Take It or Leave It (game show)

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Take it or Leave it?
Genre Game show
Created by Intellygents for 2waytraffic
Presented by Richard Arnold
Narrated by Sarah Cawood
Richard Arnold (2008)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 91
Producer(s) Greg Barnett
Location(s) Pinewood Studios
Running time 60 minutes
(including adverts)
Production company(s) TWI (2006)
Tiger Aspect Productions
Distributor Endemol
IMG Media
Original network Challenge
Picture format PAL
Original release 23 October 2006 (2006-10-23) – 18 July 2008 (2008-07-18)

Take it or Leave it? was a British game show, developed by Dutch format company Intellygents, that aired on the digital channel Challenge. Challenge tends to air repeats of classic game shows that have been commissioned by other broadcasters, but it is rare that they produce original content. It originally aired from 23 October 2006 to 18 July 2008 and was hosted by Richard Arnold.


The game is played by two pairs of players. The players have some sort of connection to each other (friends, married, siblings). The first pair of players are welcomed onto the set. They must make their first choice by deciding who they are going to play against. Cawood later Arnold reads a brief introduction of the first couple as we see them on the screen backstage. The original players then decide if they would like to take the couple they have seen or risk taking another couple of which they won't know anything about. Once the choice has been made, the second team arrive on set and take their place on the seating area to the right of the stage. This area is called the "sin bin".

Phase one[edit]

The aim of the game is simple. There are ten steps to the final phase and for each step there is a question. In the first phase, the players must answer questions and make money to go into the jackpot, which will be played for in the final phase. To win money, they must answer questions correctly. The questions are presented with an answer, which the team can decide to either "Take it!" as their answer or "Leave it!" in the hope that the next answer they are presented with is the correct answer.

If the team gives a right answer, the answer flashes green and the "wall of safes" is brought up on screen. The wall of safes have 20 safes 18 contain cash values from 1p to £15,000. There are also two "booby traps", which can knock the team in control out of play by making them go to the sin bin, placing their rivals in play. Each member of the team selects a safe to open. The first safe opened can either be banked by the team or (especially, if it is a low value safe) can be rejected for the second chosen safe. The risk here is that they might open a lower value safe or even eliminate themselves from play by revealing a booby trap or have one of the top amounts in their second choice.

If the team decides to take an answer and it is wrong, the answer flashes red and the team must swap places with the team in the sin bin.

Wall of safes[edit]

In the first two series, the values for the wall of safes were as follows: £15,000> £12,500> £7,500> £5,000> £3,500> £2,000> £1,000> £900> £750> £600> £500> £350> £250> £150> £5> 50p> 10p> 1p

In series 3, the values for the wall of safes were as follows: £15,000> £12,500> £7,500> £5,000> £3,500> £2,500> £1,500> £1,000> £800> £700> £500> £350> £250> £150> £5> 50p> 10p> 1p

Before the numbered safes are jumbled up at the start of the show, the two booby traps appear between the £1,000 or the £1,500 and the £900 or the £1,000 as well as the £500 and £350 on the board. Once the booby traps have been played or rejected, the teams still need to give right answers and discover the larger amounts of cash in play.

Final phase[edit]

Once the team has made it to the end of the walk, six different coloured safes rise up in front of them, one of which contains the jackpot that was built up in the previous round. The safes are white, red, green, blue, purple and yellow.

There are five final questions that the team must answer. The only difference here is that they are answered without it being revealed if they are right or wrong until later. Once all five questions have been answered, the computer brings back the questions that have been answered correctly first.

For each correct answer, the team decide to play, an empty safe is eliminated, thus increasing the chances of the team discovering the safe with the jackpot. If the team is worried that they have taken a wrong answer earlier, they can decide not to play that answer and to open a safe at any time.

If the team has answered all questions correctly and play all the answers, then, they won't need to guess which safe the jackpot is in, as it will be the only one left. If the team take a wrong answer and decide to play it to try and eliminate an empty safe, they'll lose immediately, without the chance to open a safe.


Each show begins with Arnold at the safes saying, "Ten steps, six safes and the chance to play for up to £50,000. It's all about making the right choice at the right time. Would you have the nerve to take it or leave it?"

Take it or Leave it? was originally meant to be fronted by Michael Barrymore, but Arnold was settled upon. The show was hailed as the next Deal or no deal?, but has not found the same success. It was filmed in the famous Pinewood Studios, where the popular James Bond movies have been filmed.

During its original run, the show aired weekday nights at 21:00 on Challenge. Before the first two breaks, Arnold would give the details for a viewers' competition, much like Challenge's version of The Pyramid Game. This was during the first two series only and did not return for the afternoon repeats.

One of the questions shown in the game was actually incorrect. The question being 'What part of the tongue tastes bitterness?', when in fact, no part of the tongue specifically tastes bitterness. The 'correct' answer was 'The rear'.

The claim that you can win up to £50,000 on the show was originally wrong; the ten most valuable safes only contained £48,750. From series 3, some of the amounts of money were changed and the promised £50,000 could be won, but it never was. The highest amount won was £49,300.50 by Joakim and Chioma. They got every question correct, including the first ten in the main game and the last five in the final. They then correctly guessed the safe with the jackpot inside on a 50/50 gamble, as they did not play the fifth question.

The Channel 4 game show The bank job borrows some of the format of Take it or Leave it?.


The Netherlands: The show premiered in The Netherlands on 4 March 2006 and was called Kies de kluis. The game show ran for 2 seasons on NED1.

Hungary: RTL Klub has aired the show since 27 December 2007 with shorter/longer breaks. It is called A széf (The safe) and broadcast at 19:00 on weekdays. The show is still popular regularly winning its timeslot. The new season started at 28 March 2012. If the players choose the highest possible combination of the safes, they can win 20,000,000 ft (€80,000). The highest prize in a safe is 7,000,000 ft (€28,000).

Take it or Leave it? also aired in Turkey, Dubai, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia and Italy as Il Malloppo.


Series Start date End date Episodes
1 23 October 2006 1 December 2006 30
2 16 April 2007 25 May 2007 30
3 6 June 2008 18 July 2008 31

External links[edit]