British Game Show Wiki
Bob Monkhouse (1980–1983)
Max Bygraves (1983–1985)
Les Dennis (1987–2002)
Andy Collins (2002-2003)
Vernon Kay (2006–2015)
Gino D'Acampo (2020-present)
Andrew Lodge (1980-1985)
Stephen Rhodes (1987–2000)
Peter Dickson (2000–2002, 2007–2015)
Roger Tilling (2002-2003)
Lisa I'Anson (2006)
Penny Layden (2020-present)
Broadcast (ITV)
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6 January 1980 – 10 January 2003
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28 October 2006 – 14 June 2015
20 September 2020 – present
ATV (1980–1982)
Central (1982–1999)
Carlton (1999–2003)
(Talkback) Thames (2006–2015, 2020-present)

Family Fortunes was a British game show, based on the American game show Family Feud.


Two family teams, each with five members, were asked to guess the results of surveys, in which 100 people would be asked open ended questions (e.g. "we asked 100 people to name something associated with the country Wales" or "we asked 100 people to name a breed of dog"). Although rarely acknowledged in the show, the 100 people surveyed were invariably audience members who volunteered before the show.

Each round would begin with a member of each family (in rotation, meaning all players did this at least once) approaching the podium. As the question was read, the first of the two nominees to hit a buzzer gave an answer. If this was not the most popular answer, the other nominee was asked. The family with the more popular answer then chose whether to "play" the question, or "pass" control to the other family.

The host then passed down the line of the controlling team, asking for an answer from each. After each answer, the board would reveal whether this answer featured. If not, a "life" was lost. If a family managed to come up with all the survey answers (most commonly six in the early part of the show, reduced in number after the commercial break), they won the amount in pounds of the total number of people who had given the answers. Every time someone gave an answer that was not on the board, the family would lose a life, accompanied by a large "X" on the board with the famous "eh-uh" sound. If they lost all three lives, the other family was given the chance to "steal" by coming up with an answer that could be among those missing. If this answer was present, the other family won the round and was said to have "stolen" the money; if not, the family who gave the three incorrect answers won the money for their correct answers.

From the second series in 1981 onwards, spot prizes were available in the main game, turning up seemingly at random when certain answers were found. Typically, these were music centres, televisions or video recorders (or in the later years, DVD players). Some were more unorthodox, such as a year's supply of beer, while the same short breaks away – an Agatha Christie Murder Weekend, a stay at a health spa or a canal holiday – were won on the show for many years.

Double Money

Following three rounds before the commercial break (two rounds in series 1), "Double Money" was played. Gameplay was the same as the first rounds, but each answer was worth £2 for each person who said it, and there were generally fewer possible answers. The family who passed £300 (£200 in series 1) first would go on to play "Big Money" (known in some overseas versions as "Fast Money") for the jackpot.

Big Money

This involved two contestants answering five questions that fit with those given by the "100 people surveyed", with the questions asked within a narrow time limit. The first contestant would answer the five questions within 15 seconds; then the second contestant (who had been out of earshot) answered within 20 seconds (the extra time was available in case the contestant repeated an answer already given). If they scored 200 points or more from the ten answers they won the top cash prize. If the family did not earn 200 points, they won £2 per point, up to £398.

The top cash prize in "Big Money" in the first series (1980) was £1,000. From the second series (1981), the prize started at £1,000 then rose by £500 weekly if no one won, to a limit of £2,500 (£3,000 from 1982, which it could stay at for more than one week if it still was not won). Once won, it reverted to £1,000 for the next edition. In the 1987 series, it started at £1,000, and if not won rose by £1,000 per week to a maximum of £3,000. From the 1988 series, the prize was stabilised at £3,000. After the abolition of the IBA's prize limits, the top prize rose to £5,000 from 1996 to 2002.

From 1994 onwards, a bonus star prize was available if all five "top" (most popular) answers were found and they had reached 200 or more points; originally a choice of a holiday or a car, it was changed to just a car.

During the programme's brief daytime run in 2002, the prize values shrunk significantly. If the contestants scored over 200 points they won £1,000 and if they found 5 top answers on top, then it was increased to £3,000.

All-Star Family Fortunes

In 2006, Family Fortunes was revived and renamed All-Star Family Fortunes due to the fact that all the teams were celebrity families. Vernon Kay, who played Family Fortunes during the Gameshow Marathon was the host of the show.

There were three rounds of the main game and two rounds of double score and then the family who had the most after this went on to play Big Money.

In Big Money, the celebrity contestants could win £10,000 for getting over 200 points in "Big Money", which was increased to £30,000 for getting all five top answers. A loss earned £10 times the points earned in both front and end games, up to £1,990+. The spot prizes remained but were won rarely and were now more action-based such as paragliding lessons. These were won by other members of the family, instead of the celebrity.

Current Revival

The series returned to civilian families, with three Single Money questions, then two Double Money questions. The family with the highest score wins the game, while losing families earning £2 times their score. Big Money is played the same as All-Star Family Fortunes, with 200 points winning £10,000, 200 points plus all five top answers winning £30,000, and a loss earning £10 times the points earned in both front and end games.

Additional Pages

List of Family Fortunes episodes and specials
List of Celebrities on Family Fortunes

YouTube Link

Full Episodes of Family Fortunes