For­tunes favours the brave

We look back at Fam­ily For­tunes as the hit game show gets set to re­turn to our TV screens

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BOB MONKHOUSE, Max By­graves, Les Den­nis and Vernon Kay all hosted Fam­ily For­tunes over the years. The pre­sen­ters changed, but the for­mat for the fa­mous show re­mained the same: two fam­i­lies were put un­der pres­sure as they faced the “One hun­dred peo­ple sur­veyed said” and “Dou­ble Your Money” rounds against the clock.

Co­me­dian Bob Monkhouse launched the first se­ries, in 1980, and was re­spon­si­ble for the name be­ing changed from Fam­ily Feud to Fam­ily For­tunes be­cause the for­mer sounded too ag­gres­sive.

He was fol­lowed by en­ter­tainer Max By­graves, be­fore Les Den­nis took over the reins in 1987 and re­mained with the game show un­til 2002 when Andy Collins briefly took over.

Nearly 550 episodes were made over 22 se­ries and it was the first UK gameshow to of­fer a £3,000 prize jack­pot.

Vernon Kay brought the for­mat back in 2006 with All Star Fam­ily For­tunes which saw celebri­ties and their fam­i­lies go head to head in a bid to win £30,000 for the char­ity of their choice.

X Fac­tor win­ner Sam Bai­ley, Fearne Cot­ton, celebrity chef Antony Wor­rall Thomp­son, Holly Willoughby, Stephen Mul­h­ern, Ea­monn Holmes, Zoe Ball and ten­nis star Greg Rused­ski were among the fa­mous faces who took part.

The Fam­ily For­tunes for­mat it­self has be­come an in­ter­na­tional suc­cess, air­ing in more than 67 ter­ri­to­ries world­wide over the past 44 years.

Now the game show is now set to re­turn to ITV screens again, this time with celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo step­ping in as the new pre­sen­ter for 10 hour-long episodes. The new se­ries will keep the clas­sic for­mat, with fam­i­lies play­ing for the chance to win “big money” by guess­ing the most pop­u­lar replies to sur­vey-based ques­tions posed to 100 peo­ple.

It will also fea­ture two celebrity spe­cials with some fa­mous faces and their fam­i­lies hop­ing to se­cure funds for their cho­sen char­i­ties.

Gino says: “It’s a much beloved show in the USA, and around the world, and I can­not wait to get go­ing and add more laughs to this for­mat.”

FAM­ILY FOR­TUNES was based on an Amer­i­can game show called Fam­ily Feud. Host Richard Daw­son fronted 2,334 episodes over nearly a decade. Ask­ing the ques­tions : (L to R) Vernon Kay, Bob Monkhouse, Max By­graves and long­est-serv­ing pre­sen­ter, Les Den­nis

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