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Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow: air date, Q&A with the host and everything we know

Alan Carr hosts Play Your Cards Right in the first episode of Epic Gameshow
Alan Carr hosts Play Your Cards Right in the first episode of Epic Gameshow. (Image credit: ITV)

Expect more riotous fun and games as Alan Carr brings a touch of nostalgia back to Saturday nights with Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow which revives some of the UK's all-time favourite TV game shows.

This is the third series of the show which first aired back in 2020 and this time it includes more reboots of Bullseye, Strike It Lucky, Take Your Pick and, for the first time, Child’s Play.

Kicking off the series is a celebrity edition of the cards-based game show Play Your Cards Right.

Here, we look at what's in store, chat to Alan and reveal everything we know about the new series…

Alan Carr's Epic Game Show — air date

The third series of Alan Carr's Epic Game Show begins on Saturday, June 25 at 7.00 pm on ITV.

Alan Carr’s Epic Game Show — all about the first episode of the new series

Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow

Alan with Mo and his wife Tania and Russell with his wife Lindsey. (Image credit: ITV)

The first episode of the series is a revival of Play Your Cards Right which features famous faces hoping to win money for their chosen charities. The celebrities are Sir Mo Farah, who appears with his wife Tania, Clare Balding and her broadcaster wife Alice Arnold, comedian Russell Kane and his wife Lindsey, and actor Jimi Mistry with his wife, former Strictly Come Dancing pro Flavia Cacace.

Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow

Will Flavia Cacace, Jimi Mistry, Clare Balding and Alice Arnold play their cards right with Alan? (Image credit: ITV)

Alan Carr’s Epic Game Show — all about the classic game shows that are revived in this series

Play Your Cards Right

Bruce Forsyth hosted this cards-based game show from 1980 to 1987, 1994 to 1999 and 2002 to 2003. Brian Conley, who now plays Rocky in EastEnders, was lined up to host the series when it returned in the 1990s until Brucie was lured back after quitting his iconic BBC One game show The Generation Game

Bruce Forsyth in Play Your Cards Right

Bruce Forsyth hosted Play Your Cards Right from 1980 to 2003. (Image credit: ITV)

The game features two pairs of contestants who take it in turns to answer questions based on surveys of 100 people.

The first couple must guess how many people gave a certain answer to the question, and the second try to guess whether the actual number was higher or lower than the other couple's guess.

The couple who gets it right gains control of the cards… On a wall are five cards and as Alan turns them over, the couple must decide if the next one is higher or lower than the last.

Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow

Alan Carr follows in Brucie's footsteps in Epic Game Show. (Image credit: ITV)

Bullseye

Jim Bowen hosted this dart-based quiz show on ITV from 1981 to 1995. It was rebooted briefly for game show channel Challenge in 2006 with Phoenix Nights star Dave Spikey as host. 

The show’s mascot was Bully, a large brown bull who wore a red and white striped shirt and blue trousers and appeared in an animated sequence at the beginning of the show. 

The show features three pairs of contestants, each consisting of an amateur darts player and a quizzer, competing in darts games and quizzes to win cash and prizes ranging from a new car, a speedboat, a caravan or a luxury holiday to consolation prizes of a set of darts, a tankard or silver goblet and a 'Bendy Bully', which was a rubber model of the show’s mascot. 

JIm Bowen and Bully in Bullseye

Jim Bowen hosted darts-based quiz Bullseye from 1981 to 1995. (Image credit: ITV)

Child’s Play 

Michael Aspel hosted this game show on ITV from 1984 to 1988.

Two teams, consisting of one celebrity and one contestant, competed. The object of the game was to correctly identify words based on videotaped definitions given by primary school-age children. 

Among the celebs who appeared on the show were Joanna Lumley, Lionel Blair and Bobby Davro.

Child’s Play hasn’t featured in Epic Gameshow before and as well as an episode featuring members of the public, there’s also a celebrity special lined up for Christmas 2022.

Strike It Lucky

Michael Barrymore hosted this game show which was based on the US game show Strike It Rich from 1996 to 1999. In fact, it was re-titled Michael Barrymore’s Strike It Rich for the last three years of its run. 

The game sees three pairs of contestants trying to navigate their way along rows of TV screens by answering questions correctly and winning prizes as they go. However, they must bank what they win because if they hit a dreaded ‘hot spot’ they could end up with nothing. 

Later in this series, there’s a special celebrity episode featuring Good Morning Britain’s Richard Arnold and  Ranvir Singh, Changing Rooms designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his wife Jackie, and former Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher and his actress wife, Liz Marsland.

Michael Barrymore hosts Strike It Lucky

Michael Barry was the original host of Strike It Lucky. (Image credit: ITV)

Take Your Pick

Take Your Pick was originally broadcast by Radio Luxembourg in 1952 before transferring to TV in 1955 with the launch of ITV.

It continued until 1968 and was later revived from 1992 to 1999 with Des O’Connor hosting the show with assistants, including Gillian and Gayle Blakeney, the real-life twins who played twins Caroline and Christina Alessi in Neighbours!

The game begins with contestants being brought onto the stage where they face a grilling from  Alan and must answer his questions without saying yes or no for 60 seconds. If one of those two little words slip out, the contestants are gonged off stage. 

The contestants who managed to go the whole minute without saying yes or no, or who managed to resist using the words for the longest then get the chance to win a prize in one of ten boxes, but not all of them are good. If you’re lucky you could win a load of money, a holiday or a computer, but if you’re not you could end up walking away with a booby prize such as a half-eaten sandwich, a packet of wet wipes or a used toothbrush! 

Alan Carr's Epic Game Show — Q&A with the host!

Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow

Alan Carr kicks off the new series with Play Your Cards Right. (Image credit: ITV)

How happy are you to be back with a new series of Epic Game Show?

"I absolutely love it. It was really special this time because we had an audience. When we filmed the last series I was basically shouting ‘Higher!’ and ‘Lower!’ to a cleaner and a runner! Now there’s an audience and they’re shouting ‘Higher!’ and ‘Lower!’ back at me. There’s just an energy there. It made me realise how everyone’s so sick of COVID, they just want to let their hair down and shout at some cards. So it’s a shot in the arm for me."

You kick off the series with Play Your Cards Right. What can you tell us about that?

"If I’m being honest, that’s my favourite game. When you think about it, turning over cards sounds boring, but then it drags you in and before you know it you’re shouting ‘Higher!’ and ‘Lower!’ at the telly. I think it’s because it’s simple and it’s quick and it’s got a bit of energy to it. I grew up watching Bruce Forsyth hosting it so I like the fact I’m following in his footsteps."

Can you tell us a secret about one of your celebrity guests?

"In the show, Clare Balding’s wife Alice Arnold reveals that Clare loves going to Nando’s. I was like, ‘What?’ I can’t see Clare going to a Nando’s, can you?!"

This time you’re bringing back 1980s game show Child’s Play. What was that like?

"It’s quite an easy show for me because the kids are so funny and so cheeky that they sort of gave me a bit of a break. They were really sweet and adorable. It’s so cute. You’re going to love it! I’m not the most child friendly person but even I thawed a bit when I saw those little cherubs!"

Can you share some of the funniest moments from filming the show?

"The funny things that happen often get cut out, like when I fall down the stairs on Strike It Lucky or I get someone’s name wrong or when a really bad darts player on Bullseye misses the board and almost punctures someone in the front row. It’s a funny show and the banter’s great, but if anything goes wrong it gets cut."

The show involves you moving around a lot. Does it keep you fit?

"After Strike It Lucky I had buns of steel! Going up and down those steps is really good for your core and your bum! My bottom was like two boiled eggs in a hankie by the end of it!"

What can you tell us about the prizes that are up for grabs in this series?

"Sometimes it’s £25,000 or it might be a car, a holiday or a new kitchen. When people win these prizes they start crying. It’s lovely and we have a big old hug. Sometimes it’s like they think I’ve gone out and bought the prizes myself!"

If you were a contestant on the show. Which game would you want to do?

"My wrist action is shocking, so I’d be rubbish on Bullseye and I’m not very lucky with cards so maybe not Play Your Card Right. I think Child’s Play, because mentally I’m probably on the same level as a child, so I’d be on their wavelength!"

Last year, we saw you on An Audience with Adele. Do you think your famous pal Adele would return the favour and come on your show?

"I would love to see Adele on Bullseye. I think that would be quite funny, but I don’t think she needs the money to be honest!"

Are there any other game shows that you would like to bring back?

"I used to like 3-2-1 [the ITV game show hosted by Ted Rogers from 1978 to 1987]. It was quite complicated and had really obscure clues. I’d also like to do Squid Game! That would be good, wouldn’t it? Celebrity Squid Game! I can see me dressed as that doll with the eyes!"

321 with Ted Rogers and Dusty Bin

Ted Rogers with 3-2-1 mascot Dusty Bin! (Image credit: ITV)

Are there any particular game show hosts that you admire?

"Bruce Forsyth was the king, wasn’t he? He was the best and made it look so easy. He was my first ever guest on Chatty Man and we really hit it off. Once he told a joke on Strictly that died a death and he said, ‘Alan Carr told me that one!’ I loved Brucie!"

You’re very busy at the moment with lots of shows on the go…

"I’m super busy at the minute. I’ve got my tour which finishes in Australia in December and I’ve also got a new show Amanda And Alan: The Italian Job [which follows Alan and Amanda Holden as they renovate a crumbling property in Italy] and Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK as well. I’ve got everything going on."

Are you planning to take some time off?

"Next year I’m going to take some time out because at the moment it’s like a Fast & Furious film! I’m just chasing my tail a bit, trying to just get it all done. I need to get my work balance right, but when you’re offered a game show on primetime ITV you’ve got to take it!"

Michael Darling
Michael Darling

Michael writes about TV for Woman, Woman's Own, Chat, What's On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and regularly contributes to whattowatch.com (opens in new tab).


After graduating from the University of Winchester with a degree in English and American Studies, he chose a career that combined his great passions in life – magazines and television – and he has primarily worked as a TV journalist for more than 25 years.


He loves classic sitcoms such as The Good Life, Hi-de-Hi! and Man About the House, as well as shows such as Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, The Great Pottery Throwdown and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills


Some of his favourite people who he has met over the years include Gillian Taylforth, Linda Robson, Sara Davies and Bradley Walsh!