Win, Lose or Draw



Danny Baker (1990-3)

Darren Day (Teen version)

Shane Richie (1994)

Bob Mills (1995-8)

Liza Tarbuck (Late version)


Team captains: Sue Perkins and Ed Hall (Late version)


Scottish for ITV, 30 January 1990 to 27 February 1998 (381 episodes in 9 series)

Teen Version (for GMTV): 1993

Late Version: SMG Productions for ITV1, 14 April to 22 October 2004 (20 episodes in 1 series)


A tribute to the Pictionary (™, ©, ®, Pat Pend., Design Reg., yada yada) board game in which male and female teams composed of two celebrities and one civilian compete in a series of rounds based on communicating phrases and titles through the gift of art in a show set in a comfy drawing room.

The first three rounds see the three team members in turn try to draw a given phrase/title in a minute, earning twenty-five pounds for a correct guess in the first half-minute, twenty pounds for one in the second half-minute and ten quid for a single correct guess at the opponents' drawing should the minute expire. This was changed at some point to the more familiar fifty/thirty/twenty in later series.

The final round has a single artist attempting to draw as many objects (normally single-word nouns) as possible within two minutes for ten pounds a time. Only two items can be passed upon within the 120 seconds; all other items must be guessed correctly before the artist can move on. No bonus game, but the winning team earned a bonus hundred quid for their contestant. The celebrities competed for a week at a time and built up an ongoing rivalry.

Several cuts above usual 9:25 fare. Cheeky and engaging.

Teen version

Darren Day hosted the teenager version, so you just know it's gonna be good!

What this boils down to is a poor man's version of the original show, a show that lives or dies by the host's ability to mock people's ability to draw. This then is the patronising friendly version for teenagers because they like being patronised. Yes they do, dear.

Two teams (aided and abetted by a celebrity captain off of a programme on Children's ITV) draw stuff, and the rest of the team tries to guess it. Little in the way of witty banter and watered-down rules mean a very bad show.

Late version

Having been off our screens for several years, ITV1 decided to bring back the format in 2004 in a way that can only be described as "a little disappointing". Whilst keeping the set and the music from the old versions, Win, Lose or Draw Late went all rude and alcohol based. Whilst granted, its not without its moments, we grew bored of it quite quickly. The format was essentially the same (with the points divided by ten) with Liza Tarbuck installed as the new host and the members of the public replaced by regular team captains Sue Perkins (off of Casting Couch with comedy partner Mel) and Ed Hall (of Bare Necessities and X-Fire fame).

Key moments

Zillions of 'em. Danny Baker awarded a mug of play money for a correct response to an impromptu trivia question, awarded yellow sticks as warning to contestants who used their hands (as opposed to their drawings) to illustrate their phrases, kept a record of highest performers in the final round and immortalised artists scoring in double figures on that round on the Wall of Fame. And what about that Tommy "Whizz Fingers" Boyd, eh?

Bob Mills declared Wednesday to be Waistcoat Day and insisted upon properly attired players all round; he also had an invariably stupendously easy viewers' 0891 question introduced by a snippet of improvised dance in the style of the musical cue of the day.


"Only a doodle will do! [SFX: Fun House Cock crowing]" (Mills era)

"Our little Thameside apartment, overlooking the rent."

(Regarding the stupidly easy viewers question) "... and if you're still not sure of the answer, there's an extra clue on the line..."


Based on the US show of the same name, created by Burt Reynolds and his business partner, the late Bert Convy.

Theme music

1990-3: Gerrard Langella & Olivier Masselot

1994: Richard Myhill

1995-8: Paul Boross & Henry Marsh


A bloke called Michael Pennington was a contestant once. He barely spoke in the entire show, even though he'd said on his application that his ambition was to be a stand-up comic. Naturally, Bob Mills did rib him a little for that, especially when Michael revealed that he'd already chosen a stage name: Johnny Vegas.

Part 1 of Michael 'Johnny Vegas' Pennington's appearance on the show

The record for the speed round, according to Bob Mills in 1998, was 17 clues as drawn by Liza Tarbuck.

The teen version of the show was part of GMTV's original weekend line-up and deemed 'educational'. It was replaced within three months with an imported cartoon to apparently, some criticism.

The original version was produced for the most part from STV's old Edinburgh base at the Gateway Theatre (the same studios were used for Take The High Road).

Web links

Wikipedia entry

Bother's Bar review


An episode from the American version.

See also

De Tha Seo?, a Gaelic language version of the format.


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