Annabel Raftery (voiceover)
Lion TV for ITV1, 13 June 2005 to 29 June 2006 (16 episodes in 2 series + 4 unaired by original network)
Challenge, March 2007 (last 4 episodes - see Trivia below)
Unwitting and lucky contestants take a unique taxi ride that pays them if they can answer questions right en route. They start with five questions worth £10 each, then five worth £50 each. After that, seven questions are worth £100 followed by the biiiig money £500 questions. But three wrong answers means they're dropped wherever they are. As the opening montage promises, the contestants can phone whoever they like, and even get the help of random passers-by, which gives a bit of variety to the show, and a slight feeling that anything could happen (within strictly-defined parameters).
With the benefits of a well-judged level of jeopardy, a likeable host (who actually is a genuine certified hackney carriage operator) and the difficulty of the questions pitched just about right, this straightforward quiz proved a surprise summer daytime hit with the tastemaking denizens of the UKGS mailing list and has spawned a horde of international remakes including Denmark, France, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Germany (where it is called Quiz Taxi, truly our favourite foreign retitling), Norway (where Endemol are making it as a prime time show), Australia, Romania, Serbia and the USA.
"If you lose your third life, I will politely, but firmly, ask you to leave..."
"You're on super super sudden death now!"
The Cash Cab's registration is Y974 CGP. The support car's is V262 KGT. There appeared to be additional support vehicles in the first programme, but maybe he just got stuck behind the same car all day.
The most won so far in a single trip is £5,800, by an employee and his boss.
Unfortunately, despite giving the show a swift repeat of the first series in September 2005 and commissioning a second series of the show with a run of 10 episodes, ITV seemed to have lost interest in the show soon after, throwing the first four of series 2 out over Christmas 2005, and then scheduling the rest as sacrificial filler around the 2006 World Cup in June months later, to be dropped from the schedules whenever ITV was showing a match. Only two of the remaining six actually went out; the remaining four made their debut as part of a full repeat run on Challenge in March 2007.