High Stakes (game show)

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High Stakes
Presented by Jeremy Kyle
Voices of Elizabeth Conboy
Marc Silk
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 8
Location(s) Granada Studios, Manchester
Running time 60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) ITV Studios in association with Escalate Television
Original network ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format 16:9 (HDTV)
Original release 11 October (2011-10-11) – 13 December 2011 (2011-12-13)
Related shows It's Not What You Know

High Stakes is a British game show series hosted by Jeremy Kyle, in which a single contestant can win up to £500,000 by solving clues to avoid traps laid on a floor grid of numbers. The ITV series' commenced broadcasting on 11 October 2011 and finished broadcasting on 13 December 2011.


The game is played using six rows of seven consecutive numbers each, displayed one row at a time on a floor grid. Every row corresponds to a different stage of the game. Certain numbers are secretly designated as traps: starting with one in Stage 1 and adding one more in each subsequent stage to a maximum of six. Only one trap is active at any given time, except in Sudden Death mode (see below).

The contestant may ask for up to 10 clues in order to avoid traps. When a clue is requested, it is read aloud and refers to the active trap on the current stage. (E.g. "Avoid the number of pennies in a British shilling prior to decimalisation" would indicate the number 12 as a trap.) The contestant may ask the host for advice on interpreting the clue, if desired.

After either hearing or declining a clue, the contestant must step onto a number they believe is safe. If it is, the trap is revealed and eliminated from play, and the next trap is set. However, if the contestant steps onto a trap at any moment, the game ends immediately. A stage is complete when the contestant has stepped onto as many safe numbers as there are traps in that row.

The contestant's winnings are increased after every stage, as shown below:

  • Stage 1 - £1,000
  • Stage 2 - £2,500
  • Stage 3 - £10,000
  • Stage 4 - £25,000
  • Stage 5 - £100,000
  • Stage 6 - £500,000

Upon completing a stage, they may either end the game and keep all the money, or "raise the stakes" and risk it on the next stage. If the contestant steps onto a trap in Stage 1 or 2, they forfeit all their money; if on Stage 3 or later, their winnings are reduced to two levels below the stage on which the game ended.

Sudden Death[edit]

If the contestant chooses to raise the stakes after exhausting all 10 clues, the game enters Sudden Death mode and all traps become active. They step onto a square they believe is safe, then choose a second one they believe to be a trap. If the second square is a trap, it is marked as such; if safe, it is eliminated. The contestant repeats this process until they have either found every trap or eliminated every safe square. In the former case, the stage is complete and the contestant can either stop or raise the stakes. In the latter, the game ends and the contestant forfeits a portion of their winnings as described above.


The programme is produced by ITV Studios and co-produced by Escalate Television and filmed in Studio 12 of the Granada Studios in Manchester. The studio facility is listed as 3SixtyMedia in the closing credits, which refers to the holding company that maintains the studios.

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