Hitman (UK game show)

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Genre Game show
Created by Jay Wolpert
Presented by Nick Owen
Theme music composer Ed Welch
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 15
Location(s) The Maidstone Studios
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) TVS in association with Action Time
Original network ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format (4:3 SDTV) (1989)
Audio format Mono
Original release 21 February 1989 (1989-02-21)
Related shows US version

Hitman is a quiz programme that was produced by Television South and aired on the ITV network for 1 series in 1989, the programme was hosted by Nick Owen. The program was based on the US version, which aired on NBC in 1983 and was hosted by Peter Tomarken.


In the first round, three players watched a film clip and then answered a series of questions about it. Each correct answer earned a "hitman" for the player who gave it. The first two players to earn five hitmen advanced to the next round; the third was eliminated and given a consolation prize consisting of champagne and caviar.

For the second round, each of the remaining two players was given an army of hitmen to defend. The first player who qualified for the round received nine hitmen, while the second player received eight. They watched a new film clip and answered questions about it, with each correct answer eliminating one of the opponent's hitmen. The first player to wipe out all of his/her opponent's hitmen won the game and advanced to the final round for a chance to win up to £3,000.

In this round, the winner stood facing away from a board with eight columns, each of which contained a random number of hitmen, and had 60 seconds to clear up to three of them. He/she chose a column and tried to clear it out by answering questions on both of the film clips in the earlier rounds, earning £1,000 per column cleared. A wrong answer meant that the player had to abandon the current column and choose a new one. Completing three columns awarded the top prize of £3,000.

At the time of the show's broadcast, £3,000 was the maximum allowable cash prize on a game show in the United Kingdom. The first winner of this top prize, Paul Grimshaw from Wakefield, briefly held the UK record for the highest cash winnings on a game show.


The series had 15 episodes and ran between 21 February to 30 May on Tuesdays at 19.00. A number of ITV companies moved the programme;

  • TSW moved the series to 18.30.
  • Thames; from the Tuesday 28 March moved the series to 19.30.
  • Anglia and Central moved the series to Wednesday at 17.10 because there were broadcasting Emmerdale.
  • Scottish, started the series on 28th February at 19.30 only broadcasting 14 out of the 15 episodes.

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