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