1 vs 100




Dermot O'Leary (2006-07)

Ben Shephard (2008-09)


Alan Dedicoat (voiceover)


Initial for BBC One, 30 September 2006 to 23 May 2009 (32 episodes in 4 series)


After the disaster of Millionaire Manor, the BBC go into default mode and adapt a successful, if complicated, Dutch lottery format, with Dermot O'Leary at the helm.

The aim of the game is for one contestant to answer questions against 100 others and eventually try to eliminate them all.

File:1vs100selection.jpgThe 1 is selected.

The player has a choice of two topics and are asked a three-way multiple choice question on their chosen category.

File:1vs100quchoice.jpgThe 1 chooses a category.
File:1vs100qu.jpgJo Brand?

The "100" are given six seconds to answer via pressing a keypad.

File:1vs100clock.jpgThe clock (represented by the background lighting effect, there) ticks away.

In the pre-2010 Millionaire style, the "1" can then give their answer in their own time. If the 1 is correct, they stay in the game. If they are wrong, they leave with nothing. If any of the 100 get a question wrong they are eliminated, and for each elimination the 1 receives £1,000. However, to get their hands on the money they must eliminate all 100 opponents.


Here's where it gets complicated. After the player has earned some money, they are given three "dodges" (lifelines *cough*). These allow the 1 to avoid answering a question - however, wrong answers from the 100 are still eliminated but the 1 doesn't earn any money for this. To cap it all, the 1's current money is halved. Also available is one "double", a joker the 1 can play before answering a question wherupon each elimination of the 100 is worth £2,000 a head.

File:1vs100arena.jpgThe 1 vs 100 arena, complete with oversized rectal thermometer

To further the Beano theme, a "bonus dodge" topic comes up later in the game when the 1 has eliminated 75 of the 100. This is a question of an unknown subject matter which is worth an extra dodge (but cannot itself be dodged).

£50,000 is added to the final total to anyone who can complete a game. Therefore, technically the top prize does match the pre-show rumoured £250,000 (well, almost - the player could gain their double by eliminating just one opponent, then play it on the next question and eliminate the remaining 99, pocketing £249,000). Frankly, it's not gonna happen and it's just not as good a prize as Deal or No Deal's. That a lottery show on prime-time BBC can't compete with Channel 4 daytime is a sad state of affairs.

To further complicate things, if the last of the 100 is eliminated on a question that the player has not dodged, they are given the chance to "bail" before they find out if their answer is correct - if they do this, then they win the money they've accumulated so far regardless of whether their answer is correct, but they don't get the £50,000 bonus. Since the player could have anything between a couple of grand and more than a hundred thousand at this point, it's a gamble of highly variable riskiness.

When the player has failed or completed their run, the next 1 is selected from those in the 100 who remained in the game (or if the player defeated the 100, all of them are in contention to play next).

This is the BBC's actual proper successor to their previous hit lotto game show Winning Lines and just like Simon Mayo's tenure on that show, Dermot left 1 vs. 100 after two successful series as he jumped ship to ITV to be the new host of The X Factor. His replacement Ben Shephard took over for the remainder of the show's run, but unlike Winning Lines, which went on for four more series with Phillip Schofield, Ben's tenure only lasted two as well as Dermot and the show was axed in favour of more series of another lotto game show Who Dares Wins.


Based on the Dutch lottery format Eenenheren versenagerht Einhunderwoortentortengen (read: Een Tegen 100).

Theme music

Augustin Bousfield composed a full score.


The 2006 series was filmed at Fountain Studios in Wembley, the 2007 and 2008 series at Maidstone Studios, and the 2009 series at BBC Scotland's Pacific Quay HQ.

Web links

BBC programme page

Wikipedia entry

See also

National Lottery shows


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