The 99p Challenge. Image shows from L to R: Simon Pegg, Armando Iannucci, Sue Perkins, Jack Docherty, Peter Baynham. Copyright: Pozzitive Productions

Key details

Panel Show
1998 - 2004
BBC Radio 4
30 (5 series)
Sue Perkins, William Vandyck, Peter Baynham, Simon Pegg, Armando Iannucci and Dave Green
Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Jon Holmes and Tony Roche
David Tyler and Sarah Smith
David Tyler and Sarah Smith

"I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue for the Lock, Stock & Two-Smoking Barrels generation".

Originally devised and written by Andy Cecil and Kevin Riley, King Stupid launched in 1998 with host William Vandyck. It was generally well received, but a double entendre in the final episode reputedly resulted in the series being cancelled by the controller of Radio 4. However, 18 months later and after many pleas, the show was recommissioned with a new title and new host (Sue Perkins, who had previously been a regular panellist). It was scheduled in the 11pm slot, before finding its way back to the 6:30pm slot for Series 4 and 5.

Peter Baynham, Simon Pegg and Sue Perkins were regulars throughout the lifespan of The 99p Challenge, with Armando Iannucci installed as a stalwart in 2001. Many other upcoming comedians appeared as contestants too.

The 99p Challenge title refers to the fact that, rather than points, the teams are awarded copper coins.

Additional details

Also known as
  • King Stupid

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Tuesday 22nd September 1998 at 6:30pm on BBC Radio 4
Most recent repeats

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