Scratch 'n' Sniff's Den of Doom



Puppet hyenas Scratch 'n' Sniff (Don Austen and John Eccleston)


Announcer: Mitch Johnson


ITV Productions in association with The Foundation for ITV1/CITV Channel, 6 January to 23 February 2007 (15 episodes in 1 series)

(Transferred to CITV Channel for last 10 episodes - see Trivia below)


The show where the hosts ask: "Meal or no meal?"

Five friends fight against each other to avoid host hyenas' cooking pot and leave the den alive with the Den of Doom Doodah - what appears to be a cheap trophy.

Set in a den deep underground, contestants are eliminated out of each round by being dropped into the pot - a large vat of green gunge. Three steps separate them from life and DOOOOOOOOOOOOM: get a question wrong and they take one step closer to DOOOOOOOOOOOOM. Get it right and one of their friends are nominated to take a step closer to DOOOOOOOOOOOOM.

The Dancing Lights of Luck, a glorified random outcome-picker, decides who goes first in each round. When a contestant reaches the drop zone, a klazon is set off and they are asked a Question Impossible - a question that they're very unlikely to get the answer to, such as 'What travels around the world, yet stays in one corner?'. An incorrect answer or an "I don't know" results in a drop into the cooking pot.

In the second round, the player positions are reset, but the same rules apply. In the third round, two players are dropped instead of the one.

The last round leaves the finalist trying to answer a question with five possible answers - each of those answers represented by drop zone. In a limited time, they are asked to step onto the associated drop zone. The incorrect answers are revealed one by one, with the eventual outcome of either dropping into the pot, or escaping the dinner plate with the coveted trophy.

The hosts provide plenty of comedy in the form of puns and witty comments. The rules are not too far from those of Russian Roulette, so it seems that the format has been rehashed for kids' TV.

Theme music

Mr Miller & Mr Porter


Recorded at The Maidstone Studios.

Don Austen and John Eccleston had previously performed puppet wolves Bro and Bro (whose stock trade was eating kids - and the odd celebrity guest) for the infamously near-knuckle Saturday morning kids show 'What's Up Doc?'. Like Scratch and Sniff, they later got their own spin-off, Wolf It.

It proved to be one of CITV's last original productions - and as was typical practice at the time, the show was dropped from its Saturday morning slot after five episodes on ITV1 with the remaining ten episodes burnt off ad nauseum on the now-defunct CITV Channel in a daytime slot of 4pm from Mondays to Fridays.

See also

Saturday Showdown


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