X Marks the Spot



Neil McLachlan (unaired TV pilot)

Pete McCarthy (1998-2004)

David Stafford (2004-6)


Voiceover: Jane Copland

Regular panellists:
David Edwards (Millionaire winner)
Simon Fanshawe (comedian)
Daphne Fowler (Egghead)
Sue Gaisford (writer)
Gerry Hanson (pundit)
Hilary Kay (antiques expert)
John Sergeant (political editor)
Brian Sewell (art critic)
Robin Simon (art journalist)
David Stafford (later host)
Irene Thomas (radio celeb)


Hewland International for BBC Radio 4, 29 July 1998 to 28 August 2006 (54 episodes in 9 series)


Knockabout panel game, somewhat similar to Round Britain Quiz except that you don't need to know the DNA superstructure of a gnat or all the Kochel numbers off the back of your hand. Strangely, this show has more British content than RBQ since it concerns the locations of four places around the British Isles. These four places join up to form a giant X on the map. Where the two lines cross, a treasure is (metaphorically) hidden. Unlike Treasure Hunt, there is no actual buried treasure and the panel do not have to fetch it, merely identify it.

With it so far? OK, now after they've identified a location they can use the balance of the 5 minute time limit to answer a supplementary question about something interesting in that place. Finding this answer gives the team one complete line of a four-line riddle which, at the end of the show, will help them name the British 'treasure' (not necessarily an object - it could be a person, event concept etc.) Not answering in time means that the team are given the line anyway but with a crucial word missing.

David Stafford took over the reins from series 7 after the unfortunate death of Pete McCarthy in October 2004. The programme originally featured science museum demonstrators and people off of Time Team. In later series, there were more 'names' on the show, such as Brian Sewell, John Sergeant, Francine Stock and Sally Traffic off of Radio 2.

Key moments

Any time Brian Sewell makes a joke about the women in Suffolk.


John Higgs


Originally, the program was pitched as a TV show but, despite the visual nature of the "forming the cross" mechanic, it was picked up as a radio show first.

Questions written by David J. Bodycombe.


To correct something on this page or post an addition, please complete this form and press "Send":
If you are asking us a question, please read our contact us page and FAQ first.

Name: E-mail:   
A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in