Central and Talbot Television in association with Al Howard Productions for ITV, 6 September 1993 to 16 December 1994 (150 episodes in 2 series)
Central, Talbot Television and Carlton UK Productions in association with Al Howard Productions for ITV, 4 September to 15 December 1995 (75 episodes in 1 series)
Central, Fremantle (UK) Productions and Carlton in association with Al Howard Productions for ITV, 2 September 1996 to 1 March 1999 (239 episodes in 3 series, 1998-9 as Dale's Supermarket Sweep)
as Dale's Supermarket Sweep: Carlton and Grundy in association with Al Howard Productions for ITV, 2 May 2000 to 6 September 2001 (85 episodes in 1 series)
as Dale's Supermarket Sweep: TalkbackThames in association with Al Howard Productions for ITV1, 12 February to 31 August 2007 (40 episodes in 1 series + 20 unaired)
Three teams of contestants attempted to earn as much time on their clocks as possible by answering product and price related questions. Each team begins with one minute on their clock, but can earn 10 seconds for answering one of Dale's easy-peesy questions about food or Heat-style celebrity gossip. The first member of each team played the first two rounds, they swapped over for the next two, and the "Round Robin" free-for-all at the end involved the players pointlessly swapping positions after every single question.
This time would be used in the Supermarket Sweep itself, where one of each team would go "wild in the aisles" trying to hoy as much grub into their trolleys as their little flabby arms could manage. This bit was excellent fun and there were bonuses to contestants should they want them, including:
- Mini-Sweep: At the opening of the show, Dale would ask a question then ask one of the team to go and find it on the shelves. If they could find it and bring them back within 30 seconds they won a £25 bonus (£50 in the remake) to the Sub-total plus 10 seconds on their clock.
- Pik 'n' Mix: If the shopper wanted to, somewhere in the market was a Pik and Mix counter. If they could weigh up exactly 500g made up of five different varieties of sweets (aided by one of the checkout girls) £50 would be added to the sub-total.
- Manager's Special: Somewhere in the supermarket was a pile of tins. If they could find the one with their team's colour stuck to it they added £50 to the sub-total.
- Pricing Gun: Contestants could price up 12 coffee jars. If they do, that was another £50 (this wasn't included in the 2007 remake).
- Dale's Shopping List: Before the sweep, Dale read out three items. Any shopper who picked up all three of these items earned a £100 bonus. These were usually semi-obscure items.
- Inflatables: Placed around the Supermarket were various wacky inflatables (a big banana or fish or something). Each shopper was allowed to take a maximum of one and they were worth £25, £50, £75 or £100, the actual amount being revealed after the sweep.
There were a few stipulations though - no shopper was allowed more than three of any one item and any broken or dropped items carried a heavy penalty (£25). Oh, and they weren't allowed to knock a cameraman over either.
The team with the highest combined total of "bonus score + value of the items in their trolley" went through to the Super Sweep. This was like a heavily-condensed version of Treasure Hunt only with normal people and a very camp Kenneth Kendall. Hidden in the market were three special objects. Behind the first two were clues to the next one and behind the third object was £2000. They had a minute to find it. If they failed they went home with the value of the goods in their trolley (but not the bonuses).
There was also an "You'll be able to answer this question if you're intelligent enough to breathe" 0898 competition. "Dial Dale and be a winner!" Ooh er Missus!
Re-check it out
The remake in 2007 is nothing short of triumphant. Managing to repaint the walls without undermining the foundations, there's still a lot of fun to be had but the whole thing doesn't descend into parody and farce like Talkback's The Price is Right remake. The format's pretty identical to the original, although it's got a new, bouncier theme tune (with "Check it out"s intact) and the top prize is now £5,000. The questions are a little more challenging than the over-simple original, and the quiz zips along at a pretty good pace too. But why, oh, why is Dale wearing middle-aged leather jackets - when did you last see a supermarket manager in that get up? We want to see him in a Sainsbury's orange fleece at the very least.
Dale: "Good morning shoppers!"
Contestants: "Good morning Dale!"
"The next time you're at the checkout and you hear the beep.. [bip-bip], think of the fun you could be having on Supermarket Sweeeeep!"
"Go wild in the aisles."
Based on a US format by Al Howard, who also devised Sale of the Century.
Original theme composed by Kevin Kitchen.
Original Opening titles
2007 version by Ash Alexander and Simon Darlow.
2007 Opening and Closing titles
A version of the original theme tune, featuring samples of Dale from the show, was released as a single in December 1994: Supermarket Sweep (Will You Dance With Me?) by The Bar-Codes featuring Alison Brown. It reached the dizzy heights of number 72.
Pop video of the Supermarket Sweep theme tune
The show turned Dale Winton into a star somewhat with regular appearances on the National Lottery show. To accommodate for this, by the end he no longer wore smart, acid-coloured suits and the show was renamed "Dale's Supermarket Sweep".
Before Dale was approached to do the show, Keith Chegwin had already turned it down.
The shelves and prices and products all came from Co-op, Asda or Somerfield supermarkets depending on which series you look at.
If contestants didn't go for the giant turkeys straightaway then they were fools and deserved to lose.
There was also a Supermarket Sweep board game.
The grand opening of the supermarket rush. Wait, what?