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Ha ha ha. I like it!

1989 Thames Television game show. It only had 8 editions, but is considered a Cult Classic and turns up in re-runs among the other vintage Game Shows on Challenge every so often. Hosted by Annabel Croft, a former tennis player and star of the not dissimilar series Treasure Hunt, from which Interceptor was a Spin-Off.

In essence, hide-and-seek with a helicopter.

Two contestants (one male, one female) were given two outwardly identical backpacks, each being a kind of wearable strong-box. One was empty, the other contained £1,000, a respectable but not lavish sum in 1989. They were blindfolded, and dropped by helicopter six or seven miles apart with just a compass and a large walkie-talkie set. They then had to find the key to the other box and meet up, all within 40 minutes.

Standing (or rather flying, driving, riding and flipping over five-bar gating) in their way was The Interceptor, a Scottish dude in black leather Badass Longcoat with an infra-red zapper mounted to his left sleeve. He had twenty shots in it, with each back-pack having five separate receivers. One hit on any of them – the box was locked permanently.

The way to avoid this, of course, was not to show your back to him (IR not being capable of going through a human body – try it with your TV remote at home), which was harder than it sounds and resulted in unintentionally amusing face-offs.

Two important things to note – the contestants weren't told what The Interceptor looked like (which resulted in something known as the "Derbyshire Tractor Ambush"), and no-one knew if either box was locked until the end of the show.


This was one hard game show to win.

This show contains examples of

  • Eighties Hair: Eighties everything. The huge walkie-talkie sets could be replaced by a Bluetooth headset today.
  • Arm Cannon: the "zapper".
  • Black Helicopter: black and yellow, but mostly black.
  • Catch Phrase: "I like it!"
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: The Interceptor, dressed in head-to-toe sinister black including a Badass Longcoat, which coupled with 'futuristic' trappings such as his "zapper" made him look like a sci-fi b-movie Bounty Hunter who'd fallen through a wormhole into the British countryside. This look could, though, be disguised in such ploys as the above-mentioned tractor incident.
  • Large Ham: The Interceptor and his pilot Mikey.
  • Mission Control: Annabel, who only had access to an Ordnance Survey map, the locations of the two keys – which were revealed after figuring out the two starting locations – and audio links with the two contestants.
  • Real Time: although filming wasn't done like that, the clock ran in real-time and was visible throughout gameplay.
  • Vanity License Plate: three of them.
  • Violent Glaswegian: not so much violent as highly insulting...
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