Mini-Series: 1 April – 22 April 2003
The United Kingdom's format of Russian Roulette was notably different from the usual versions of the show. The pilot was originally filmed and screened on ITV as a one-off special on October 31, 2002. The show then continued to air as a mini-series of three episodes, with the last airing on April 4, 2003. In all episodes, celebrities competed to win money for charity, but no shows ever featured regular civilians playing the game. All episodes were hosted by Rhona Cameron, the only woman to win Channel 4's So You Think Your Funny contests.
Ten celebrities competed to win money for charity, and were divided into two groups of five (the pilot used 12 celebrities, divided into two groups of six). Each round had a 2-minute time limit, and each celebrity stood on a trapdoor next to a buzzer. Cameron would ask questions to the celebrities, and only the first to buzz-in would answer the question. Correct answers would add money to a communal pot in the first three rounds, valued at £50, £100, and £200, respectively (the pilot featured a fourth round with answers adding £400 to the pot). Giving a correct answer meant that the celebrity won immunity from dropping out of the game, while a wrong answer incurred no penalty (unless the celebrity who had immunity gave a wrong answer, at which point they would lose the immunity). If a different celebrity gave the next correct answer, they would steal the immunity from the celebrity who last achieved it. When time expired, the last celebrity to give a correct answer was safe, while the rest had to play Russian Roulette.
To play Russian Roulette, the celebrity who was safe would join Cameron by a lever, which he/she would pull to start the red lights spinning around. Whichever celebrity the light stopped on, the trapdoor would open and drop the celebrity out of the game. If the lights stopped on an empty trapdoor, Cameron would prompt the celebrity to pull the lever again. The spinning continued until a celebrity dropped out. If no celebrity had immunity, Cameron herself would pull the lever, and all the celebrities would be in danger of dropping.
The process repeated until 2 celebrities remained, at which point they would then go head to head.
Head to HeadEdit
The head-to-head had two different formats. In both formats, no money was added to the pot for a correct answer.
Cameron asked alternating questions to each celebrity until one gave a wrong answer. That celebrity then had to play Russian Roulette with one drop zone active, while the other pulled the lever. If the celebrity did not drop, the process continued, only with adding one more drop zone each time (up to a maximum of five). The round continued until a celebrity dropped; the other celebrity automatically won the game and all the money in the pot for charity.
Cameron asked the same question to both celebrities with two possible answers. Celebrities wrote down their answers on cards. This could result in 3 different scenarios:
- Both celebrities gave a correct answer, and would continue to play the game.
- One celebrity gave a wrong answer, while the other gave a correct answer. The one who gave a correct answer was safe and would get to pull the lever, with three dropzones active, meaning the other celebrity had a 50-50 chance of standing. Unlike the pilot, all games of Russian Roulette here were played with three dropzones.
- Both celebrities gave a wrong answer, prompting Cameron herself to pull the lever, guaranteeing that one celebrity would drop.
The entire process was repeated with the other group of celebrities, with both group winners playing an additional head-to-head to determine the ultimate winner. Both group winners, however, kept all money earned during the game for charity.
The celebrity who won the extra head-to-head had to answer 6 questions in 60 seconds. Unlike the US version, a wrong answer didn't automatically drop them through the floor. Like the US version, however, a drop zone opened every 10 seconds, so that when the time expired, the celebrity dropped. The first five correct answers added £1,000 per answer to the celebrity's total, while the sixth correct answer added another £5,000, for a total £10,000.