Treasure Hunt (2)

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[[Kenneth Kendall]]
[[Kenneth Kendall]]
Ned Sherrin (special episode)
[[Ned Sherrin]] (special episode)
[[Dermot Murnaghan]] (2002)
[[Dermot Murnaghan]] (2002)

Revision as of 01:21, 8 June 2006



Kenneth Kendall

Ned Sherrin (special episode)

Dermot Murnaghan (2002)


Skyrunner: Anneka Rice (1983-8), Annabel Croft (1989), Suzi Perry (2002)

Adjudicator: Anne Meo (1983), Annette Lynton (1984), Wincey Willis (1985-9)

Cameraman (on location): Graham Berry

Video recordist (on location): Frank Meyburgh


Chatsworth for Channel 4, 1983-9

Chatsworth for BBC 2, 2002-3


If someone came up to you and said that Treasure Hunt was an hour of complete arse, not only do they have Touretts Syndrome, but somewhat ironically they would be almost completely right.

That's because the show is infamous for Graham the Cameraman's need to film Anneka Rice's bottom. In jump-suit as well! However, it was a groundbreaking game too, and one of Channel 4's most popular shows of the era, regularly clawing in 7-8 million viewers.

The game, then. Former BBC newsreader Kenneth Kendall helps two ordinary rich people to solve five devious cryptic clues in order to guide "Skyrunner" Anneka, transported by helicopter, around the five places of interest, usually on a 20x20 km map, within 45 minutes.

Part of the game was that although they could communicate with Anneka via a two-way radio link, they couldn't actually see her. An unintentional difficulty factor was that the radio communications would sometimes break up, completely by accident, at unfortunate times.

In the studio, the players have access to lots of reference works and they'll need them because the clues are somewhat cryptic. For example, one clue once was: "In a Seahawk, in a Seahawk, in a Seahawk." the contestants had to work out that an airbase in the area was known as the HMS Seahawk, and at that place was an actual Seahawk plane and inside that was a small model of a Seahawk plane, and the clue was in that. Often homonyms, anagrams, double meanings and other connotations needed to be solved, with a bit of quick research each time, to solve the clues.

Kenneth Kendall tries to solve the clue, while Wincey Willis looks on.

For most of the run of the series, back at the base was TV-AM weather girl and zoologist (a combination you tend to see everyday) Wincey Willis who gave absolutely no help whatsoever save for time checks, giving out the clues in the studio and giving the hint to the Treasure at the top of the show. Part of her job was to track what the helicopter was doing on her big board which seemed fairly pointless, truth be told.

What made the show entertaining were the things Anneka had to do to earn the clues and the treasure. Most of the time they just had to go to a certain place, but sometimes the clue is on a character on stage at a packed performance, under the water, in the middle of an Army Assault Course obstacle - that kind of malarkey.

Even when the contestants were stuck on clues, there was always plenty to look at. The view from the helicopter was interesting (Graham the cameraman always doing his "low shot" to perk up the proceedings), and Anneka tried her best to chip in with solving the clues wherever possible. Bless her.

Skyrunner in the helicopter, Anneka Rice

The main problem with the format was that if there was only 3 minutes on the clock, and that the next location was miles away, we just knew they weren't going to make it. This was a bug that was solved in the next similar show in the genre, Interceptor. That said, Treasure Hunt got seven series, Interceptor got one. There's no justice.

In the final series, Anneka Rice was replaced by tennis-player Annabel Croft, who went on to do the afore-mentioned Interceptor with the same production team/helicopter crew combo (Chatsworth Television and Castle Air).

Key moments

The spectacular seasonal specials, set in foreign countries.


"Stop the clock!"


Based on the French show La Chasse aux Trèsors.

Theme music

The famous theme tune was called Peak Performance, composed by Zack Lawrence. The 2003 edition was composed by Francis Haines (of Another 9 1/2 Weeks, no less). It was tweaked slightly between the pilot week and the full international series because Lawrence felt that they used a similar riff.


The skyrunner's helicopter had the registration G-BHXU (pilot: Keith Thompson). The communications helicopter that flew alongside was G-SPEY (pilots: Geoff Newman and Michael Malric-Smith - see Interceptor).

The 1984 adjudicator, Annette Lynton, is married to Nick Mason from the group Pink Floyd. She still appears in various film and TV productions as an actress.

A best-of programme in 1983 called Treasure Hunt: A Second Look featured Kenneth (in the chopper) and Anneka (in the studio) presenting highlights from the first series. In 1986, a behind-the-scenes doc The Making of Treasure Hunt was produced.


A Treasure Hunt book and board game was produced.

Web links

Martin Underwood's episode list

Chatsworth TV

Expand Images (makers of the original French show and a spin-off called La Carte aux Trèsors).

Off the Telly review of original series

Off the Telly article of the come-back series

Wikipedia entry


Picture 1 - Annabel Croft, skyrunner who replaced Anneka Rice.


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