Fastest Finger First



Anita Rani


Stellify Media for ITV, 29 August to 2 September 2022 (5 episodes in 1 series)


Daytime feed-in show for Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, with the five winners being "fast-tracked" to sit opposite Jeremy Clarkson. Somehow attracted twenty-five applicants.

The host is Anita Rani, who told the TV Times:

It expands on the familiar first round of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, where players put their answers to a multiple-choice question in a specific order in the fastest time to go forward to the main game.
In Fastest Finger First, we have five contestants take it in turns to work their way up a question ladder. The two players with the best score at the end of the round then go head-to-head in a Fastest Finger First duel.
At the end of each episode, whoever is in the seat when the klaxon sounds wins a place in the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? hot seat in front of Jeremy Clarkson.

Slow lane to a million

The set is the same as for primetime Millionaire with different colours.

Five contestants buzz to answer a general knowledge question. Whoever's right gets control of the game, and first crack at the next question. Twelve questions right in a row wins the round at once.

But what if you don't know an answer? You can guess, but if you're wrong your score crashes back to 0. Or you can call "safety net!" and pass the question to the other players. Anyone who gets it right will start a chain of their own.

If you've passed on a question, and later get something right, you'll continue your chain of correct answers. They're after a chain of 12 correct answers, no errors, but as many "safety net!"s as you like.

The graphics are much clearer than our explanation: Helen's on 2 points, the leader's on 5.

Highest score when the klaxon goes is the winner - but if someone's in play but not in the lead, they can keep answering until they overtake the leader or get one wrong.

Winner of this round advances to the main game. Another qualifying round finds their opponent.

The winners take their seats in the middle.

Our two qualifiers play a best-of-seven series of Fastest Finger First questions. Put things in some order, fastest correct answer wins the point. Anita explains each answer as we go on.

Winner of this round remains as a qualifier for the next Fastest Finger First round; the loser drops back into the contestant pool and needs to qualify again.

They circle around again and again - qualifier, main game, qualifier, main game, qualifier, main game. Four rounds of Fastest Finger First get played in the show, and whoever wins that last round goes forward to the main show.

Anita Rani reads a question.

As a game, Fastest Finger First is of high quality. Interesting little questions, enough to mull over while they're asked, and the qualifier round was mostly easy for viewers at home - like on Tipping Point, they want people to get the questions right. Anita Rani is as good as ever, the graphics were clear and precise, the music was the peerless Strachan and Strachan suite.

As a show, Fastest Finger First wasn't great. It's an hour of doing the same two things over and over again. Very little reward in the first part of the programme. There's absolutely no jeopardy, no early eliminations, everyone's in play until the final qualifying round.

The daily winners on Fastest Finger First were called on the next two editions of primetime Who Wants to be a Millionaire, so anyone who followed the daytime show only had to remember contestants for nine days.

There's a very decent format lurking in Fastest Finger First, but we haven't yet seen it.


Created by Kieran Doherty and Matthew Worthy, who are also amongst the Executive Producers.

Theme Music

Keith Strachan and Matthew Strachan


Replaced Tipping Point for a week in the 4pm hour. Except that Monday was a bank holiday, and the show aired at 4.30.

The TV Times was wrong: there's no klaxon at the end of the game, winners are announced by Anita.

One of the winners, John McKenna, would later become the first civilian of Clarkson's tenure to go home with nothing, after asking the audience on his £1,000 question and going with the 52% who thought that croquetas were a thick omelette made with fried onion and potatoes (the correct answer was tortilla).

Voted the Worst New Show in this site's Poll of 2022

See also

Weaver's Week review

Bother's Bar review

People's Quiz Wildcard, another daytime feeder show.


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