Take Your Pick, 1955
Created and originally hosted by Michael Miles, many people are more likely to remember the Des O’ Connor 1990’s revival.
However,’ Take Your Pick’ started life in the early 1950’s, broadcast by Radio Luxembourg and hosted by it’s creator Michael Miles.
In 1955 with the launch of the new commercial television station ITV the show found it’s way onto TV. Produced by Associated-Rediffusion (later Rediffusion London).
It was the first game show broadcast on commercial television in the UK. And, as the BBC did not at that point offer cash prizes on its game shows, it was also by default the first British game show to offer cash prizes.
It remained on screen until 1968, still with Miles as host and on the gong Alec Dane.
In 1992 the show was revived by Thames with Des O’ Connor as host and Jodie Brooke=Wilson on the gong, she would later become Des O’ Connor’s wife.
In the opening game called the Yes/No game, the host asked the contestant a series of questions for 60 seconds and the contestant could not say yes, no, nod or shake their heads. If they did, the co-host would bang the gong and the contestant would be eliminated (unless other contestants did the same).
Those that survived went through to the next stage.
Here there were 10 boxes numbered from 1 to 10. Three of them would contain booby prizes, one would contain a card awarding a star prize (e.g., a small car or vacation package), and six would contain cards announcing other prizes (e.g., appliances, furniture, or a “treasure chest” of cash (£500 in the first O’Connor series, £1,000 for the remaining series). No-one, including the host, knew what each box contained.
Contestants would be asked general-knowledge questions. If they answered three out of four questions correctly, they picked a key from a set of ten, corresponding to one of the first ten boxes.
The host would then try to buy back the key with increasing amounts of cash, up to about £50 (or, in the revival, a number of hundreds of pounds).
One box also included a key to box 13, which would trigger another round of bidding while the contestant had to choose between their first prize, cash, or box 13 which could have an expensive household item or a booby prize.
Michael Miles and Alec Dane, 1955 – 1968
Des O’ Connor and Jodie Brooke – Wilson, 1992 – 1994
Des O’ Connor with Gayle and Gillian Blakeney, 1994
Des O’ Connor and Sarah Matravers, unknown
Des O’ Connor and Sasha Lawrence, unknown
Created By: Michael Miles
(1955 – 1968)
(1992 – 1996)
(1994 – 1998)