Bob Holness 1983–1995
Michael Aspel 1997
Liza Tarbuck 2000–2001
Simon Mayo 2012
Blockbusters 1983
Blockbusters 1994
ITV: 29 August 1983 – 4 June 1993
Sky One: 18 April 1994 – 17 February 1995
Blockbusters 1997
BBC Two: 31 March – 8 August 1997
Blockbusters 2000
Sky One: 30 October 2000 – 23 March 2001
The All New Blockbusters 2012
Challenge: 14 May – 3 August 2012
Central in association with Talbot Television and Goodson-Todman Productions (1983–1995)
Fremantle UK (1997)
Grundy (2000–2001)
Thames (2012)

A game of skill and strategy, where the game board was a honeycomb filled with letters. This show was played with teenage contestants (ranging from sixteen to eighteen years, inclusively) and it pitted a solo player (who played white) against a team of two players (who played blue (purple in the BBC version)) to see if two heads really are better than one.


A 4x5 board of 20 hexagons was presented with a letter in each hexagon. A letter was chosen at random to start a game. The answer of the question would begin with the letter chosen (the only exceptions were X and Z, which were not featured on the board at all). For example, if the letter T were chosen, a sample question might be: "What 'T' is a sport made famous by Serena & Venus Williams?", in which case the correct answer would be "Tennis". The player who buzzed in first would get a chance to answer the question. If correct, the space was marked with their color. If they were incorrect, the opponent(s) get(s) a chance to answer (should the solo player miss, only one half of the team could answer, with conference). If nobody answered correctly, another question was asked whose answer began with that same letter. Each correct answer also added a £5 contribution to his/her/their school.

The object of the game was to make a connecting path from one side to the other. This was classified as achieving "Blockbusters." The solo player would have to connect from top to bottom (white to white), which could be done in as little as 4 correct answers. The family pair would have to connect side to side (blue to blue) in as little as 5 moves. When a side was close to winning the game, their appropriate colored hexagons flashed; sometimes, however, all the earned hexagons flashed; this situation was called "Blockbusters either way" (in later series, this was renamed a "mutual space" on the board). The first side to make the connection won the game. The first side to win two out of three games won the match and went on to play the "Gold Run". If the team advanced to the bonus round, only one of them could play (alternating turns with each additional match won.).

Gold RunEdit

The winning player had to connect from left to right (gold to gold) in 60 seconds or less. The difference here was that the hexagons had multiple letters on them (2 to 4 letters), and naturally, they represented an answer of more than one word (eg: "CT", First host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?: Chris Tarrant). Correct answers would mark the chosen hexagons gold. There was no penalty for incorrect guesses but passes put up blocks and the player must work around them. If the contestant makes the connection, he/she wins a grand prize. If he/she gets blocked out, the contestant could still continue and try to build up the consolation prize of £10 for every correct answer until time ran out. Win or lose, the host would go over any missed and/or passed questions, and another match would begin.

Championship FormatEdit

Defending champions could keep going for up to five matches undefeated, in order to win an even bigger prize. From the seventh ITV series, it was reduced to three, so that more contestants could take part over the course of a series. In the first Sky One series this was changed back up to five matches and reduced to three again on BBC Two. In the second Sky One series, it increased to five again. For the Challenge series, the maximum amount remains at five matches.


In the first two series, all contestants who appeared on the show received a Concise Oxford Dictionary and a sweatshirt (both having the show's logo on them). By the third series, the computer game based on the show was added. Within a year, the sweatshirt was replaced with a cardigan (again, with the show's logo on it) and a filofax (later an electronic organizer) accompanied the dictionary.


Starting in 1986, at the end of every fifth programme, everyone in the studio, including host Bob Holness, did a dance called the Hand Jive. This is because five programmes were recorded every day, so they did this dance before they went home. The way the dance went was as follows:

Hand-over-hand (x2)
Potato-hands (x2)
Elbow-point-twirl (x2)
(Repeat x3)

Clap in the air.


Blockbusters spawned a number of items of merchandise. 12 quiz books were released from the show[1] which also led to a spin-off: "Blockbusters Gold Run Volumes 1-5" being produced.[2]

In 1986, Waddingtons created a board game version of the show, which was named Game of the Year in 1986 by The British Association of Toy Retailers.[3] This led to several successful spin offs; a "Gold Run" Card Game, a Junior Blockbusters board game (a children's edition) and a Super Blockbusters board game (essentially, a second edition standard game with its own set of "Gold Run" cards).[4] A computer game version of the show was also created for the Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro and ZX Spectrum.

In 2006, a DVD Interactive Game version was released with Bob Holness reprising his position at the helm. The DVD is based on the same format as the TV show, with virtual set design and game graphics matching the original version of the programme.[5]



Theme - "Quiz Wizard" by Ed Welch


Based on the American game show of the same name by Steve Ryan.

Additional PagesEdit

List of Blockbusters episodes and specials



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