Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1980s Play Your Cards Right

Play Your Cards Right

1 9 8 0 – 1 9 8 7 (UK)
1 9 8 4 (Australia)
1 9 9 4 – 1 9 9 9 (UK)

Based on the American game show Card Sharks, the British LWT version Play Your Cards Right turned up trumps for Bruce Forsyth in 1980.

There was no shortage of contestants happy to behave on television as they might on the last night of a club 18-30 holiday, and apparently there were 13 million viewers who could stand the “higher” and “lower” shouting from Rent-a-Mob audiences as contestants had to say if a card was greater or smaller than a previous one.


Bruce was assisted by his ‘Dolly Dealers’, including Jan Michelle, Denny Kemp, Zena Clifton, Natalie Shaw, Sheryl Deane, Sharon Amos, Maxine Restall and Charlie Maloney.

The game relied upon market research which discovered the answer to such vital questions as “How many people out of one hundred think Bo Derek is flat-chested?”

But they stirred up trouble with the Crossroads producers when the correct answer to how many actresses out of one hundred would accept a part in the much-mocked soap turned out to be only slightly more than half.

It seemed that 43% said they wouldn’t go near it . . .


By 1987 the game’s audience had dropped to 8 million and Bruce decided to quit.

LWT produced a new version from 1994 to 1999, luring Forsyth back.

A short-lived Australian version was produced by the Grundy organisation in 1984 with ex-pat British comedian ‘Ugly’ Dave Gray starring, supported by Kerrie Friend and Adele Bailey.