The $64,000 Question (UK game show)

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The $64,000 Question
Also known as The 64,000 Question (1956–7, 57–8)
The 64,000 Challenge
(1957)
Genre Game show
Presented by Jerry Desmonde (1956–7, 57–8)
Robin Bailey (1957)
Bob Monkhouse (1990–3)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3 (ATV)
4 (Central)
No. of episodes 85 (ATV)
52 (Central)
Production
Running time 30 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) ATV (1956–8)
Central (1990–3)
Distributor ITV Studios
Release
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original release 19 May 1956 (1956-05-19) – 4 September 1993 (1993-09-04)
Chronology
Related shows The $64,000 Question

The $64,000 Question is a UK game show based on the US format of the same name that originally ran from 19 May 1956 to 18 January 1958 produced by ATV (always keen to pick up successful US formats) and was originally hosted by Jerry Desmonde, and called simply The 64,000 Question with the top prize initially being 64,000 sixpences (£1,600), later doubling to 64,000 shillings (£3,200).

Format[edit]

Original[edit]

Each contestant answered questions based on their subject of expertise. The first question earned 100 sixpences (£2 and 10 shillings), correctly answering the next question added £10 to the player's winnings. Each of the next two questions featured two parts and answering both parts doubled the player's winnings to 1,000 sixpences (£25) and 2,000 sixpences (£50) respectively. The remaining questions featured three parts, then four parts, five parts, six parts, and the final question required at least seven parts to be answered correctly in order to win the top prize. In late 1956, the values doubled so that the values started at £5 (100 shillings) and increased to £3,200 (64,000 shillings). £3,200 was actually substantially higher, in real terms (i.e. accounting for inflation), than anything on offer on British TV for most of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, after the Independent Television Authority (later the Independent Broadcasting Authority) imposed prize limits on game shows after the general discrediting of the genre following the quiz show scandals in the US and rumors that the British version of Twenty One was also corrupt.

Revival[edit]

The values started at £1, followed by questions valued at £25 and doubled with each subsequent question with £400 and £1,600 each being guaranteed. The £200 and £400 questions each featured two parts. The £800 question required three correct answers and the next question required four correct answers in order to secure £1,600. The contestant must then answer a follow-up question in order to attempt the five-part £3,200 question in a soundproof booth known as the "Isolator". The £6,400 question required six parts to answer correctly. On the £3,200 and £6,400 questions, missing one part required the contestant to answer a "reserve part" correctly. £6,400 was a significant amount of money for a British game show at that time, though still probably worth less than the original had, which was £3,200. Later series replaced the £1-£50 questions with the Basic 64 which started at one pound and doubled up to 64 pounds before the £100 question. In 1993, prize limits were lifted by the Independent Television Commission, paving the way for the eventual arrival of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? which itself featured a question worth £64,000 until the format of the show changed in August 2007.

Transmissions[edit]

ATV[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 19 May 1956 8 June 1957 54
2 15 June 1957 7 September 1957 13
3 14 September 1957 18 January 1958 18

None of the ATV episodes survived.[1]

Central[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 1 June 1990[2] 24 August 1990[3] 13
2 4 January 1991[4] 29 March 1991[5] 13
3 30 August 1991[6] 22 November 1991[7] 13
4 5 June 1993[8] 4 September 1993 13

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.lostshows.com/default.aspx?programme=f8d2da37-1f24-4443-84b7-88c0aa1fdbc0
  2. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2mus-XyGPC0C&dat=19900601&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
  3. ^ The Times (London, England) Friday 24 August 1990; pg. 19
  4. ^ The Times (London, England) Friday 4 January 1991; pg. 17
  5. ^ The Times (London, England) Friday 29 March 1991; pg. 19
  6. ^ The Times (London, England) Friday 30 August 1991; pg. 17
  7. ^ The Times (London, England) Friday 22 November 1991; pg. 23
  8. ^ The Times (London, England) Saturday 5 June 1993; pg. 17

External links[edit]