Say What You See….

Catchphrase, 1986 – present

The popular Saturday teatime game show originally hosted by Roy Walker of ‘The Comedians’ fame.  It was based on a short-lived US game show of the same name.

The original show was hosted by Roy Walker until 1999, following on from him in 2000 a further three series were hosted by Nick Weir until the show was moved from it’s prime time Saturday evening slot to daytime TV in 2002.  Now hosted by Mark Curry the format remained the same, but the show was axed after just one series.

Rumours that the show would return in 2012 were proved correct.  After a pilot was  filmed, hosted by former magician and children’s TV presenter Stephen Mulhern, the series did indeed return in 2013.  Although the original format remained the same the show has been updated with new 3D graphics and a new end game.

Having first hit our screens back in 1986, the original Catchphrase series ran for 17 (will be 20 when it returns) series and clocked up 348 shows along the way.

To date (2022) the new series has been running for 7 series clocking up 58 episodes and counting.  For this post we are looking back at the original series.


The format is very simple: two players one Male and one female would  compete for a chance to compete for the star prize in the super catchphrase.   They would compete over several rounds.

Part one – randomly pick an amount of money to be won for each correct answer.

Round One – The computer draws a catchphrase, at the end of the bell the first contestant to buzz in and correctly identify the catchphrase wins the cash selected in part one plus a chance to remove a random square from the bonus catchphrase which was worth £100 and increased by the same if not identified with each round (the cash sum was reduced to 50 from series 2)

About Bonus Catchphrase – played in first two rounds, if all squares were removed it was no buzzer normal catchphrases, but instead of removing a square you got the chance to guess the now fully revealed bonus.

Round Two – We play the same game only there’s no buzzer, first come first served and the money is a fixed amount.

The contestant with the most money at the end of ready money goes through to Super Catchphrase.

Super Catchphrase –  the winning contestant faced a 5×5 board of 25 squares, each marked with a letter from A to Y in ascending order. The contestant chose a square and attempted to solve a catchphrase behind it. During the Roy Walker era, the aim was to get five squares in 60 seconds.  The prize a holiday.

Over the years there were some revisions made to the game, such as spot prizes, the rules for super catchphrase, but let’s not get too complicated, certainly during Roy Walker’s tenure the show was just good fun and produced some hilarious moments.

It should be noted in the revival series there is a slightly different format starting with 3 contestants.











Hosted By

Roy Walker, 1986 – 1999
Nick Weir, 2000 – 2002
Mark Curry – 2000
Stephen Mulhern – 2013 – present


Channel: ITV
Original Transmission Dates: 12th January 1986 – 19th December 2002

The Original Catchphrase repeats regularly on Challenge

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.