Crosswits is a British game show produced by Tyne Tees in association with Cove Productions and Action Time and filmed from their City Road studios in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was first shown on 3 September 1985 originally hosted by Barry Cryer for the first 2 series, then comedian Tom O'Connor took over from series 3 until the show ended on 23 December 1998. The show consisted of two members of the public competing against each other to solve simple crossword puzzles. Each member of the public was helped out by a "celebrity" partner. The announcers for the show were generally Tyne Tees continuity announcers such as Judi Lines, Jonathan Morrell and Bill Steel.
|Created by||Jerry Payne|
|Presented by||Barry Cryer (1985–86)|
Tom O'Connor (1987–97)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||12|
|No. of episodes||435|
|Running time||30 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Production company(s)||Tyne Tees in association with Cove Productions and Action Time|
|Original release||3 September 1985 –|
23 December 1998
|Related shows||The Cross-Wits (US version)|
Basically, the game was the same as its American counterpart, except that there were two players (one celebrity and one contestant) on each team instead of three. As in the American version, teams took turns solving words in a crossword puzzle (by virtue of clues), all of which are clues to a master puzzle. Each correct answer keeps control and earns one point per letter in the answer plus a chance to solve the master puzzle for 10 bonus points. On the first two series, which had been transmitted weekly, the teams played for pounds. Later in the run, teams always took turns whether they were right or wrong.
There were also special rounds in the game:
- Anagram round - the first letter of every clue word make a key word.
- Mystery round - finding a keyword after one clue without assistance from a clue word wins the contestant a small prize such as a cordless phone or a pocket TV.
- Song round - all clues were lyrics to a well-known song.
The team with the most points when time runs out, wins the game and plays the same Crossfire round as the American version. The other player received a dictionary and thesaurus.
The winning team was shown one last crossword puzzle, with 10 words none of which are clues to a master puzzle. The host reads rapid-fire clues to each of the 10 words. Each correct words brings the winning team extra closer to a holiday for the contestant, and if they can solve all ten in 60 seconds or less, they'll win the holiday, otherwise the winning player wins a gold pen and pencil set.
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes||Recorded|
|1||3 September 1985||3 December 1985||13||1985|
|2||6 January 1987||7 April 1987||13||1986|
|3||27 October 1987||17 December 1987||24||1987|
|4||25 April 1988||17 June 1988||40||1988|
|5||15 May 1989||14 July 1989||45||1989|
|6||9 April 1990||25 May 1990||35||1990|
|7||29 April 1991||21 June 1991||40||1991|
|8||13 April 1992||26 June 1992||55||1992|
|9||17 May 1993||18 June 1993||25||1993|
|10||4 April 1994||8 July 1994||70||1994|
|11||21 October 1996||13 December 1996||40||1996|
|12||6 January 1998||23 December 1998||35||1997|
Regional transmissions informationEdit
The first series aired on Tuesday afternoons at 3:00pm in all regions, with the exception of TVS who aired the series on Thursday afternoons at 3:00pm.
The second series aired on Monday evenings at 6:30pm in the Tyne Tees region. The rest of the regions aired the series on Tuesday afternoons at 3:00pm.
The third series aired on Tuesday to Thursday afternoons at 2:00pm in all regions, with the exception of TVS who aired the series on Monday afternoons at 3:00pm and Channel who aired the series on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays 2 at 3:00pm.
The eleventh series aired on Monday to Friday afternoons, but was not networked. Depending on the region, it aired at random times in certain areas.
- Carlton, Central, Tyne Tees, Westcountry and Yorkshire aired the episodes at 1:25pm.
- Ulster aired the episodes at 1:55pm.
- Grampian aired the episodes at 2:50pm.
- Scottish and HTV aired the episodes at 2:20pm. Scottish aired the episodes four times a week and took until 31 December 1996 to complete. HTV did not follow the same pattern as Scottish and did not complete.
- Border and Granada aired the episodes at 5:10pm, but did not follow the same daily pattern and took until 31 December 1996 to complete.
- Anglia and Meridian aired the episodes on most days at 12:55pm. Anglia continued to broadcast more episodes, finishing on 24 January 1997.
The twelfth series aired on Tuesday to Thursday afternoons at 1:50pm for the first 32 episodes from 6 January to 19 March. The last 3 episodes were aired from 21 to 23 December 1998.