Don't Try This at Home (TV series)

Don't Try This at Home! is a British game show produced by LWT with Golden Square Pictures and broadcast on ITV between 16 May 1998 and 5 May 2001. It took up the slot of the Saturday challenge game show slot left by its long-running and more sedate predecessor You Bet!.

Don't Try This at Home!
GenreGame show
Presented byDavina McCall
Darren Day (1998)
StarringPaul Hendy
Kate Thornton
Voices ofRuss Williams
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series4
No. of episodes46 (inc. 3 specials)
Running time60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s)LWT and Golden Square Pictures
DistributorITV Studios
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3
Original release16 May 1998 (1998-05-16) –
5 May 2001 (2001-05-05)

It featured real people facing tough challenges such as swinging under a bridge. It was hosted by Davina McCall with co-hosts including Darren Day, Kate Thornton and Paul Hendy. Russ Williams was the event commentator. A lifetime medal was awarded for winning a challenge or having a very good try. The show featured stunts and performers from The Circus of Horrors.

A fifth series was not aired due to McCall's pregnancy at the time, which led to ITV producing 12 episodes of Challenge of a Lifetime, described as a spin-off show based around the main feature from Don't Try This at Home! and was hosted by Claire Sweeney in 2001.[1]


The Saturday ChallengeEdit

A member of the audience either picked randomly or planted was picked to do something a bit scary. Before the end of the show they went to the secret location with co-host Kate Thornton and performed the challenge. Challenges included driving under a truck moving at 30 mph, standing on a podium and landing on your feet after a car knocked the stand over.

The Don't Try This at Home! World NewsEdit

Footage of people doing outrageous things from around the world.

Paul Hendy's Shoppers' ChallengeEdit

Paul Hendy was challenged to persuade a certain amount of shoppers to do something. Fight their way out of a giant paper bag or finding a £5 note in three boxes of yukky stuff. If he didn't get the requisite amount of shoppers to do it then he had to do the challenge himself in the studio the next week

Face Your PhobiaEdit

A member of the audience is invited onto the floor as Paul Hendy asks them about their fear of (e.g. Oranges). They then enter the booth and stay in there for 30 seconds.

The Super ChallengeEdit

A challenge that took several weeks to complete and was very difficult. These included climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa or canoeing the Amazon.

The Challenge of a LifetimeEdit

The main feature of the show, where a person would participate in a stunt after being nominated or writing in to the programme themselves. Davina then turned up unannounced and asked them to pick one of three envelopes, each with a different challenge inside given by a cryptic clue. They then travelled to the place of the challenge which could have been on the other side of the world. These challenges asked of you more than you wanted them to and such challenges included hand-feeding sharks in Australia, jumping down a 100m gorge in New Zealand on a wire descender, abseiling the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, driving a car across a huge drop on nothing but two slack wires and so on. The person could back out if they wanted which from the second series onwards, meant that the host herself was allowed to try the challenge. If the host failed, an expert would perform the challenge.

The only challenge Davina succeeded at was doing a bungee jump over the Grand Canyon.



Series Start date End date Episodes
1 16 May 1998 4 July 1998 8
2 23 January 1999 4 December 1999 16
3 8 January 2000 29 July 2000 12
4 17 February 2001 5 May 2001 10


Date Entitle
6 March 1999 Compilation (Part 1)
13 March 1999 Compilation (Part 2)
26 February 2000 Compilation


  1. ^ "Sweeney offered ITV challenge". BBC News. 29 April 2001. Retrieved 11 April 2019 – via

External linksEdit