Spellbound (1)



Paul Coia


Co-hosted with Debbie Greenwood in later series


Action Time for Sky One, 3 October 1994 to 31 August 1996 (140 episodes in 3 series)


Live "We're-a-bit-like-Bob's Full House" show, three contestants attempt to uncover words on a 3x5 board of televisions.

On each screen was a number between 1 and 100, completely at random, and behind each number was a letter. Most of these made one of two words, the others didn't and were "Lousy Letters". At the beginning of each round a subject was announced and each contestant was allowed to pick a number for free. If there was a good letter behind it they would get that number of points and if it was lousy then they would get nothing.

Paul Coia in front of the game board

After that it was a general knowledge free-for-all and correct answers were rewarded with more goes at the board. If they uncovered a "Starter letter" (signified by a star) they would get a 50 point bonus and another go, and if they completed a word (which was interconnected snake-style within the screens) they'd also win 50 points.

After three rounds, whoever has the most points goes into the final. They would tell of an interest and three words that sum up that interest. Two vowels from each word would then mysteriously disappear. If they can find them, they'd win prizes. The screens now had three rows of cards, each one with a Joker, a club, spade, heart and diamond. They picked eight of the fifteen and behind each one was a vowel (three of each one). If they could fill in one word they'd win £250, two was worth £500, and all three meant a holiday or a random cashpot of over £1000.

Paul Coia with co-host (and wife, incidentally) Debbie Greenwood.

There was also viewer "interactivity" (i.e. 0898 competition - kerrr-ching!). People who had brought Sky's official telly guide (kerrr-ching! again) had cards to play along in the Bingo styleee. If they won, they could phone up and answer a question live on the telly for a mug and £1000.

Key moments

On the final show of the first series, the contestant who played the Spellbound Challenge at the end of the show got the usual board but the Joker was a picture of a certain Mr Coia horsing around with his tongue out. Paul seemed somewhat amused by all of this and, at one point, when the contestant picked their first joker, he laughed and was heard to remark "Sky - the end of my career!"


Created by Stephen Leahy.

Web links

Wikipedia entry


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