Strike It Lucky

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Strike It Lucky
Strike it Rich UK TV Titlecard.jpg
Also known as Michael Barrymore's Strike It Rich
Genre Game show
Created by Kline & Friends
Presented by Michael Barrymore
Voices of John Benson
Robin Houston
Nick Jackson
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 13
No. of episodes 209
Running time 30 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) Thames in association with Talbot Television and Blair Entertainment's Kline & Friends Inc. (1986–94)
LWT and Fremantle (UK) Productions (Grundy) (1996–99)
Distributor FremantleMedia
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original release 29 October 1986 (1986-10-29) – 23 August 1999 (1999-08-23)
Related shows Strike It Rich (US version)

Strike It Lucky (Michael Barrymore's Strike It Rich! from 1996 to 1999) was a popular British television game show from 29 October 1986 to 23 August 1999, originally produced by Thames Television for ITV, and presented by the British comedian Michael Barrymore. It was based on the American show of the same name that aired in 1986.

In its formative years, it became well known for the outlandish and often highly eccentric contestants it featured – Barrymore would often spend over 5 minutes talking to them. The introductory footage of the prizes on offer were also noteworthy, often filmed in black-and-white with a slapstick style. In 1987, it was the fifth most watched programme on UK television. The Thames Television version of the show was recorded at Teddington Studios, and later Pinewood Studios.

From 1996, the new version aired under the title Strike it Rich!; this being the title of the short-lived American game show Strike it Rich! on which it was based, and it moved (with a re-designed set) to The London Studios.

The show is one of very few ITV programmes to have been produced by both Thames and LWT (weekday and weekend ITV franchise holders in London, respectively).

Main game[edit]

Three teams of two competed to win cash and prizes. One member of each team stood at the podiums to answer questions, while the other moved along a path lined with 10 television monitors. Each team had its own path, and the moving contestants started at the first monitor, needing a total of nine steps to reach the other end. The team in control was given a category and a list of six answers, and the answering contestant chose to play two, three, or four questions. If they answered all the questions correctly, their teammate gained the right to move one step ahead per question. An incorrect answer gave the next team in line a chance to steal control by answering the same question and any that followed it.

When a team finished answering the questions, the moving contestant advanced one step at a time and pressed the button below each monitor to reveal cash, a prize, or a Hot Spot (between five and eight altogether). If cash or a prize was revealed, the team could either bank it and end their turn, or risk it and take another step if they had earned any more. Finding a Hot Spot forfeited all un-banked prizes and ended the turn. If a team completed all their moves without finding a Hot Spot, all prizes found on that turn were automatically banked. Once a team's turn ended for any reason, the next team in line played.

If a team was on the sixth or seventh step of their path, they could not ask for any number of questions that would take them past the ninth one. A team on the eighth step could only play two questions. Once a team reached the ninth step, they had a choice to either end the turn and bank the prizes, or to attempt one final open-ended question for which conferring was allowed. If they attempted the question on that same turn and missed, they forfeited the un-banked prizes and had to answer a new question on their next turn. The first team to correctly answer their final question won the game, banked any prizes still at risk, and advanced to the bonus round.

Teams kept all cash and prizes they banked during the game. If a team finished with nothing in the bank, they received a consolation prize. In early episodes, this was a bottle of champagne. Later, Barrymore would either reveal the next two prizes along the team's path and award these, or allow the team to keep the last set of prizes they had lost to a Hot Spot.

Bonus round[edit]

The bonus round used all 30 monitors lining the three paths. Ten each of arrows, Hot Spots, and true/false questions were shuffled and hidden among the monitors. At the outset, the team bid on how few Hot Spots they believed they would hit during the round (two, three, or four); the lower their bid, the more money was at stake. They advanced one step at a time, choosing the top, middle, or bottom monitor at each step. Arrows represented safe moves, while a correct answer or miss on a question turned it into an arrow or Hot Spot, respectively.

If the team completed all 10 steps without exceeding their bid of Hot Spots, they won the cash prize for that bid. These prizes were £2,000/£1,500/£1,000 for the first three series of Strike It Lucky, increased to £3,000/£2,000/£1,000 for the fifth through eighth series, and again to £5,000/£4,000/£3,000 for the ninth. When the series was re-titled Strike It Rich, the prizes were £10,000/£7,000/£5,000.

From the fourth through the ninth series, teams who failed to win their jackpot received 10% of its value for every safe step they took before exceeding their bid (£300/£200/£100, then £500/£400/£300). On Strike It Rich, the consolation was 5% per step (£500/£350/£250).


In 1988, a home version of Strike it Lucky! was released by Parker Games.

An interactive DVD of Strike it Lucky! went on sale throughout the UK on 13 November 2006. Produced by Fremantle Home Entertainment, and with over 2,000 questions available, original host Michael Barrymore provides links to the game play, which stays loyal to the format of its television equivalent.


Series Start date End date Episodes
1 29 October 1986 1 January 1987 10
2 15 April 1987 24 June 1987 10
3 17 September 1987 28 January 1988 20
4 4 October 1988 14 February 1989 20
5 25 December 1989 4 June 1990 21
6 25 September 1990 12 February 1991 20
7 23 September 1991 26 December 1991 13
8 21 September 1992 28 December 1992 13
9 27 September 1993 29 December 1994 28
10 12 December 1996 3 April 1997 16
11 8 September 1997 29 December 1997 16
12 17 September 1998 26 November 1998 10
13 7 June 1999 23 August 1999 12

External links[edit]