Ant & Dec bet on 'Double Your Money' revival

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The Independent Online

Double Your Money, the classic quiz show from the Fifties which attracted record audiences and became synonymous with its host, Hughie Green, could be revived with Richard Madeley as its presenter.

Forty years after the show was taken off the air in 1968, it may be brought back to life by Gallowgate Productions, the television company owned by the comedy duo, Ant and Dec.

The rights to the programme, first aired on Radio Luxembourg and transferred to television in 1955, are owned by Green's former partner, Christina Sharples, who is apparently keen to see it revived.

Discussions are at an early stage, according to Broadcast Magazine, but if the show is remade, Madeley has already been earmarked to take on Green's role. Ant and Dec's agent, Russ Lindsay, who they share with Madeley, is understood to be playing a key part in negotiations.

Madeley recently fronted the show, Fortune – Million Pound Giveaway, in which people appealed to a panel of judges for money to fulfil various ambitions. He earned a reputation for being a "new man" when he co-hosted the breakfast show, Richard and Judy with his wife, Judy Finnigan.

Green, a clean-cut figure on daytime TV, had a reputation that was far from untainted in the 1950s and 1960s. The presenter, who subsequently hosted the show, Opportunity Knocks, was infamous for his various obsessions and extra-marital affairs. After his death from lung cancer in 1997, it emerged that he was the father of the late television presenter, Paula Yates, who discovered this through a tabloid newspaper exposé which revealed he had an affair with her mother, Elaine. Yet he was regarded as one of the most charismatic hosts of his era and retained a popular following.

The idea to revive Double Your Money is believed to be in its inception but Gallowgate's relationship with ITV would make it a logical home for the show, with the original quiz show having aired on ITV. It was the channel's first game show and quickly became one of its most popular programmes, attracting huge audiences until the end.

Its format was based on the US show, The $64,000 Question. Contestants picked subjects from a choice of 42 and had their prize money doubled every time they answered correctly, starting with £1. They answered the final questions in a soundproof booth as they attempted to win the top prize of £1,000.

Discussions over buying the rights to the format are understood to have begun between Ms Sharples and Gallowgate after a recent BBC4 docudrama about Green, Most Sincerely, which reignited interest in the show and in Green's life.

ITV has recently revived another classic quiz show, Mr & Mrs as the modern-day All Star Mr & Mrs in which couples proved how well they know each other. The eight-part quiz show broadcast in April and May this year was co-hosted by Phillip Schofield and attracted 4.6 million viewers.