Treasure Hunt was a game show, based on the format of the French show La Chasse au Trésor, created by Jacques Antoine.
Channel 4: 28 December 1982 – 18 May 1989
ITV Telethon Specials: 30 October 1985 & 29 May 1988
BBC Two: 16 December 2002 – 2 August 2003
Thames Television (Telethon Specials)
Kenneth Kendall (1982–1989)
Ned Sherrin (Series 3 Finale)
Dermot Murnaghan (2002–2003)
Anneka Rice (1982–1988)
Gemma Craven, Kenny Lynch, Wayne Sleep (Series 3 Finale)
Annabel Croft (1989)
Suzi Perry (2002–2003)
A team of two contestants in the studio had to use a library of maps and reference materials to solve up to five clues, and communicate instructions via a radio link to a "skyrunner" who had the use of a helicopter. Although viewers could see the skyrunner, the contestants could not; all communication between them was by sound only. The contestants were given the first clue for free, the solving of which would lead to the location of the second clue and so on until a trinket or other significant object was found by solving the final clue.
The contestants won a higher cash prize each time they solved a clue correctly. This was all done against a time limit of 45 minutes. Even once the contestants had solved the final clue, the skyrunner still had to confirm they were correct, by reaching the final target. On a few occasions, the contestants solved all five clues with time to spare, in which case, a bonus clue was given to the contestants. This typically resulted in their winning a bottle of champagne.
The skyrunner and helicopter did not have freedom to fly and land anywhere they wished. Although the pilot could to an extent request permission from airspace authorities to fly off-course, as happened on occasions, landings needed to be agreed in advance with landowners of a suitable location near the clue. On occasions the helicopter would land in a clearly marked out area, especially at public places. Kenneth Kendall always stressed that he did not know the clues and locations in advance, and any help that he gave the contestants was from his own knowledge.
According to a "making of Treasure Hunt" programme, Anneka Rice was confined to the hotel on the day that the cameraman, video recordist and helicopter pilot undertook a rehearsal (typically the day before the programme was recorded), so she had no advance knowledge of the locations. This did not stop her carrying out research about the general area in order to have a stock of facts to fill in any silences that might arise while the contestants were thinking.