Johnny Beattie (1981–1984)
Jack McLaughlin (1985–1986)
Grant Stott (Celebrity version)
Fred MacAulay (Children's version)
Steve Hamilton (1981-1986)
Broadcast (Scottish)
Now You See It UK
5 January 1981-27 July 1986
Celebrity Special: 1993
Now You See It UK 2
Kid's Version: 11 July 1994-August 1995
Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions for Scottish Television

Now You See It was a game show based on Wordsearch where contestants had to find words hidden in a jumbled board of letters. It was based on the American version of the same name.


The main game principle was based on the word search concept. The game boards had four rows ("lines") with 14 (later 16) letters of the alphabet ("positions") in each row. The host of the show read general-knowledge trivia questions with single-word answers that were concealed within the jumble of letters on the board for that round. The answers on the board were always written horizontally from left to right.

Rules of the 1981-1986 VersionEdit

Round 1Edit

The show began with four new players competing against each other. The host read a series of questions. The first player to ring in would say which line the correct answer appeared on. If the correct line was given, s/he would then give the position number and the word. If the wrong line was guessed, the other player(s) got a chance to answer. If the correct position and answer was given, the player earned points equal to the sum of the line and position numbers (Example: a word on line 3 and in position 3 was worth 6 points). Otherwise, nobody scored for that word. The three players with the highest scores when time ran out won the round.

Round 2: CrypticEdit

In round two, the winners of the first round competed against each other in what's called the "Cryptic" round or "The Letter Game." A string of 16 concealed letters was shown to the contestants, and the host read a crossword-style clue. The 16 letter string began to reveal one letter at a time until a player rung in and answered correctly, or only one letter was left in the word. If a contestant rung in and gave an incorrect answer, (one of) the opponent(s) was given a free letter and a free guess. If they too came up with a wrong answer, the word would continue to be revealed. If nobody guessed the word with one letter left, it was revealed. The host then read another clue, and began revealing letters; the next answer used letters from the end of the previous answer in the string. The first two players to guess four words correctly won the round and advanced to the final round.

Round 3Edit

The winners of the Cryptic round competed against each other in the final round which was played exactly the same as the first round. The difference here is that at some point in the round, the points were doubled. For Johnny Beattie's run, all questions were worth double value when somebody reached 50 points, just like in America during the 2nd format. For Jack McLaughlin's run, a question's value was doubled at the sound of a signal.

The player with the most points when time ran out became the day's winner.

Champion's BoardEdit

In 1985, around the time Jack McLaughlin took over as host, a new bonus round was instituted. It worked almost like the Solo Game from the U.S. and Australian versions, only it worked a little differently.

To begin this round a new board was revealed. The winning player had two minutes (2:00) to find 7 out of 12 words on that board. All the correct words on that board fit under a specific category. Once the host read a clue to one of those words, the winning contestant called for it the same way as in the main game. The contestant had the option to pass on a question but s/he can do that no more than five times. If seven words were found before time expired, the contestant won a mystery star prize to which a clue to it was on the board.

Rules of the 1994-1995 VersionEdit

The show later came back in 1994 as a children's version with Fred MacAulay as the host.


Line GamesEdit

The host read a clue, and the answer was revealed one letter at a time, sometimes using one or more letters of the previous word. Letters were revealed until someone buzzed in and gave the correct answer and score or if only one letter was left in the word. Each subsequent word uses one or more letters of the previous word. Each correct answer was worth two points.

Big BoardEdit

The host read a question and the first player to buzz in guesses the line number. If correct he/she then gives the position number and the word. Players score based on the line number & position of the first letter.

This game was played twice each round. The second Big Board game was timed; players had one minute to build up their scores by answering questions correctly. The first 30 seconds offered single points while the last 30 offered double the points.


The match is divided into three rounds. The first round was played by two boys and the second round was played by two girls. The winners of the first two rounds went on to play round three for the right to play the "Super Board Round" for a star prize.

Super BoardEdit

To start, the winner of the match was given a choice of two prizes to play for. Once a star prize was selected, a new board was revealed. The winning kid had 60 seconds to find seven out of ten words on that board. Once the host read a clue to one of those words, the contestant used an electronic pencil to circle the word that was being guessed and call it out. The contestant had the option to pass at any time and return to that question later. If seven words were found before time expired, the contestant won the selected prize.


For first two series, the winner's prize was £100. In series 3, the prizes were increased to £400 for the winner and £100 for the runner up. By 1985, the winner won £500, the first runner-up won £100, and the player eliminated in the second round £50. In all series, all contestants received an engraved crystal decanter and four glasses. Prizes were awarded for the celebrity and children's versions, but no money was earned.

Other VersionsEdit

The celebrity edition would be played on the 1993 children's series Wemyss Bay 902101. Each game pitted a team of two stars of one programme against a team of two stars from another programme. The cryptic round would be played first, except that each correct answer scored two points. The second round would be played exactly like the Solo Rounds from 1985-86, except that each team took one turn circling answers for 60 seconds and each correct answer scored 5 points. The third round played exactly like the first and third round of the STV series.

The 1993 children's specials would be played exactly like the celebrity series, with each team representing their own school. The four highest scoring teams of the series would go through to the semi-finals and the series winners would win a grand prize package and the runners-up in the final would win a lesser prize package.

Additional PagesEdit

List of Now You See It episodes and specials
List of Celebrities on Now You See It


Score Productions


Based on the American version created by Frank Wayne

YouTube LinksEdit

Full Episode of the Show
A Full Episode of the Jack McLaughlin era
Now You See It @ STVEntsandComedy

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