September 1998 6.47 29
5 3 October 1998 7.05 23
6 10 October 1998 7.17 25
7 17 October 1998 7.08 27
8 24 October 1998 7.38 29
9 31 October 1998 7.30 29
10 7 November 1998 7.34 27
11 28 November 1998 7.54 27
12 5 December 1998 8.23 26
13 12 December 1998 7.27 27
14 19 December 1998 7.20 29
15 23 January 1999 7.47 25
16 30 January 1999 7.71 29
17 6 February 1999 7.70 30
18 13 February 1999 7.87 30
19 20 February 1999 7.52 25
20 27 February 1999 8.04 25
21 11 May 1999 7.87 18
22 24 May 1999 7.97 13
23 31 May 1999 6.40 25
24 11 June 1999 N/A N/A
25 18 June 1999 6.17 21
26 25 June 1999 5.40 27

All Star Family Fortunes[edit]

All Star Family Fortunes
All Star Family Fortunes.png
GenreGame show
Presented byVernon Kay
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series11
No. of episodes126 (inc. 1 special)
Production
Production location(s)The London Studios
Running time45 minutes (2006–2010, 2013–2014)
60 minutes (2011–2012, 2015)
Production company(s)Talkback Thames (2006–2011)
Thames (2012–2015)
DistributorFremantle
Release
Original networkITV
Picture format16:9: SDTV (2006–2010)
16:9: HDTV (2010–2015)
Original release28 October 2006 (2006-10-28) –
14 June 2015 (2015-06-14)

A celebrity revival of the show presented by Vernon Kay began airing on 28 October 2006 and ended on 14 June 2015 after its eleventh series.

Format[edit]

In this version, the game ends after four rounds (five during the hour-long series with two or three Single and two Double), ignoring the 'first to 300 points' rule the previous incarnations employed, and the losing family receives a consolation prize of the greater of £1,000 or £10 times per point (£3 per point in series 1). Also in Big Money the celebrity automatically played the final, meaning only one other member needed to be picked; if they got 200 points or more from the ten answers, they win £10,000 for their chosen charity, tripled if they get all five top answers, and if they score less than 200 points, those points plus their earlier score would be multiplied by £10 (£3 per point in series 1).

Transmissions[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 28 October 2006 23 December 2006 8
2 27 October 2007 5 January 2008 10
3 13 September 2008 17 January 2009 13
4 20 September 2009 27 February 2010 17
5 11 September 2010 25 December 2010 15
6 20 August 2011 25 December 2011 11
7 11 February 2012 27 December 2012 15
8 6 January 2013 3 March 2013 9
9 29 June 2013 3 August 2013 6
10 28 December 2013 2 March 2014 10
11 28 December 2014 14 June 2015 12

International versions[edit]

Country Local name Host Network Air date
 Australia All Star Family Feud Grant Denyer Network Ten 2016–2018
 Belgium Familieraad (2014) Chris Van den Durpel vtm 2014
 Germany Familien-Duell - Prominenten-Special Daniel Hartwich RTL 2013
 Ghana Family Feud Ghana Steve Harvey TV3 Ghana 2020–present
 Indonesia New Famili 100 Tukul Arwana Indosiar 2013
 South Africa Family Feud South Africa Steve Harvey 2020–present
 United States Celebrity Family Feud Al Roker NBC 2008
Steve Harvey ABC 2015–present

References[edit]

  1. ^ "history of TV studios in London". Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  2. ^ "rest of britain". Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  3. ^ Edwards, Chris (1 July 2020). "Family Fortunes reboot series with Gino D'Acampo officially announced by ITV". Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  4. ^ Les Dennis, Fingers On Buzzers podcast, 30th October 2020
  5. ^ "Neil Hurst - All Star Family Fortunes Spot Prizes - YouTube". Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  6. ^ "05 Jan 1980, 16". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  7. ^ "12 Jul 1980, 14". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  8. ^ "09 Jan 1981, 18". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  9. ^ "11 Jul 1981, 16". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  10. ^ "12 Dec 1981, 16". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  11. ^ "04 Sep 1982, 16". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  12. ^ "31 Dec 1982, 24". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  13. ^ "24 Jun 1983, 22". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  14. ^ "14 Oct 1983, 26". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  15. ^ "7 Apr 1984, 28". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  16. ^ "18 Jan 1985, 24". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  17. ^ "31 May 1985, 24". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  18. ^ "27 Jun 1987, 30". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  19. ^ "29 Aug 1987, 26". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  20. ^ "9 Apr 1988, 39". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  21. ^ "30 Jul 1988, 33". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  22. ^ "23 Sep 1988, 40". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  23. ^ "23 Sep 1988, 40". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Evening Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Evening Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  26. ^ "1 Sep 1989, 38". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  27. ^ "22 Dec 1989, 34". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  28. ^ "31 Aug 1990, 34". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  29. ^ "28 Dec 1990, 32". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Family Fortunes Episode 1". ITV Press Centre. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  31. ^ "Family Fortunes Episode 8". 2 November 2020. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  32. ^ "TVBrain | Kaleidoscope | Lost shows | TV Archive | TV History". www.tvbrain.info. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  33. ^ a b "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  1. ^ Instead of the planned nine episodes, due to the I'm a Celebrity...A Jungle Story special airing on 8 November, the series was reduced to eight episodes.

External links[edit]