You Bet!

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This article is about the British game show. For the American mining town, see You Bet, California.
You Bet!
Genre Game show
Created by Frank Elstner
Presented by Bruce Forsyth (1988–90)
Matthew Kelly (1991–5)
Darren Day (1996–7)
Starring Ellis Ward (1988–91)
Diane Youdale (1996)
Sarah Matravers (1997)
Voices of Bobby Bragg (1996–7)
Composer(s) Alan Lisk (1988)
Jonathan Sorrell (1989–96)
Simon Webb (1997)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 101 (inc. 5 specials)
Location(s) Shepperton Studios
Running time 60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) LWT
Distributor ITV Studios
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original release 20 February 1988 (1988-02-20) – 12 April 1997 (1997-04-12)
Related shows Wetten, dass..?
Wanna Bet?

You Bet! is a British game show based around the format of the German show Wetten, dass..? developed by Frank Elstner. You Bet! ran on ITV, mostly on Saturday nights but sometimes on Fridays, between 20 February 1988 and 12 April 1997, initially hosted by Bruce Forsyth from 1988 to 1990, then by Matthew Kelly from 1991 to 1995 and finally by Darren Day from 1996 to 1997. It was replaced the following year by Don't Try This At Home!, which emulated the challenges of You Bet!, but were considerably more risky and dangerous.


A panel of celebrities would bet on the ability of members of the public to achieve unlikely challenges and stunts, which they had usually planned and rehearsed many times, within a limited amount of time. The studio audience would also place a bet on the outcomes. The panellists would receive points for each outcome they predicted correctly, based on the percentage of the studio audience that also placed a correct bet. The celebrity sponsoring the challenge (see below) always had to bet that their challenger would be successful. The accumulated total of points achieved by the celebrities would be added to the points totalled by the studio audience, increased several times over, converted into pounds and donated to a charity chosen by the celebrity panellist who had achieved the highest score.



Each week there would be four challenges, some in the studio and some on location presented by Ellis Ward. The panellists would each "sponsor" a challenge, and Bruce Forsyth would also sponsor one. If the challenge sponsored by the panellist or Bruce Forsyth was not achieved, that sponsor would have to do a forfeit. (e.g., being a golf caddy or air steward for the day). (In the case of Forsyth's challenge, the majority vote determined Forsyth's prediction; an incorrect prediction forced Forsyth to do his forfeit. His explanation for this part was usually, "You're now betting for the fate of Forsyth in the form of a forfeit. If you're right, I'm alright; but if you're wrong, I'm right in it!") It was either broadcast in the studio on the same show or broadcast on location on the following week's show. The show dropped the talk show aspects of Wetten, dass...? and concentrated on the challenges, thus reducing the running time from 2 to 3 hours to 1 hour. The original theme tune was composed by Alan Lisk, better known for penning the theme tune to Men Behaving Badly. The show's airing slot was originally on Saturday nights.

The show closed with Forsyth doing the rap. "Do you wanna bet on it? You bet! Do you wanna bet on it? You bet! Don't fret, get set are you ready? You Bet!"


A new theme tune was introduced, composed by Jonathan Sorrell.

Spring 1991[edit]

The show made some massive changes due to the departure of Bruce Forsyth. A new logo was introduced, Matthew Kelly stepped up as host to replace Bruce Forsyth. Also, the challenges went up from four to five, which meant that Ellis Ward got involved, with her sponsoring challenges as well. Matthew Kelly also got involved in doing the work on location challenges, as well as Ellis Ward. Finally, if Matthew Kelly's challenge ended in failure, he had to do his forfeit, regardless of the audience's prediction.

Autumn 1991[edit]

The show's airing slot was moved from Saturday nights to Friday nights.


The departure of Ellis Ward as co-host led to the number of celebrity guests being increased from three to four per show and Matthew Kelly doing all the work on location challenges.


The show's airing slot was moved back to Saturday nights.


The show decided there would be no more forfeits for the celebrities and Matthew Kelly when sponsoring their challenges until 1996 when Darren Day planned to take over. Instead, they introduced the celebrity challenge, where the lowest celebrity scorer would do only one forfeit challenge, which would be broadcast the following week's show. The public then got to vote in at home to donate £1,000 to a charity of their choice if the celebrity succeeded or failed the challenge. The set was replaced by a new "arena" that allowed much more floor space for the challenges. Matthew Kelly announced his intention to leave the show and concentrate on hosting Stars in Their Eyes after transmission of Series 8. The viewers' phone vote was dropped after Series 8 was shown.


Actor Darren Day took over as host, and the co-host was reinstated for all the work on the location challenges. For this penultimate series, it was Diane Youdale, better known as Jet from the UK series of Gladiators. The forfeits also returned to the show, but they were not chosen by the celebrity guests. They were automatically chosen by the crew at the end of each show for the celebrity who got the lowest score in the show.


The show introduced a new item for the celebrities, they could play their YOU BET! BONUS CARD, which meant their points would be doubled if they successfully guessed the outcome of a challenge (which can only be played once in the entire show). The celebrity challenge returned to the show, and the audience got to choose which challenge they would choose for the lowest scoring celebrity at the end of the show from two choices with cryptic clue titles (e.g., "Ooh! That's better!" or "Dangling Down"). Sarah Matravers, well known as a gong girl from Take Your Pick, replaced Diane Youdale as co-host for this final series. A new theme tune was introduced, composed by Simon Webb.


The coloured backgrounds denote the result of each of the shows:

     – indicates the celebrity failed to back their challenge and received their forfeit (Series 1-7).
     – indicates the celebrity successfully backed their challenge and avoided their forfeit (Series 1-7).
BOLD - indicates the celebrity scored the most points and received money for their chosen chairty.

Series 1 (1988)[edit]

Episode First broadcast Celebrities
1x01 20 February 1988 Dickie Davies Richard Digance Kate Robbins
? ? ?
1x02 27 February 1988 Kenny Sansom Spike Milligan Cheryl Baker
? ? ?
1x03 5 March 1988 Kenny Lynch Nerys Hughes Derek Griffiths
? ? ?
1x04 12 March 1988 Linford Christie Windsor Davies Anneka Rice
? ? ?
1x05 19 March 1988 Ross Davidson Lynsey De Paul Jimmy Hill
? ? ?
1x06 26 March 1988 Sandra Dickinson John Fashanu Gloria Hunniford
? ? ?

Series 2 (1989)[edit]

Episode First broadcast Celebrities
2x01 28 January 1989 Adrian Moorhouse Debbie Greenwood Harvey Smith
? ? ?
2x02 4 February 1989 Michael Barry Timmy Mallet Steve Redgrave
? ? ?
2x03 11 February 1989 Roy Castle Wendy Richard David Wilkie
? ? ?
2x04 18 February 1989 Henry Cooper Thora Hird Nino Firetto
? ? ?
2x05 25 February 1989 Dave Beasant Janice Long David Steel
? ? ?
2x06 4 March 1989 Nicky Campbell Jill Gascoine Simon Williams
? ? ?
2x07 11 March 1989 Paul Gascoigne Melvyn Hayes Claire Rayner
? ? ?
2x08 18 March 1989 Bob Holness Suzi Quatro John McCririck
158 266 63
2x09 25 March 1989 Jayne Irving Nicholas Parsons Mark Walker
? ? ?
2x10 1 April 1989 Bruno Brookes Helen Shapiro Geoff Capes
? ? ?

Series 3 (1990)[edit]

Episode First broadcast Celebrities
3x01 17 February 1990 Duncan Goodhew Sally James Kriss Akabusi
? ? ?
3x02 24 February 1990 Keith Chegwin Annabel Croft Lawrie McMenemy
? ? ?
3x03 3 March 1990 Fern Britton Sylvester McCoy Gary Stretch
? ? ?
3x04 10 March 1990 Johnny Briggs Annabel Croft Andrew O'Connor
? ? ?
3x05 17 March 1990 Floella Benjamin Graeme Garden Bill Tidy
? ? ?
3x06 24 March 1990 Bobby Davro Letitia Dean Barry McGuigan
? ? ?
3x07 31 March 1990 Alan Freeman Jan Leeming Bob Champion
165 200 146
3x08 7 April 1990 Leslie Crowther Tessa Sanderson Chris Serle
? ? ?
3x09 14 April 1990 Peter Alliss Linda Lusardi James Marcus
? ? ?
3x10 21 April 1990 Trevor Brooking Sean Kerly Carmen Silvera
? ? ?

Series 4 (Spring 1991)[edit]

Episode First broadcast Celebrities
4x01 16 February 1991 Nick Skelton Vicki Michelle Brian Glover
? ? ?
4x02 23 February 1991 Eric Bristow Gemma Craven David Jensen
? ? ?
4x03 2 March 1991 Annabel Giles Andrew O'Connor Johnny Briggs
? ? ?
4x04 9 March 1991 Dame Hilda Bracket Cliff Thorburn Michaela Strachan
? ? ?
4x05 16 March 1991 Virginia Leng Roy Walker Frank Bruno
? ? ?
4x06 23 March 1991 Liz Hobbs Roger Black Paul Shane
102 203 122
4x07 30 March 1991 Brian Conley Kim Goody Graham Cole
161 177 183
4x08 6 April 1991 Lynda Baron Tracy Edwards Gareth Jones
144 140 145
4x09 13 April 1991 Geoffrey Durham Trudie Goodwin Ian McCaskill
? ? ?
4x10 20 April 1991 John Blashford-Snell Spike Milligan Sheila Ferguson
226 45 153

Series 5 (Autumn 1991)[edit]

Episode First broadcast Celebrities
5x01 6 September 1991 Keith Chegwin Judi Spiers Barry McGuigan
? ? ?
5x02 13 September 1991 Tessa Sanderson John Virgo Bob Carolgees
? ? ?
5x03 20 September 1991 Ruth Madoc Bruno Brookes Evadne Hinge
? ? ?
5x04 27 September 1991 Willie Thorne Diane Keen Timmy Mallett
? ? ?
5x05 11 October 1991 Fred Trueman Bobby Davro Geoff Capes
? ? ?
5x06 18 October 1991 Bella Emberg Trevor Brooking Lesley Joseph
? ? ?
5x07 25 October 1991 Richard Noble Anne Charleston Pat Sharp
62 148 159
5x08 1 November 1991 Roy Hudd Michael Melia Nerys Hughes
? ? ?
5x09 8 November 1991 Rosie Barnes Dora Bryan John Sachs
? ? ?
5x10 15 November 1991 Craig Charles Mark Wingett Kriss Akabusi
193 225 0

Telethon Special (1992)[edit]

Series 6 (1992)[edit]

Christmas Special (1992)[edit]

Series 7 - Part One (1993)[edit]

Series 7 - Part Two (1994)[edit]

Celebrity Special (1994)[edit]

Series 8 (1995)[edit]

Series 9 (1996)[edit]

Series 10 (1997)[edit]



Series Start date End date Episodes
1 20 February 1988 26 March 1988 6
2 28 January 1989 1 April 1989 10
3 17 February 1990 21 April 1990 10
4 16 February 1991 20 April 1991 10
5 6 September 1991 15 November 1991 10
6 4 September 1992 6 November 1992 10
7 - Part One 10 September 1993 22 October 1993 7
7 - Part Two 12 March 1994 30 April 1994 8
8 25 February 1995 29 April 1995 10
9 1 June 1996 17 August 1996 10
10 8 February 1997 12 April 1997 10


Date Entitle
30 August 1991 Series 4 Compilation
18 July 1992 Telethon Special
26 December 1992 Christmas Special
5 March 1994 Celebrity Special
6 May 1995 5 Minute Recap

External links[edit]