Robert Kilroy-Silk
Shafted logoITV: 5 November 2001 – 26 November 2001

Shafted was a British game show that is obviously the worst game show format in the UK.


The game would begin with six players and was played in five rounds. In the first round, each player had to secretly declare how much money they would like to receive, to a maximum of £25,000. Once the amounts were revealed, the person who had asked for the largest amount was immediately eliminated from the game and received nothing. Each of the other five would be credited with the amount they requested.

In each of the next three rounds, the host read the first few words of a question and invited the players to wager a portion of their totals. Once the wagers were entered, the host would read the entire question and the player who made the largest wager had to answer it. A correct answer added the wager to their total, while a miss deducted it. Once the host had asked as many questions as there wezre players still in the game, the leader would choose one opponent to eliminate with no winnings. The totals of all remaining players were then increased to match that of the leader.

At the beginning of the third round, each player was given an option to "Shift," or force an opponent to answer a question meant for them. Each player could only use this option once during the third or fourth rounds.

A complete question would often lead in a very different direction from that suggested by its incomplete prompt. For example:

  • Prompt – Which major planet…
  • Question – Which major Planet Hollywood investor played the lead in the 2000 remake of Get Carter? (Answer: Sylvester Stallone)

In the fifth and final round, the two remaining players would stand at podiums facing each other in a form of the prisoner's dilemma, with the leader's total at stake. A brief snippet of a backstage interview with each player would be shown to the audience, after which both of them had to secretly decide to "share" or "shaft." Their choices were revealed to the home viewers, but not to the audience, host, or players, and they were then given a chance to discuss the situation and change their decisions if they wished. Their final choices determine the fate of the jackpot:

  • If both players chose "share," they each won half the money.
  • If one player chose "share" and the other "shaft," the shafting player won all the money.
  • If both players chose "shaft," neither of them won any money.
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