House of Games (3)



Richard Osman


Alexander Armstrong (Hey Alexander narrator, 2020-)


Remarkable (part of Endemol Shine Group) for BBC Two, 4 September 2017 to present

as Richard Osman's House of Games Night, BBC One, 20 November 2020 to present


Four celebrities are given quizzy things to do by Richard Osman.

A selection of four celebs take on rounds of quizzes, always with a twist. Some are general knowledge questions where the answers rhyme. Some are general knowledge questions where the answer is an anagram of part of the question, or found in the contestant's name.

This week's celebs at play.

Other rounds are more inventive. We might see the initial letters of a song lyric, in the original rhythm. Another round - played in pairs - invites guesstimates for a number and takes the average for the pair.

There are visual rounds, locate an item on a picture, or place somewhere on a map. And every show ends with "Answersmash", blending a picture with a definition.

Crème caramel Giedroyc.

The show is impeccably cast: two men, two women. At least one familiar to the older viewer, at least one modern comedian from Mock the Week, at least one family entertainer. Richard Osman asks questions written with verve and wit.

A daily prize is drawn from the House of Games stall of stuff, with the winner lifting the House of Games Winners' Trophy.

Daily prizes: Lightshade, umbrella, shoehorn, binoculars, water bottle, all branded with the show's logo.

We like this show a lot, it hits just the right notes for 6pm - and other hours, at least one UKGS editor shifts episodes till late evening, go to bed with a smile. ROHOG (as it became known) effectively replaced Eggheads, running for twenty weeks in the autumn and winter.


Series 1

Series 2

  • Week 1: Naga Munchetty, Jordan Stephens, Sally Lindsay, David O'Doherty
  • Week 2: Ellie Taylor, Steve Pemberton, Fern Britton, Josh Widdicombe
  • Week 3: Shappi Khorsandi, Michael Buerk, Amanda Abbington, Elis James
  • Week 4: Beattie Edmondson, Amol Rajan, Gaby Roslin, Hugh Dennis
  • Week 5: Chizzy Akudolu, Charlie Higson, Kate Williams, Tom Allen
  • Week 6: Rachel Riley, JB Gill, Katie Derham, Richard Herring
  • Week 7: Lolly Adefope, Dan Walker, Sarah Greene, Miles Jupp
  • Week 8: Samantha Womack, Rory Reid, Anne Diamond, James Acaster
  • Week 9: Kelly Cates, Tyger Drew-Honey, Desiree Burch, Matt Allwright
  • Week 10: Susie Dent, Nick Owen, Chemmy Alcott, Dane Baptiste

Series 3

  • Week 1: Miquita Oliver, Ed Gamble, Kate Thornton and Adrian Edmondson
  • Week 2: Scarlett Moffatt, Iain Stirling, Angellica Bell and Gyles Brandreth
  • Week 3: Kate Humble, Ivo Graham, Andi Oliver and Phill Jupitus
  • Week 4: June Sarpong, Dev Griffin, Debbie McGee and Alex Horne
  • Week 5: Nina Wadia, Johnny Ball, Suzi Ruffell and Danny Wallace
  • Week 6: Jay Blades, Rachel Parris, Shaun Keaveny and Jan Ravens
  • Week 7: Kate Bottley, John Thomson, YolanDa Brown and Joel Dommett
  • Week 8: Charlene White, Gregg Wallace, Holly Walsh and Chris Hollins
  • Week 9 (House of Champions with former winners): Scarlett Moffatt, Rick Edwards, Naga Munchetty and David O'Doherty
  • Week 10 (another champions week): Kate Williams, Richard Herring, June Sarpong and Dane Baptiste
  • Week 11: Rose Matafeo, Rav Wilding, Valerie Singleton and Gary Delaney
  • Week 12: Andrea McLean, Phil Wang, Rita Simons and Adil Ray
  • Week 13: Michelle Ackerley, Matt Forde, Judy Murray and Fred MacAulay
  • Week 14: Kerry Godliman, Radzi Chinyanganya, Ebony Rainford-Brent and Hal Cruttenden
  • Week 15: Lou Sanders, Richard Coles, Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Stuart Maconie
  • Week 16: Vick Hope, Gethin Jones, Nicki Chapman and Tim Vine
  • Week 17: Gareth Malone, Jamelia, Paul Martin and Susan Calman
  • Week 18: Samira Ahmed, John Robins, Angela Rippon and Dom Joly
  • Week 19 (back to the champions): Chizzy Akudolu, Miles Jupp, Ellie Taylor and Amol Rajan
  • Week 20 (more champions): Holly Walsh, Nish Kumar, Sarah Greene and Hugh Dennis

Series 4

  • Week 1: Vikki Stone, Ade Adepitan, Jean Johansson and Stephen Mangan
  • Week 2: Mike Bushell, Aisling Bea, Sunetra Sarker and Dion Dublin
  • Week 3: Scott Mills, Josie d'Arby, Jayde Adams and Rufus Hound
  • Week 4: AJ Odudu, Neil Delamere, Mark Billingham and Lucy Porter
  • Week 5: Meera Syal, Steve Backshall, Catherine Bohart and Ranj Singh
  • Week 6: Melvin Odoom, Denise Van Outen, Greg Rutherford and Angela Barnes
  • Games Night: Jennifer Saunders, Jermaine Jenas, Jason Manford and Roisin Conaty
  • Week 7: Denise Lewis, Rhys James, Isy Suttie and David James
  • Week 8: Sara Barron, Anton Du Beke, Jessica Fostekew and Rickie Haywood-Williams
  • Week 9: Alex Jones, Robert Rinder, Jessica Knappett and Karim Zeroual
  • Week 10: Jeanette Kwakye, Lloyd Griffith, Josie Long and Steve Cram
  • Christmas Special: Sarah Hadland, Alex Horne, Charlene White and Craig Revel Horwood
  • Week 11: Gabby Logan, Tim Key, Gemma Cairney and Jeff Stelling
  • Week 12: Alex Brooker, Sophie Duker, Charlotte Hawkins and David Baddiel
  • Week 13: Maisie Adam, Rory Bremner, Michelle Gayle and James Cracknell
  • Week 14: Charlie Brooks, Darren Harriott, Melinda Messenger and Les Dennis
  • Week 15: Josie Lawrence, Raj Bisram, Laura Whitmore and Mark Watson
  • Week 16: Kae Kurd, Zoe Lyons, Andrew Hunter Murray and Kate Robbins
  • Week 17: Sindhu Vee, Tom Rosenthal, Anna Richardson and Marcus Brigstocke
  • Week 18: Colin Murray, Sally Phillips, Nathan Caton and Ronni Ancona
  • Week 19: Nihal Arthanayake, Patsy Kensit, Jake Humphrey and Mae Martin
  • Week 20: Mina Anwar, Glenn Moore, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Shaun Williamson

Key moments

Angela Scanlon throwing her stylus at Rick Edwards after he insulted her.

Michael Buerk threatening the involvement of the European Court of Human Rights after Elis James deluded him by confusing Dick Turpin and Dick Whittington during The Nice Round. To make matters worse, Elis won that show by one point, so Buerk may well have dipped out on a prize as a result…

Nick Owen asking his wife what prize she wanted. Aw.

The Reverend Kate Bottley literally hissing at Joel Dommett and John Thomson during YolanDa Brown's Highbrow/Lowbrow question after they put their fingers on their buzzers. Not so much The Reverend Kate Bottley as… ah, you're ahead of us.

Rufus Hound kicking his chair over in annoyance after mistaking Leonardo da Vinci for Leonardo DiCaprio.

Title music

Marc Sylvan is credited for "Music".


Generally aired at 6pm, the then-traditional Eggheads slot, with the exception of assorted year-end Fridays, where the monopolisation of the 6pm slot by It Takes Two forces them back to 7pm. A couple of episodes have aired on Saturday when live sport airs during the week. The penultimate episode of series 3 was put back to 6.30pm as a consequence of Covid-19.

Billed in some sources (and indeed on-screen) as Richard Osman's House of Games.

The first two series were recorded at The Hospital Club, a basement studio in Covent Garden. Production shifted to BBC Scotland for series 3 and the first five episodes recorded for series 4 (Shaun Williamson's week) before moving to Riverside Studios as another consequence of COVID-19. Guests in the fourth series were spaced two metres apart, and answers for some games were sent to the contestants' tablets rather than passed out on little cards. The trophy was also not passed down the line to the winner (neither were the paddles for the "Is It Me?" game, which was a rather surprising inclusion anyway as (i) the game appeared to have been retired after series two, and (ii) the questions were recycled from the House of Games quiz book published in 2019). Oddly enough the show did retain the swapping of positions for pairs rounds (although you could argue that none of the games really required it) but cunningly cut away at that point so that we didn't see the production staff in masks and gloves physically move the chairs, allowing everyone to stay in the same literal seat throughout. More frivolously, the pandemic gave rise to a running joke that the prize shampoo doubled as hand sanitiser, though this still didn't convince anyone to take it.

So far, Angela Barnes is the only person to score the maximum 24 points across the week. Nina Wadia, Jay Blades, Ade Adepitan, AJ Odudu, Karim Zeroual and Patsy Kensit have all scored the minimum 6 points.

Across the first four series (plus the peak-time spin-off), the most-awarded daily prize has been the fondue set which has been chosen 27 times, just ahead of the wheelie luggage on 26 (though the wheelie luggage was only introduced partway through series 3, so you can reasonably argue that it's actually the most popular prize of all). The only prize to have been offered every single week since the start, the dartboard, has been chosen 22 times, the toolbox 19 times, and the dressing gown and Richard Osman action figure 12 times each. (The appeal of the once-popular action figure noticeably collapsed after they added the beard to it!) The smoking jacket used to be very popular, chosen 11 times in series 2 and 3, but has now been retired. At the other end of the scale, many prizes have never been chosen at all; funny how nobody wants a House of Games passport holder! Prizes chosen only once include the eau de cologne (which had gone three series without a single taker before, for some inexplicable reason, Rufus Hound took it home), roller skates (won by Danny Wallace and gifted to Suzi Ruffell), pasta maker and pocket watch (both Kate Williams), biscuit tin (Rufus Hound again), hip flask (Richard Herring), scented candle (David O'Doherty), fedora (Amanda Abbington), and football (Sara Pascoe). You can also add the jigsaw, which Elis James was gifted for his daughter (he couldn't decide between that and the toolbox). The eggcups and table tennis bats and ball were both unique to House of Games Night and now in the possession of Jennifer Saunders.

Web links

BBC programme page

Episode guide

Wikipedia entry

See also

Weaver's Week review

Qd - The Master Game


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