|Nicky Campbell (1988–1996)|
Bradley Walsh (1997)
John Leslie (1998–2001)
Paul Hendy (2001)
|Angela Ekaette (1988)|
Carol Smillie (1989–1994)
Jenny Powell (1995–2001)
Terri Seymour (2001)
|The Walt Disney Company and Action Time (19 July 1988 - 31 December 1989)|
Buena Vista International (4 June 1991 - 24 August 1992)
Wheel of Fortune was the game show in which three contestants spun a giant steel wheel and solved Hangman-type puzzles to win cash & prizes. It was based on the American game show of the same name.
In each round, a puzzle was revealed followed by the category to that puzzle. The player in control spun a large wheel which is fully calibrated with point values and penalty spaces (Bankrupt & Lose/Miss a Turn). When the wheel landed on an amount, he/she then called a letter. If the letter is in the puzzle he/she earned the amount times the number of appearances of that letter and continued his/her turn. Along the way he/she can buy a vowel which costs 250 points each no matter how many there are or if it appeared in the puzzle or not. If at any point the contestant in control picked a letter that was not in the puzzle, picked a letter that was already called, solved the puzzle incorrectly or if he/she hit Lose/Miss a Turn, that player lost his turn and control went over the next player in line; if the player hit "Bankrupt", the player in control loses all his/her points and his/her turn. The first player to solve the puzzle won the round and a choice of prizes which might contain household appliances, a holiday, etc.
Deciding who would play first was different compared to the American version. For the first three series, before recording of each episode, each contestant spun the wheel and the contestant with the highest score would start the first round. The contestant would be asked a 50/50 trivia question and if the contestant answered correctly, the contestant won the right to spin the wheel. But if the contestant answered the 50/50 trivia question incorrectly, s/he would not spin the wheel and play would move on to the next contestant. From the fourth series onwards, the 50/50 trivia individual questions were dropped. Instead, at the start of each round, the contestants would be asked a general knowledge question and the first contestant to buzz in and answer correctly would gain control of the wheel.
Also from the fourth series onwards, from Round 3 to the end, the points on the wheel were worth double.
And finally, like the Australian version, their scores carried over from round to round.
- Prize – During the 1988-1998, the second and third rounds each offered a special prize for landing on a certain space and solving the puzzle.
- Brad's Box/Leslie's Luxury – A contestant who landed on a certain space and also got a letter on the board, won the contents. During Leslie's first series there were two boxes one would be for the men and the other one would be for the women.
- Red Letter – The contestant, after revealing a red letter in the puzzle, could win £100 by solving it then and there.
- Puzzler – Used during the daytime run. The winning contestant had a chance to win another £100 by guessing a special puzzle related to the one just played.
- Mystery – Used during the daytime run. An unknown prize would be awarded to the contestant if he/she picked up the token and solved the puzzle in the second.
- 500 Gamble – Used during the daytime run. Upon landing here, the contestant could either play for 500/consonant, or gamble. If they gambled and selected a correct letter, they'd get a mystery value per consonant. If they selected a wrong letter, they went Bankrupt.
If and when a bell sounds, that signifies the final spin of the game. The center player's arrow (as opposed to the leftmost player's arrow in America) determined the point value for each consonant in the speed-up round (and during the final spin both Walsh and Leslie employed the catchphrase "No more spinning, just winning!" whilst explaining how the speed round worked). Vowels were worth nothing, and consonants were worth whatever the value spun. The values were doubled starting by 1993.
The player with the most points went on to play in the Grand Finale. In the Grand Finale, the winning contestant chose from one of three bonus prizes to play for. As with most international versions of Wheel (and the American version until 1988), rather than being given "R, S, T, L, N, and E," the contestant picked five consonants and a vowel. After the correct letters from the chosen ones were exposed, the contestant had 15 seconds to solve the puzzle and win the prize. Unlike other versions, the player could solve any one word individually, and then work on any other word in the puzzle. For example, if the puzzle was "A CUP OF TEA," the player could solve "OF," then "A," then "TEA, and finally "CUP" to complete the puzzle.
The grand prizes changed over the years.
- 1988-1993 – A choice of either a holiday, a new car or £3,000 (increased to £4,000 in 1989, then to £5,000 in 1993).
- 1994 – The car and £10,000.
- 1995-1998 – Either the car or £20,000, depending on the selection of one of two envelopes.
- 1999-2001 – £2,000.