Bury Your Hatchet



Bob Monkhouse with Denis Goodwin


Phyllis Foster


ATV for ITV, 19 March to 30 April 1957 (9 episodes in 1 series)


Billed in the Television Times as follows: "People with a grudge against each other compete in a money quiz with the loser agreeing to bury the hatchet." It was partly based on St. Bob's previous show, Do You Trust Your Wife?

A couple (made up of a man and a woman - but not necessarily husband and wife) would be brought on and the nature of their grievances explained. Then Bob would ask one of them a category-type question such as "Name a famous composer". If the contestant guessed the answer on the card, they won £10, otherwise Bob would give up to three clues, each reducing the prize money on offer by £1. Each contestant would get two such questions for a posible £10 each and another two for a possible £20, with each clue costing £2.

At the end of this, whichever had won the most money was declared the winner, and the loser apparently agreed to give up their annoying habit for six months, with scrolls being signed to that effect. The loser was also given a miniature hatchet with instructions to bury it (yeah, right).

Three couples went through this rigmorale and then a rather odd "endgame" was played. A celebrity couple was brought on and asked to identify five famous people from photographs of the top halves of their heads. Each correct answer added £20 to the prize fund, so the jackpot could be up to £100. This was then awarded to one of the six contestants - completely at random. The six contestants were sat on numbered chairs. The celebs were handed a pack of six numbered cards and picked them out, one at a time, thus eliminating the person in that seat. The last one left in at the end won the jackpot.

Possibly one of the worst game shows ever.


TV critic Bernard Levin really disliked this show. He wrote:

With "Bury Your Hatchet", Independent Television has raised imbecility to the status of an art. Recklessly mixing my metaphors, I would add that with this programme rock bottom has been reached, were it not so far the fact that so often as I have said or implied as much in the past, so surely have I been belied a week later. Yet hitherto, as each new low point has been attained, I have been able to say only that I cannot see how they could possibly get any lower, now I can go so far as to say that, even as a philosophical exercise, it is impossible for the human brain to conceive of anything worse than "Bury Your Hatchet".


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