Steve Jones (1981–1990)
Donny Osmond (2007)
Robin Huston
Thepyramidgame1980s a
ITV: 5 September 1981 – 10 August 1984
The Pyramid Game
ITV: 9 January 1989 – 6 April 1990
Pyramid Game (2007)
Challenge TV: 7 May 2007 – 15 June 2007
LWT in association with Bob Stewart Productions and Philip Hindin (1981–1984)
TVS in association with Chapter One and Talbot Television (1989)
Sony Pictures Television International (2007)
ITV Studios

The Pyramid Game was the UK version of the American game show where you have to get your partner to say a word by describing it.


Front gameEdit

The Pyramid's game boards, both in the main game and in the Winner's Circle bonus round, featured six categories arranged in a pyramid, with three categories on the bottom row, two on the middle row, and one on the top. In the main game, a category's position on the board was not an indicator of its difficulty. In the Winner's Circle, categories became progressively more difficult the higher they were on the board.

The game featured two teams, each composed of a celebrity and a "civilian" contestant. At the beginning of the game, the teams were shown six categories, whose titles gave vague clues to their possible meaning (e.g., "I'm All Wet" might pertain to things found in the water). Once the category was chosen, its exact meaning was given. For up to 30 seconds, one player would convey to the other clues to a series of seven items belonging to a category. One point was scored for each item correctly guessed. If a word was passed, the giver could not go back to that word, but if the receiver knew the word later on and guessed it, the team still earned a point.

Using any part of the answer in giving a clue resulting in the item being disqualified with a "honk" sound effect. The celebrity gave the clues in the first round and the contestant gave the clues in the second round. The teams alternated choosing subjects in the first two rounds. If the game hadn't been won yet the teams then chose which member would give the clues in the third round with the lower scoring team going first.

A team won the game when either:

  1. it was impossible for their opponents to surpass their score
  2. by having the higher score after three rounds.

If there was a tie score at the end of the third round, a tie breaking round was played. The team which had just played its third round and had thus created the tie was given a choice between two categories, all answers of each of which began with a certain letter of the alphabet. The other team would get whichever letter the first team did not pick. The objective was to score as many words as possible within 30 seconds. The team with the higher score won. If they were tied, then it was the team with the faster time.

Behind one of the subjects in each game was a 'Lucky 7' symbol (replaced with a 'Mystery 7' symbol during the Osmond run). If they could get all seven correct within the time they'd win a bonus prize.

Winner's CircleEdit

The Winner's Circle included a larger pyramid, also composed of six boxes. Each box contained a category, such as "Things You Plan" or "Why You Exercise", and would be revealed one at a time. One player (usually the celebrity, though the contestant always had the option to give or receive) gave a list of items to the other player, who attempted to guess the category to which all of the described items belonged. Each category was worth a small amount of money. Correctly guessing all six categories in 60 seconds earned the cash bonus.

An illegal clue would disqualify the category and end the player's chance to win the large bonus. However, if other categories remained in the game, the smaller amounts could still be won and play would continue until time ran out or until all the remaining categories had been guessed. Illegal clues included giving a clue that was "the essence of the category" (i.e., the category itself or a direct synonym), describing the category itself rather than listing or naming items, clues that did not fit the category and made-up expressions.

Each category on the Pyramid paid as follows:

Version 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
The £1,000 Pyramid £50 £100 £200
The Pyramid Game £25 £50 £100
Donny's Pyramid Game £50 £75 £100 £125 £150 £250

The cash bonus format for a successful trip to the Winner's Circle varied on different versions of the show. On The £1,000 Pyramid, all trips to the Winner's Circle were worth £1,000. On The Pyramid Game, all trips to the Winner's Circle were simply worth the amounts of each category, up to £275. On the 2007 Pyramid Game, the first trip to the Winner's Circle was worth £1,000. If that was won, and the same player won the second game, the Winner's Circle was worth £2,000. Otherwise, the second Winner's Circle was worth £1,000 for both players.

On The £1,000 Pyramid and in the early 1980s version, there were no returning champions; two new contestants competed in each game.

In the 1989 series of The Pyramid Game, the winner of each game returned for another game, up to a maximum of three games, meaning they could earn up to £825 during their stay. This was changed in the 1990 series to both contestants competing for the whole programme, with the contestant earning the most money returning on the next programme; however, they could only stay for a maximum of three programmes. Thus, the maximum possible winnings doubled to £1,650.

The 2007 Pyramid Game used the championship format of the 1990 series; however, they had to win both games in order to come back on the next programme. Successfully doing so meant that they could return for up to five programmes instead of three, for maximum possible winnings of £15,000.


The show originally began on a 1978 variety show called Bruce' Forsyth's Big Night, and then a 1979 game show called The Steve Jones Games Show before becoming a game show of its own.

Donny Osmond previously hosted the American version of the show in the early 2000s.

At the time of the Challenge version, Donny Osmond had just provided the voice of Jackaroo the Pickup Truck in the Bob the Builder special Built to Be Wild.

Additional PagesEdit

List of The Pyramid Game episodes
List of Celebrities on The Pyramid Game

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