Stake Out (1)



Anthony Davis


Flextech for Challenge TV, 12 November 2001 to 21 December 2001 (30 episodes in 1 series)


File:Stake out 1.jpgThe classic game show host pose. Holding a question card.

Quiz show where people apparently staked £250 of their own money (which was then matched by Challenge, although reports suggest that they discovered asking people to stake their own money wasn't legal quite late in the day and they put up all the money) in order to play. If other people "backed" the player by lending him the money, they would watch the proceedings from the gantry.

File:Stake out 2.jpgOr to put it in perspective, a bad day's prize money on Weakest Link.

Four individuals played and aimed to bankrupt their three opponents. In the opening round, All In, players staked £75 each on four multiple-choice questions and correct answerers split £300; if everyone got it wrong, it was carried into the next question except on question 4, where the whole £300 would be offered on a buzzer question. In the second round, Cashing In, players were offered a multiple-choice question in turn, and could bet any amount of their pot; correct answers doubled their stake, incorrect answers saw their stake offered to their competitors on the buzzers. In the third round, Face Off, contestants faced a player of their choice on a choice of five categories, replaced after everyone has faced someone (so when there's only one category left) and could stake up to their opponent's pot provided they could match it. When two players remain, the final round, All Or Nothing, players play on the buzzer; minimum stakes start at £100 and rise in £100 increments until they reach £500 when they start rising by £250. When one player can't match the minimum stake, players play for the lower pot. Winners would win over £2,000 a game and could return up to four times (a total of five games), reinvesting £250 each time.

File:Stake out 3.jpgContestants pose with the game show host.

Key moments

Two for the They'd Never Get Away With That Nowadays pile: 'pentachamp' Steve holding up a glass of beer and toasting the channel in episode four, and Davis openly jeering at a contestant who in episode 27 had dared not to bring any backers - and who didn't return for episode 28 after the game paused (with varying Face Off lengths, games straddled episodes). To answer your question, 26.


The Chatterbox Partnership


According to former contestants of the show, the idea ran into legal problems and the producers ended up stumping up the stake money for all the contestants instead, at a cost of £30,000.

Early publicity for the show implied a contestant could win up to £25,000. With starting stakes of £250 each doubled, and then potentially doubled again if everybody gambled all of their money and got everything right, that's still only a jackpot of £4,000 for each game, effectively a £1,000 per episode shortfall. Hmm. The highest amount won in any game was £3,450.

Episode 30 was about six minutes longer than the previous 29 episodes, to allow the players to finish their game. Repeats of that episode still give an address to apply for the show even though new episodes stopped being broadcast in 2001.


File:Anthony davis larger.jpgDon't forget the serious yet goofy Anne Robinson stare.
A very good idea to pose in front of the logo.
File:Stakeout aaargh.jpgWe're guessing whatever's just happened wasn't good.

See also

Weaver's Week review


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