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Hole in the Wall (British game show)

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Hole in the Wall
GenreGame show
Presented by
Narrated byJonathan Pearce
Peter Dickson
Theme music composerSimon Darlow
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes21 (inc. 1 unaired until 2017)
Running time30 minutes per episode (approx.)
Production companies
Original release
NetworkBBC One
Release20 September 2008 (2008-09-20) –
12 December 2009 (2009-12-12)
Brain Wall

Hole in the Wall is a British game show that aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom. It also occasionally aired repeats of this show on CBBC until April 2014. This game was an adaptation of the Japanese game Brain Wall (also known as "Human Tetris") in which players must contort themselves to fit through cutout holes of varying shapes in a large polystyrene wall moving towards them as they stand in front of a swimming pool. Each week, two teams of television personalities competed for £10,000 in prize money to be donated to their chosen charity.

Dale Winton served as the original host while Strictly Come Dancing ballroom dancer Anton du Beke and former international cricketer Darren Gough were the team captains for the first series. Additionally, Jonathan Pearce commented on the replays and Peter Dickson provided the opening voice-over. The wall was activated by the presenter shouting Bring on the wall![1]

On 3 July 2008, the BBC announced that the show had been commissioned for BBC One. A second series was confirmed, with Anton du Beke giving up his captain role to take over from Dale Winton as host and new team captains in the shape of former rugby player Austin Healey and actor Joe Swash with Jonathan Pearce now doing an opening voice-over plus replay commentary.[2]


The game was split into four rounds as well as the final "Great Wall" (known as "Mega Wall" in the first series).

The first round was "Solo Wall" which saw each team's guest players take a turn to face a wall just on their own. For each wall, 10 points were given to the player for a pass while a fail could be given up to 5 points depending on the host's whim.

Next was the "Captain's Challenge" or "Captain's Mate" which could be one of a number of games:

  • Doubles - The captain and a chosen teammate of his choosing (usually, the one they are encouraged to do so by the studio audience) both attempt a wall. A maximum of 20 points was on offer.
  • Props - The captain must complete the wall with a prop. This round made its first appearance when Anton Du Beke successfully cleared a wall on a space hopper.
  • Mirror Wall - The captain must attempt a wall backwards (facing the swimming pool) leaving his two teammates communicate to him about the shape he needs to make.
  • Blind Wall - The captain is blindfolded and his team members have to instruct to him the shape he needs to make.

The third round was "Mystery Guest or Killer Question", the team leading being offered the choice of which game they wished to play and the currently losing team playing the other challenge. A maximum of 20 points was on offer.

  • Killer Question - Two players face a wall without cut-outs with a question written at the top and two answers marked as doors. The "door" with the correct answer on it is perforated on the reverse side and so gives way. The players must pass through the correct door.
  • Mystery Guest - One of the team attempts a wall with a mystery guest (or several).

The fourth round was the "Team Wall". All three players face the wall with a maximum of 30 points on offer.

The programme's finale was the "Mega Wall". The leading team got to choose to attempt the wall or nominate the opposition. All three players on the team attempt the wall, which travels at double speed - if they clear the wall, they win the show (and the £10,000 to donate to a charity of their choice), while if they fail, the opposing team wins the £10,000.

Hole in the Wall used a specialised crane made by Street Crane Company of Chapel-en-le-Frith to move the wall.

Series 2 changes[edit]

Series 2, which started on 26 September 2009, contains all new challenges. Solo Wall returned with the Captain's Challenge changing its name to Captain's Mate. The Mystery Guest section was eliminated (although, it made appearances in Anton's Twist). Killer Question was now named Wonder Wall (with both teams now playing it as opposed to just one team), and a new challenge named Anton's Twist debuted. Team Wall also returned. The Mega Wall was renamed the Great Wall.

Anton's Twist, according to Anton, involved walls he'd invented with a twist. Variations could be any number players with various twists (such as placing leg braces around the legs of team members commonly used in three-legged races), or the appearance of a mystery guest. Notably, one episode had Anton announce a mystery guest for Joe Swash's team, and Joe asked, "Is it my mum?" It turned out it was his mother, but the two failed the wall (although they still scored points for the team).


Series 1 was recorded at BBC Television Centre in White City, West London, with series 2 seeing the show relocating to BBC Pacific Quay in Glasgow as part of an out-of-London production plan. For series 2, the show was also shot in high-definition.[3]

The first series had the entire audience off to the left side (from the perspective of the cameras looking straight at the wall), with the team benches on the other side, and the scoreboards by each bench. Winton, Du Beke, and Gough (as well as their teammates) would emerge from the left side when introduced, while the mystery guest(s) emerged from a platform below stage that rose to the top when introduced. For the second series, the audience was placed on three sides of the set, and the scoreboards were placed on the floor, hence Anton's catchphrase: "The scores on the floor are..."

Episode guide[edit]

  -- Won by red team (Anton Du Beke/Joe Swash)
  -- Won by blue team (Darren Gough/Austin Healey)

Series 1[edit]

Episode Original airdate Anton's team Mystery guest(s) Points Darren's team Mystery guest(s) Points Mega wall
1 20 September 2008 Dave Myers
Zoe Salmon
- 49 Andi Peters
Sherrie Hewson
Dancing Dollies 39 Anton's team
2 27 September 2008 Vic Reeves
Vanessa Feltz
The Cheeky Girls 27 Nancy Sorrell
DJ Spoony
- 22 Darren's team
3 4 October 2008 Phil Tufnell
Nell McAndrew
Glenn Ross 43 Iwan Thomas
Josie D'Arby
- 42 Anton's team
4 11 October 2008 Amy Lamé
Sam Nixon
Nouska Hanly 40 Siân Lloyd
Mark Rhodes
- 43 Anton's team
5 18 October 2008 Marcus Brigstocke
Sarah Cawood
Neil Fingleton 36 Bobby Davro
Michelle Heaton*
- 43 Darren's team
6 25 October 2008 Vanessa Feltz
Joe Swash
- 39 Alex Wotherspoon
Angellica Bell
Pat Warner 62 Anton's team
7 1 November 2008 Phil Tufnell
Nancy Lam
- 49 Carrie Grant
Tony Marshall
Brian Big 54 Anton's team
8 8 November 2008 Christine Hamilton
Martin Offiah
- 47 Neil Hamilton
Lady Isabella Hervey
Ross Brewer 37 Anton's team
9 15 November 2008 Jennie Bond
Rav Wilding
- 32 David Spinx
Emma Rigby
- 33 Darren's team
10 22 November 2008 Ninia Benjamin
Dominic Littlewood
- 39× Cleo Rocos
Scott Mills
London Wasps Women's Rugby Team 38 Anton's team
11 20 December 2008 Best of Series 1 Retrospective

* In episode 5, Michelle Heaton managed to remain dry by not failing a task but this resulted in teammates Darren Gough and Bobby Davro pushing her into the water.

× In episode 10, Anton's team were docked two points for cheating (shouting an incorrect call) during Darren's Captains Challenge (Darren being blind folded).

Series 2[edit]

This series started on 26 September 2009, presented by Anton du Beke.

Episode Original airdate Joe's team Points Mystery guest(s) Austin's team Points Mystery guest(s) Great wall
1 26 September 2009 Comedy Dave
Anne Diamond
35 - Sophie Anderton
John Altman
50 - Austin's team
2 3 October 2009 Kristian Digby
Alison Hammond
65 - Graham Cole
Gemma Merna
27 - Austin's team
3 10 October 2009 Lil' Chris
Kelly Dalglish
27 - Matthew Chambers
Gemma Bissix
44 - Austin's team
4 24 October 2009 Ian "H" Watkins
Linda Lusardi
80* - Ricky Groves
Abi Titmuss
65 - Joe's team
5 31 October 2009 Rufus Hound
Ninia Benjamin
48 - Dennis Taylor
Jessica Taylor
82 - Joe's team
6 2017 Danielle Lloyd
Mark Foster
58 - Debbie McGee
Ben James-Ellis
34 - Austin's team
7 14 November 2009 Annabel Croft
Sam Nixon
70 - Beth Tweddle
Mark Rhodes
69** Erin Boag Joe's team
8 21 November 2009 Kate Lawler
Jonathan Ansell
45 - John Partridge
Siân Reeves
85*** - Austin's team
9 28 November 2009 Zaraah Abrahams
Simon Rimmer
45 Kiffy Swash (Joe's mum) Toyah Willcox
Barney Harwood
77 - Austin's team
10 5 December 2009 Martin Roberts
Verity Rushworth
39 - Ben Clarke
85 - Austin's team
11 12 December 2009 Best of Series 2 Retrospective


  • In episode 4, Joe's team were docked ten points because Joe attempted to push Ricky Groves into the water as Ricky was struggling to stay on his feet after going through Team Wall.
  • In episode 7, Austin bounced a ball on Anton's head, and then, he admitted it was meant to bounce on Joe's head, which because of that, 1 point was deducted.
  • In episode 8, Austin's team were docked 10 points because Austin pushed Jonathan into the pool when he was helping Kate and Joe go through Wonder Wall.
  • Due to the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, Episode 6 was not broadcast originally. It involved Danielle Lloyd and Mark Foster playing for Joe and Debbie McGee and Ben James-Ellis playing for Austin. The episode eventually aired 8 years later on Challenge in 2017.


  1. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Hole in the Wall commissioned for BBC One".BBC. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  2. ^ Leigh Holmwood (18 June 2009). "Hole in the Wall gets second series on BBC1". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "BBC - BBC Internet Blog: HD Masters Conference Keynote Speech, 23 June 2009". bbc.co.uk.

External links[edit]