Takeover Bid



Bruce Forsyth


Claire Sutton


BBC1, 26 May 1990 to 15 July 1991 (28 episodes in 2 series)


The show always started with Bruce attempting to throw his hat and umbrella onto a hat-stand and always failed miserably. We individually met all the contestants and each one was treated to Forsyth's Fact or Fib?, where Bruce would first feel smug about the alliteration, then read a statement which was either true or false. They were given a selection of prizes,worth 1, 2, 3 or 4 stars and they had to decide which of those prizes they wanted to wager. (The 1-star prize was always some jokey item related in some way to the contestant - such as a lady whose surname was 'Topliss' getting a bra, a man called Des O'Connor getting - guess what! - a Des O'Connor LP and a lady who adored fancy earrings getting a pair of fire-bucket earrings. That was a nice, comical touch.) Bruce would always keep the contestant on the hook for a moment once the answer had been given and then he'd sound gloomy if they'd got it right and amused if they got it wrong - just to keep up that little touch of unpredictability. If they got the question correct they were able to start with a bonus of whichever value they had bid. If they failed, in the first series, they'd lose the prize concerned, but not in the second series. In both, however, the bonus would come in very handy if the contestant won the next round. (At this point, Claire would usually throw in some quirky fact related to the question and say, "I knew that," to which Bruce would respond, in mock-disgust, "Yes - you would!")

The round that followed, Crazy Cryptics, involved the contestants answering questions to steal prizes. A contestant had to nominate a prize of their own to bet against a prize of their choice from one of their opponents. Each prize was valued at 1 to 5 stars, and there was some rule that said you could only try to steal an opponent's prize that was one star better than the prize you were risking. These two people went head to head. The other contestant had to sit out, but, in the second series, could steal if neither of the others got it right. The contestant with the highest number of stars at the end of that round would get a bonus of 10 stars to take through to the end game, plus the bonus if he/she had got one in the first round - this was normally rounded up to the nearest 5.

File:Takeoverbid forsyth2.jpgCan I do it this week ladies and gentlemen?

Whoever won the big game went onto the final, Star Spin. There was a big circle on the wall divided into 10 subjects and there was a giant five-pointed star in the middle. The star was spun and wherever the five points landed would determine which subjects were asked. The contestants had to bid a certain number of the stars they had already won, depending on how confident they felt on the subject in question. If they reached 100 points before their final question, they could, if they wished (and they usually did!), bid all their points for the chance to win a holiday or some other big prize by answering that question. If they failed, they'd win nothing, although Bruce would always throw something in 'out of his own personal pocket' - apparently! There was always the risk that they might run out of points early on in the round, or they might not get enough to reach the 100. If the latter happened, they could at least cut their losses by bidding all their points to get some smaller prizes.

File:Takeoverbid forsyth3.jpgYES I CAN!!!

A bit like Raise the Roof. Except entertaining. And without a house. A shame that it only lasted two series - it was certainly worthy of more - but the reason that it finished when it did was probably the fact that it received some very poor (and often unfair) reviews from the critics.


"Let's meet my first bargain-hunter!"

(When revealing the 'Fact Or Fib' answer): "Aaaahhh - you're absolutely.....right!" or, "Ha ha! You're absolutely wrong!"

"You haven't lost anything, but you haven't gained anything, either!"

"We want you to be ruthless, we want you to be mean, we want you to enjoy yourselves!"

"Get ready to steal, should you get the chance!"

"Are you there, Claire? Tell us what prizes are on offer tonight!"


Terry Mardell (q.v. Big Break) and John Lyons.

Theme music

Theme by Ian M Wilson and Brucie himself. Altogether now:

I'm gonna make a Takeover Bid for you
I'm gonna shake you up and get rid of you
The time has come, the wipeout's here
I'd like to say I'm sorry but who's sincere?
Takeover Bid, I'm gonna make the Takeover Bid
I'm gonna be the first on the grid to take over you!


Hostess Claire Sutton was part of the cheerleading group G-Force on Gladiators and now presents for QVC.

Web links

Wikipedia entry

Opening titles from the BBC Motion Graphics Archive


An episode from 1991.


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