Winner Takes All, 1975

An old game show from 1970’s Friday nights, hosted by another comedian, this time it’s Jimmy Tarbuck.

Winner Takes All first aired in 1975, hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck it ran until 1987, when for the final series co-host Geoffrey Wheeler took up presenting duties, as the show moved from it’s prime time Friday night slot to day time.  The original show ran for 14 series, amounting to 248 episodes of which three were specials (a Christmas and two all star), between 1975 and 1988.

From 1980 until 1987, Winner Takes All started with an alternative version of the Yorkshire Television ident where the chevron would spin toward the screen revealing the four contestants who appeared on that week’s edition. The final ITV series in 1988 was a Television Techniques production for Yorkshire Television.

In 1997 an attempt was made by digital broadcaster Challenge to revive the show.  Jimmy Tarbuck declined the offer to take the reigns again and the show was instead fronted by comedian Bobby Davro.  The revived version ran for just one series.


The two contestants start with 50 points each (30 points when it became a daytime show in 1988) and were asked multiple choice questions .  Each of the six possible answers had  odds (Evens, 2-1, 3–1, 4–1, 5–1 & 10–1) and after each question was asked, the contestants were asked how many points they would like to bet and then they selected the odds that corresponded to the answer they thought was correct, if they got the correct answer, they won the points the odds were worth, if they gave a wrong answer, they lost the points, the contestant with the most points won through to the final while the loser left the show with nothing.

In later series, the losers took home a filofax (except the 1988 series where they took home an encyclopedia).

In the Challenge TV version, the losers took home a Winner Takes All T-Shirt. Then, they played again with two different contestants and the winner of that met the winner of the first game.

The two winners played for cash in the final with a maximum of £1,000 to be won. Only the winner took the money home while the loser took home a consolation prize of £100: the winning contestant was given the option of returning on the next show to add to his or her winnings, but if they returned and lost they would lose all but £100 of their winnings.






Presented By

Jimmy Tarbuck – 1975 – 1988
Geoffrey Wheeler – 1988
Bobby Davro – 1997

Voices Of

Geoffrey Wheeler – 1975-87
Gaynor Barnes – 1997


ITV – 1975 – 1988
Challenge – 1997
Created By: Geoffrey Wheeler
Produced By:
Yorkshire Television for ITV (1975 – 1988)
Challenge (1997)
Original Transmission Dates: 20th April 1975 –  11th April 1988 and 1997

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