You Bet!



Bruce Forsyth (original host) 1988-1990

Matthew Kelly 1991-1995

Darren Day 1996-1997


Ellis Ward (1988-92)

Diane Youdale (1996)

Sarah Matravers (1997)


LWT for ITV, 20th February 1988 to 12th April 1997 (92 episodes)


Well made and sometimes stunning stunt show, a precursor to the more extreme Don't Try This at Home!.

Members of the public bet they can do a particularly whacky, impressive or just plain dangerous feat. 100 members of the audience bet on whether they think they can do it, as do four (later: three) celebs. The celebs try to guess the correct outcome, thus earning points (which are later turned into pounds for charity, mate) as well as avoiding the all-important celebrity forfeit.

The challenges on the show can be categoried into stunts (doing a wheelie in a truck for 1 mile), memory tests (identifying a Madonna song from 5 seconds of the backing track), and skill games (scoring 50 basketball hoops while riding on a motorcycle).

The outside challenges were filmed during the summer months and slotted in, everyone involved in the filming having sworn on their grandmother's grave that they wouldn't say the result. The reward for a successful challenge varied from an award called the "You Bet Betsy", to a scroll, to a medal, but that was it.

One such challenge from the 1994 series - can you make 20 pizzas in 2 minutes?

A good show that wore well in the Saturday night TV battles.

Key moments

The two types of fanfare for the end of the challenge: the "happy happy" one and the "oh dear, it's all gone pear-shaped" one.

The Red Devils were memorable challengers on the show, mainly because they failed 3 challenges in a row. They did however finally complete their 4th challenge.


Brucie got the show off to a strong start, despite the decidedly un-streetwise "You Bet Rap", dropped in later series but recorded here for posterity:

Bruce: You wanna bet on it?
Audience: You Bet!
Bruce: So you wanna get on it?
Audience: You Bet!
Bruce: So don't fret, get set, are you ready?
Audience: You Bet!

Another Brucie quote went: "You're now betting for the fate of Forsyth in the form of a forfeit. If you're right - I'm alright, but if you're wrong - I'm right in it!"

Brucie (before the ad break): "We'll be back in a bit, you can bet on it!"

And of course... "Make your bet!", which was changed to "Place your bets now!" when Matthew Kelly took over.


11 years after its UK swansong, Antan Dec took the format to the States with their presenting debut, Wanna Bet?.

Malandra Burrows was the show's highest celebrity guest scorer. She appeared during the final series and scored 401.

Annabel Giles was the most frequent celebrity guest, appearing five times.


Based on an idea by Frank Elstner. it was originally a German show called Wetten dass...? See the ZDF web site for more information.


Wikipedia entry


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