The Biggest Game in Town



Steve le Fevre

Bobby Davro (stand-in)


Ted Robbins

Announcer: Richard Easter


Granada for ITV, 10 September to 21 December 2001 (90 episodes in 1 series)


Blah, blah, Bob's Full House 4, blah, blah, Now It's Getting Stupid, blah, blah it's live, bl... hang on, that's a bit different - maybe we'll give it more than a sentence after all.

Yes it's time for The Biggest Game in Town: Giant Connect 4! Nope, it's bingo. Only now you could play at home live, and this time we mean live, not pre-recorded in the Lucky Numbers stylee. Throughout This Morning, Steve le Fevre popped up and said things along the lines of 'activate your cards now!' whereby if you had a gamecard you phone up the number to register for the game. This was true interactivity folks. Ish. Why you did this will become clear in a second.

The set and the graphics were very pink, purple and white. We don't know why this was.

The game was the same as it's always been except with a few differences. The boards didn't have numbers on, instead a ball was just placed on the relevant square within a round. The questions in the four corners and the full house rounds were all to do with the past days events. The second round, the aim of which was to get five correct and fill in the middle was based on recent films and music and in a move of genius, previews of tonight's television on ITV1. Yep, media incest of the highest order but you've got to admit it was shrewd. The winner of Four Corners won £250, the winner of the Middle Row won £500 and the person closest to a full house at the end won £50 per ball or £1000 for a Full House.

The Full House winner got to go for the daily jackpot of £5550 on the good but inherently flawed endgame. The idea was to fill up the three lines of the bingo card with digits. The first line with the digits 5 and 0, second line with 5, 0 and 0 and final 5,0,0,0 and you take what you make. For example if they won 4 digits they filled the £50 line and also filled the 5 and 0 of the middle line for another £50 making a £100 bonus. If they got eight correct they filled up the £50 line, the £500 line and 5, 0 and 0 of the £5000 line making for £1,050.

It was very clever. And seemingly impossible. You see, to win digits you had to answer questions correctly, one digit for every right answer in 45 seconds. Sadly the questions weren't particularly short and Steve, whilst an otherwise competent host (he seemed to do live well and covered his mistakes fairly professionally), had a nasty habit of false starting several questions. We feel that trying to get essentially 9 out of 8 was a bit tough.

Back to 'proper' bingo for the viewers at home. Each day there was £5000 to be won and any unclaimed money went forward to the Friday Flyer, a special episode on Friday late afternoons which had a viewers jackpot starting at £7500. At the back of the studio was a nice computer graphic effect of a "high-tech tunnel". When somebody got a question correct a giant bingo ball (seemingly being purple or blue depending on what mood it's in) shot through the tunnel and exploded at the end leaving a rather less impressive computer graphic number. If you circled all fifteen numbers on your card then you won and had to claim. Most importantly, a live leaderboard appeared every few questions to keep track of how many cards had (x) numbers to go. In many ways this was quite exciting if you were playing along properly. You were against about 50,000 other people and you could see where you were in comparison to everybody else. Very nice idea, that.

Still, the one thing about interactive shows is that the viewer has got to be bothered to interact. How many people had cards and watched the show but couldn't be bothered to phone up and activate every day? That is the question. And ultimately that's probably why this show only lasted a series because otherwise we weren't sure how much we wanted to live through the Bob's Full House format again and again.

But at the end of the day, did it live up to its premise? It wasn't the "biggest" show, nor a "game" (lottery, more like), nor was it even filmed in a town. You'd get bigger jackpots going down to your local Gala Bingo. However, it did give away potentially £12,300 daily which is very high for an ITV lunchtime game show (erm... not counting Richard and Judy's Midday Money which isn't on anymore anyway), although you may as well knock off £5000 due to the could-be-fairer end game. Looks like as advertising revenue goes down, prize money is going up. Mad, eh?

Key moments

For some unknown reason, they introduced Ted Robbins into the mix part way through the run. He presented from the studio gallery.

Steve Le Fevre: What was signed to bring World War I to an end in 1918?
Contestant: Magna Carta.


As designer Andy Walmsley points out, the so-called "biggest game in town" was actually filmed in Granada's smallest studio.

Bobby Davro stood in as host for three shows (one of which was a celebrity special with actors from Emmerdale, Coronation Street and The Bill) when Steve le Fevre was ill.

Web links

Andy Walmsley's set design pictures

See also

Bob's Full House

One to Win

Lucky Numbers


Bobby Monkho- I mean, Bobby Davro shows us his gameshow host ski- I mean, impressions in this celebrity special.


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