Tim Vine


Major Disappointment: Steve Brody


Thames for Channel 4, 6 May to 8 July 1997 (10 episodes in 1 series)


Lucky for some

Brilliant show, only had one joke but it was superb. The game was based entirely on luck and no skill was involved whatsoever.

The game began with five contestants standing around the BOAWJP - the Bit of a Wasted Journey Pointer. Whoever it landed on was out of the game and went home immediately, escorted by Major Disappointment (a mixture of groans and shouts of 'Yes!' would probably erupt from people at home at this stage).

Reverse logic

Round Two introduces the concept of "the more you know... the less it matters" with two questions to each person for points and money. You couldn't predict the answers to the questions though, they'd be something like "I interrupted Bob Holness reading Jurassic Park the other day. Was he reading page 609 or 610?" and then we'd see a clip of what happened.

Tim Vine asks the contestants what's going to happen next

Round Three was the Race Round. These rounds were called the 'Bye-Bye Rounds' because no matter how many points you had, if you lost this round you were out. Each remaining contestant gave their name to one of the things about to race which would all have a theme - say 'parts of the body' or 'different types of dairy produce'. The big red button was pressed and then everything would start going down the track. The last thing across the line's owner was out, but they were given any money they'd won in the previous round and the Fluke Short Straw.

Just guess

Round Four was 'Guess what the actors will do next'. A clip was played which would stop at opportune moments and the players had to guess what would happen next by holding a card up. The clip would then play and they would win points and money if they got it right.

Then there was another 'Bye-Bye Round'. Behind three doors were people doing various things and al the contestant had to do was avoid one of them. The person with the highest score goes first and they might have to, say, avoid the person eating melons. Behind one of the doors would be a person eating melons, behind another one would be a Policeman catching felons, and behind the third there would be a model who just 'has a pair of melons', you get the idea.

The "behind-the-door" game in progress

The two people that are left go through to the all conquering quick fire round. Tim will read out two things and as soon as they think they know what the answer is they should buzz in. Example:

"Mike Tyson or a Basketball?"
BUZZ! "A Basketball"
"A Basketball bit off Evander Holyfield's ear during a boxing match."

The Duke of Fluke

At the end of the round, the two people left go through to the duel to see who will become The Duke of Fluke. This would be different each week but the first one was Russian Party Popper Roulette, there would be a turntable of eight party poppers but only one had the streamers in. They took it in turns and the first person to find it is crowned The Duke of Fluke.

They would then win a crown and have to repeat something such as "I, whoever, have become the Duke of Fluke... by being a tad fortunate." This person is allowed to come back the next week to defend the title and even win more prizes: and against the odds two people managed to win twice!

What's the prize...?

A big surprise! This would be in a cage, under a cloth for the whole show up until now and would be something actually quite good, a round the world holiday or a motorbike or something. However, standing between them and the prize is the cage door, held up by three pieces of rope. Tim had six questions (though just to reinforce the chance element, the sixth "question" wasn't a question at all, but a literal coin-toss) and for every one they got wrong, the Major would cut one of the ropes with the shears. If they managed to beat the odds they won the prize and if they didn't, they didn't.

A fun show that wouldn't have worked if there was a second series.


"What are points? Pointless!"

"The more you know, the less it matters!"

"What's the prize? A big surprise!"


The programme was devised by Tim Vine himself.

Theme music

Rick Turk and Tim Vine


Despite it being a one-series wonder, a contestants' appeal was shown during the credits on a few episodes.

In the US, a pilot of the same idea called Beat the Chimp was made, the premise being that two contestants had to compete against a monkey who buzzed in and answered the questions by holding up either of two cards.

Tim Vine also sang a secondary theme song over the end credits.


The very last episode.


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