Follow TV Tropes


Series / Family Fortunes

Go To

The British version of the popular American Game Show Family Feud. It is very similar in format to the American version, and almost as long-lasting. It was re-named because Bob Monkhouse thought that "feud" sounded too aggressive.

It was originally presented by Bob Monkhouse from 1980-83, when Max Bygraves took over. After taking a hiatus in 1986, the show returned in June 1987 and gained its most famous host, Les Dennis, who would host until it ended in 2002. Andy Collins hosted a short-lived daytime version in 2002 as well, and Vernon Kay has hosted the Celebrity Edition since 2006.


One of the most famous bloopers from this version is the "turkey" incident, where a contestant gave "Turkey" for three consecutive answers in the show's equivalent of Fast Money.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Bonus Round: "Big Money", played identically to the Feud's Fast Money round, but with one addition: any family that claimed all five #1 answers won a car. Reaching 200 points wins the top cash prize; anything less won £2 a point.
  • Losing Horns: The distinctive "EHH-URHH!" sound when a wrong answer is given, which has achieved Memetic Mutation in the UK and is often imitated when someone makes an Epic Fail in a conversation. invoked
  • Celebrity Edition: All-Star Family Fortunes.
  • Personnel:
    • The Announcer: Andrew Lodge (1980-87), Stephen Rhodes (1987-99), Peter Dickson (2000-01/2006-Present), and Roger Tilling (2002).
    • Advertisement:
    • Game Show Host: Bob Monkhouse, Max Bygraves, Les Dennis, Andy Collins, Vernon Kay.
    • Studio Audience: Surveyed for the questions.
  • Progressive Jackpot: From series 2 through 7—Series 2 and 3 had the Big Money start at £1,000, and increased by £500 each week until it was won or it reached £2,500. In Series 4, 5, and 6, the Big Money limit was £3,000. In series 7, Big Money started at £1,000, and increased by that much until it reached £3,000.
  • Sound Proof Booth: As in the American version, the second contestant wears noise-canceling headphones while the first one plays Big Money.


This show provides examples of:

  • Catchphrase:
    • "(Our) survey said", as in the American version.
    • If a contestant gave a particularly stupid answer, Les Dennis would sometimes say "If that answer's there, I'll give you the money meself!" Humorously, this backfired at least once.
  • Christmas Episode: A number of Christmas specials featuring celebrities playing for charity aired, including a couple where the celebs were dressed as Panto characters (with Les Dennis himself as Buttons), as well as one where Les himself played a special Big Money round for double the money.
  • Clip Show: "Family Misfortunes"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The "Turkey" Man.
  • Companion Cube: The computer that ran the show's electronic board was named Mr. Babbage. It was replaced with a more traditional scoreboard when Les Dennis took over, but quickly reverted to Mr. Babbage the next series.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Les Dennis.
  • Difficulty by Region: In some versions, in order to win the top prize in Fast Money, not only do the two players have to collectively score at least 200 points, they need to also get all of the top answers.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Strikes were originally called "ducks" in this version, before turning into the more familiar "lives lost".
  • Epic Fail: This poor contestant gave answers to all five questions in the fast money round for zero points a piece.
  • Foreign Remake: One of the more notable instances.
  • Product Placement: Of an odd sense - whilst Max Bygraves hosted the series, if either of the two families won a music center or record player via one of the spot prizes, he'd give that family a copy of his latest album as a bonus.
  • Rearrange the Song: The theme song has had several arrangements.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: "Name a way you would toast someone." The buzz-in response given was "Over a fire." Les promised to give the contestant the money out of his own pocket if it was up there. It was (though it came up "Grill" and was worth 12), and he promised to pay her £12.


Example of: