1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 8 (UK)
This highly popular, light-hearted panel game from Thames Television invited viewers to play detective every week between 1972 and 1978, pitting their wits against a panel of celebrity sleuths – hosted initially by Edward Woodward, and later by Jon Pertwee – to solve a fictitious murder mystery.
The show’s brilliantly original formula, devised by comedians Lance Percival and Jeremy Lloyd (and revived in the 1990s for Cluedo), presented short murder mystery dramas laden with clues to be pieced together by the panellists (including series regulars Patrick Mower and Liza Goddard), who would then question the characters involved and finally point the finger at the most likely suspect.
The clues fell thick and fast, but there were also many red herrings. Lively repartee was the order of the day.
This was the first time Lance Percival had written for television. The inspiration came to him while playing cabaret in Rotherham when he popped into the cinema to while away one rainy afternoon. During the ice-cream interval he started to read a detective novel and passed the rest of the time guessing the end.