|Michael Miles (1955–1968)|
Des O'Connor (1992–1998)
24 February 1992 – 28 August 1998
Thames Television (1992-1996)
Grundy Television (1998)
The game show where unsuspecting people face 11 boxes with surprises inside.
Forfits (Earlier Series)Edit
In the earliest series of the Miles version, audience members had to complete stunts. If successful, they went on to the opening game.
Opening Game: Yes/NoEdit
The show always started off with the Yes/No game. The host asked a series of questions (not always restricted to "yes" or "no") and the contestant in control answered them; all for the duration of 60 seconds (one minute). The catch was that the contestant couldn't say "yes" or "no", and he/she couldn't nod nor shake his/her head. If any of those infractions occurred, the co-host would gong him/her out of the game. If the contestant didn't get gonged when the time was up, s/he stayed in the game. After six contestants played, the four contestants who lasted the longest played the boxes.
In the Miles version, contestants who lasted the full minute received a bonus of 5/- (25p); in the O'Connor version, all contestants received £1 for every second they lasted during their turn, up to £60.
Before a contestant was a pyramid of 10 boxes numbered 1-10. There was also an 11th box numbered "13" for reasons unknown. Inside those boxes were prizes. In the regular boxes, five of them were moderate UK game show merchandise prizes, three were booby prizes, one was a treasure chest filled with cash, and one was the star prize (usually a new car or boat, or a luxury holiday).
The survivors of the Yes/No game (one at a time) were asked up to four general knowledge questions, and if they answered three of them correctly, they would be able to pick a box by it's number. But before s/he could look inside to see what s/he won, the host would try to offer the contestant money in exchange for that box, adding more money each time the contestant refused. In the Miles version, he only offered up to about £50, while in the O'Connor version, he offered hundreds of pounds. When the decision was finally made, they would look inside the box to see what the contestant won or turned down. The catch was that the prizes were placed in the boxes randomly, so the host didn't know what was in each box. However, there was one exception:
One of the normal ten boxes activated Box 13. The home audience would always be shown the number of the box that would do so. If the contestant picked that box and refused the money, s/he could pass on his/her original choice which activated the box and take Box 13 instead, or stay with the original box.
Inside Box 13 was an everyday object, which served as a clue to a mystery prize; the host always knew what that prize was. The home audience would always be shown the name of the object. The mystery prize could be a good prize or a booby prize.
This was the very first British game show to ever air on commercial television, as well as the first one to offer cash prizes (the BBC didn't offer such prizes at the time).
In Popular CultureEdit
This show was spoofed not just once, but twice in Monty Python's Flying Circus. The first time was in the episode The Attila the Hun Show as Spot the Braincell, where a Pepperpot named Mrs. Scum (played by Terry Jones) tries to win the star prize of a "blow on the head" from an insane version of Michael Miles (played by John Cleese); and the second time was in the episode Spam, where, in the courtroom scene of the phrasebook sketch, the prosecutor (played by Eric Idle) gongs defendant Alexander Yahlt (played by Michael Palin) when he answers "yes" during a series of questions similar to those in the Yes/No part of the game (although presumably, Yahlt was unaware of playing the game in the first place).
Full Episode from 1997