Derek Hobson (1983-84)

Chris Donat (1990)

Steve Jones (1991-93)

Paul Ross (1995-96)

Richard Madeley (non-broadcast pilot)

Stephen Fry (2024-)


Nick Jackson (1990-91)
David Hopewell (1993)
Charles Foster (1995-96)
Des Clarke (2024-)


Thames for Channel 4, 12 January 1983 to 2 July 1984 (25 episodes in 2 series)

Reg Grundy Productions and TVS for ITV, 3 September 1990 to 20 December 1991 (90 episodes in 2 series)

Reg Grundy Productions and Meridian for ITV, 22 February to 9 April 1993 (35 episodes in 1 series)

Action Time in association with Columbia Tristar Television and KingWorld Productions for Sky One, 4 December 1995 to 7 June 1996

Whisper North for ITV1, 1 January 2024 to present


"The quiz where you get the answers first."
"What is Hitman?"

Ah, Jeopardy. It means risk, you know. This quiz's main attraction is that you get the answers and the correct answer is actually a question, such as:

"A gameshow which has been presented by Derek Hobson, Chris Donat, Steve Jones and Paul Ross."
"What is Jeopardy?"

In reality, this is a rubbish idea. Why not just ask "Which gameshow has been hosted by Derek Hobson, Chris Donat, Steve Jones and Paul Ross?" They might think they're being different and clever. Instead it's just weak, really. If you're going to change the concept of a quiz surely you should do it radically and not just word the questions (answers) a little bit differently? Still, the Americans go overboard for this kind of thing. Ah well.

Three people played three rounds of quizzes to determine the champion. Each round would have six categories, each with five questions (answers) of varying difficulty and points value. Whoever got the last question (answer) right gets to choose next and they will continue until all the answers (questions - do you see how tedious this is yet?) have been used up. Get one right - win the points! Get one wrong - lose the points! Excellent!

And it's double points for round two. Yay. And it's called Double Jeopardy which will please fans of mediocre action thrillers. Unlike the rich US broadcasters, their poor impoverished UK colleagues couldn't afford any decent amounts of cash so points were used instead, which took away most of the "my word, they've just lost $2,000 on a wrong answer" shock that the US show admittedly has. In the TVS/Meridian and Sky One versions, daily winners got £500, or £3000 for five wins in a row with the biggest winners coming back to play Master Jeopardy for a holiday to Mauritius.

Excitingly, people don't know each other's scores and a few of the questions are (fanfare) Daily Doubles which were both daily and double (possibly) which players could bet as many points as they liked on a single question which would include sound and/or video and a question (answer) based on that clip. Major highlight that.

Finally Final Jeopardy where people bet all, some, none or less of their winnings on one final question (answer) in order to win. Of course this involved a bit of intrigue as they didn't know each others' scores, and the amount that they had bet wasn't revealed until after the questions had been written down. Shockingly, the person with the most points won a small amount of cash and the right to play next time.

Still, one nice talking point was the way the lights on the contestants' buzzers would gradually turn off, indicating how much time they had to give a response. That's about as exciting as it got, really.

A Fry Up Delight

In October 2022, ITV decided to try out a pilot with Richard Madeley as host to see if the show could work for UK audiences in the 21st century, and a couple of months later the word came back: it didn't. Or maybe it did, because a couple of months after that, in February 2023 ITV announced they were commissioning a series after all: a twenty episode run at that, each running an hour long. The new series was filmed at Dock10 in Salford, and with Stephen Fry in charge. It was originally planned to premiere in October 2023, but was pushed back to the very start of 2024.

This time, they've kept the theme tune as well as the Final Jeopardy music and the sound effects from the original US version, which we were all delighted to hear and breathed a sigh of relief as the previous UK incarnations tried to differ from that and failed miserably.

A very familiar set.

The contestants now played for cash amounts on the board rather than points, which ranged from £25, £50, £75, £100, and for some strange reason, £150 instead of £125.

The first and second round cash amounts.

We have two main problems with the revival. First is that ITV have decided to pad the show out to an hour and pad it out they did because they decided to replay the first round with the same amounts of cash, which is a waste of time to be honest, why not have a Triple Jeopardy round rather than playing the first round over again? And the second is, there's no studio audience, it's all canned, which feels really awkward for a show like this.

A sample answer.

But on the positive side, Stephen Fry is a really good host here, he's very friendly to the contestants and quite funny to lighten the atmosphere.

Jeopardy!A contestant buzzes in with a question.

Definitely one of the better incarnations that the UK has attempted to replicate the US juggernaut, but either get rid of the padding of the repeated first round or change it to a Triple Jeopardy round to avoid copy and pasting.

It's chat time with Stephen Fry.

The first episode went out at 5.45pm on New Year's Day and it was reported on Whisper's Twitter account that 2.2 million viewers saw the premiere making it ITV's highest rated launch of a game show in a daytime slot since the debut of Lingo in 2021, the rest of the series aired at 4pm in the Tipping Point slot after Deal or No Deal ended its run. Will a second series be on the cards? Only time will tell.

Jeopardy!Final Jeopardy in progress.


Based on the Merv Griffin show in the US.

Mitch Nelson observes:

It might be interesting to note why Jeopardy is the way it is: It was the first quiz show after the 1950s US quiz show scandals where contestants were secretly given answers to the questions. So NBC created a big sensation with mysterious promos revealing that a new game show would again be giving contestants the answers to the questions. It was a deviously clever idea at the time, even if it seems like an unnecessary gimmick now.

Theme music

The ITV version used a strange variation on the original US "Think!" theme (famously composed by Merv Griffin as "A Time for Tony", a lullaby for his son). It's the same tune but with a couple of notes swapped around. The think music for Final Jeopardy was completely different when Steve Jones took over hosting.

The Sky One version of the theme tune is composed by Simon Etchell.


The first Channel 4 series aired on Wednesday afternoons at 4.45pm, the second on Monday afternoons at 5.30 after Countdown. All three of the 1990s ITV series aired on Monday to Friday mornings at 9.25am, just after TV-am/GMTV had finished. For more, we have a complete guide to ITV's 9.25 shows. The Sky One series aired Monday to Friday evenings at 6.30 just after The Simpsons.

Episodes from the original US version aired daily mornings on Sky One from July 1995 to December 1996.

The Sky One version was filmed at Television House in Nottingham.

Daphne Fowler postponed her honeymoon to Cornwall to appear on this show. She ended up going to California instead.

Web links

Wikipedia entry


A 1991 episode with Steve Jones

See also

Weaver's Week review (2024)


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