Robert Kilroy-Silk


Mitch Johnson (voiceover)


Initial for ITV, 2001


Dig that theme tune! Oh, it didn't appear to have one really. And look at that industrial metallic set, we hadn't seen that since ooh, The Weakest Link about three hours beforehand.

Hang on, let us use the Exclusive UKGSP Checklist of "Features of Shows That Try And Cash In More Original And Successful Shows But In Fact Annoy Us Whenever Another Show Uses Them Because We're A Bit Bored Now" shall we? Yes please sir!

The initial six players. The one that gave themselves the largest starting cash got booted out straight away.

Metallic set: CHECK. With two circular shapes and a long beam of light down the set, you can't help thinking that the vaguely phallic design was a visual pun. It had two large video screens down the end which was quite original. It was split into three stages, the far end where the six contestants started, a small walkway leading to the five podiums where the main game took place leading to the Head to Head podiums at the near end. The audience were stuck out in the middle of nowhere.

What is this representing? Answers on a postcard...

Industrial Mood Music: CHECK. Written by Paul Farrer who did an excellent job on The Weakest Link and Dog Eat Dog. Here it was barely memorable. How the mighty fall.

Futuristic Graphics and Displays: CHECK. Not even very good ones, other than the Terminator style title. They seemed very jerky to us.

The add-o-cash-o-meter

Questions: CHECK. Yep, we'll give it that one otherwise it would have been a rubbish quiz wouldn't it? To be fair it was quite clever, half the question was read out and the players had to bet money on how confident they were in where they think the question was going to go. Hilariously, most of these took obtuse twists so you'd have wanted to bet on how good your general knowledge was really.

The second half of the question reveals itself

Voting Out and Confrontation: CHECK... sort of. When the six started they gave themselves as much money as they want up to £25,000. The catch is that the greediest person was eliminated immediately. During the main game after a certain amount of questions (one per person playing) the person with the most money got to shaft someone else on the team out of the game. The first person chosen got the chance to plead their case, but after that the decision was final.

Whine, plead, whinge, simper...

Everybody started the next round with the amount of money the leader had from the round before. Unfair in the grand scheme of things but we guess it kept things close by giving everybody else an equal chance. This happened until there were two people left. Oh and after Round Two, each player was given the option to Shift the question to somebody else for the original player's stake. They could do this once during the game.

All's fair in love and war, but not Shafted

Insincere Host: CHECK. Ex-Labour MP, chat show host (at the time anyway) and pizzicato automaton Robert Kilroy-Silk. The subliminal thought processes that must have gone through the producer's mind must have been interesting. "Hmm, we've got this show called Shafted. Who can we get to host a show whose name means 'shagged'? I know, Robert Kilroy-Silk!"

Annoying Catchphrases: CHECK. "Make your bets!", "You're off the show!", and "To share, or to shaft?" (This one came with bonus hand signals)

Hot wrist action

Agonizing Moral Dilemma: CHECK. The Prisoner's Dilemma in this case. Can you say Trust Me? To be fair, this was played for a lot more money, we made the top prize a potential £102m if you doubled up all the time and got through with £25,000. In actual fact, the prize was capped at £2.5 million.

It did say "Extra large" on the photo enlargement order form

Any Sort of Compulsive Hook: "Ere Jim, did we bung any sort of compulsive hook in?" "Erm no. But if we're really lucky perhaps they won't notice." "Great!"

Innovation: Don't be stupid.

Ahhh... a happy ending.

Shafted: while it wasn't a bad show all said and done, it was a fairly obvious and cynical cash in on the The Weakest Link vibe. Opinion was split - some people really liked it, others hated it - but we were bored very quickly. And so were ITV1, evidently, as they canned it after only 4 episodes had been shown. Goodbye!


Shafted was named among the 20 all-time worst television shows by The Penguin TV Companion in 2006, alongside 3-2-1, Celebrity Wrestling and seventeen others that weren't game shows.


"You're off the show"

"Share or shaft?"

"What would you have done? Think about it."


Paul Farrer


Picture 1 - Press photo
Picture 2 - The highest bid wins
Picture 3 - Robert tells us the score


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