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Genre: Quizzes / Gameshows
Broadcast: 1998-1999
Producer(s): Rob Sprowson

50% was produced by Rob Sprowson and was a rip-off of one of Channel Five's original programmes - 100%.

Three contestants sat on stools holding A, B, and C paddles. After a question was posed there would be a few seconds to think while a jingle was played before the response was held up on a paddle.

All shows had Rob as the question master, who was infact sitting only a few metres away from the contestants reading the preprepared questions from a monitor.

The show included the questions and running score in large text in the bottom portion of the screen, making it ideal for early evening viewing when typically students would have the TVs on while eating but with the sound turned down - allowing it to be understood regardless of being mute.

At total of eight episodes were produced.


All 400 questions were conceived manually for the purposes of the show


The quiz was broadcast live before the news, and because of its minimalistic set shared the same studio setup (bar the news desk itself) and crew to save time. This can be seen in early shows as the contestants' eyes are drawn to the studio monitor - so appear to be looking to the top right hand corner, this was evident in the playback and later shows had this monitor withdrawn.

Comp op's view of 50%

It featured graphics from a BBC B computer which were overlayed on top of the contestants view, the top half of the screen (where the contestants appeared in the final mix) showed prompts for the computer operator and space to enter the responses so that scores could be automatically calculated.

The software was custom written by Matt Hammond for the show and featured an export feature to allow the questions to be later posted on the YSTV website.


For early programmes in the series the three contestants had no microphones, and had to be reminded before transmission that the final question "would you like to return for the next 50%?" would have to be answered with a simple nod or shake. Later programmes, using Tim Hackett as sound engineer, had a mixture of tie microphones or a microphone hung from the lighting rig to capture verbal contestant responses.

One avid viewer, Jonathan Isaby, called in while show 1 was still being broadcast live to point out that question 45 had the incorrect answer: the Central Line does not serve Heathrow airport.

The jingle between questions was an original creation for the show by Paul Soulsby of Trademark fame.

YSTV Productions
Series • Events Coverage • One-offs