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Paul Ross


Cactus TV and Anglia for ITV, 16 June 1997 to 1998?


Quickfire quizzery

Four rounds of quick-fire elimination quizzery in a surprisingly carefully produced show seemingly broadcast in the Anglia and Meridian regions only. Six contestants start, each dressed in a woolly pully of a different hue; watch them topple until the winner remains to claim a short holiday.

Round 1

The first round has contestants' fortunes being replaced by six carriages at the evenly-spaced spokes of a Ferris wheel. Contestants providing incorrect answers suffer the penalty of a weight being placed in their carriage; contestants providing right ones can place a weight in the carriage of another player's (usually the one diametrically opposite). The carriages are loaded up until the end of the round, then the Ferris wheel is allowed to spin until it comes to rest; the two players whose carriages are lowest are eliminated. Very neat-looking game.

Round 2

The second round sees four contestants' correct answers earning the right to place blocks in a 3x3 grid, with a tower of blocks up to four high upon each square. The contestant with the fewest blocks of their colour appearing at the top of the towers is eliminated.

Round 3

Round three, with three remaining players, is more abstract still; contestants earn parts of a pyramid with correct answers; three parts builds a complete pyramid, a fourth knocks the pyramid down. So it's the "who can answer most questions correctly modulo four" game, I suppose, except that's not a very catchy title. It's normally a better tactic to knock someone else's pyramid down than build your own up.


The final sees the two - um - finalists start with a row of matches seven long. Correct answers earn contestants the right to break the opponent's row into two in a place of their choice, or to join two of their own rows together end-to-end. The contestant with the longest remaining row at the end of ninety seconds is the winner.

So, in summary, four slightly unusual scoring systems in an otherwise very ordinary quiz. It moves nice and quickly, making it ideal early-afternoon fare. The new Going For Gold, I suppose - without the exposure.

Key moments

The stylistically questionable use of an extremely retro-looking BBC-computer-style font and cursor at the bottom of otherwise futuristic and attractive graphics in the break bumpers. (Does this earn me a place in Pseud's Corner? (No - Ed.))


Invented by Amanda and Simon Ross, who are not entirely unrelated to the host (being his sister-in-law and brother, though not necessarily in that order).


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