About The Krypton Factor
The Krypton Factor sets out to find Britains's 'superperson' in an original and demanding series of tests. The winner of the series is classed as the best 'all round' superperson - athlete, thinker and wit.
The Krypton Factor was a British game show produced by Granada Television for broadcast on ITV. The show originally ran from 7 September 1977 to 20 November 1995, and was hosted by Gordon Burns.
Contestants from across the United Kingdom and Ireland competed in a series of rounds that tested their physical stamina and mental attributes. The title of the show is a reference to Superman's home planet Krypton, the title perceiving that the contestants had strong superhuman "powers" for taking part in the challenges they were set.
The contestants all had their own corresponding colour, either red, green, yellow or blue. They wore their own clothes, apart from the Physical Ability round where the contestants wore track suits which were red, green, yellow or blue.
The points contestants earned through the game were not referred to as their score, but as their "Krypton Factor", e.g. "The winner, with a Krypton Factor of 46, is the lawyer from Birmingham, John Stark".
In all rounds except the final round, 10 points were awarded to the winner, then 6 (8 in early series), 4 and 2 to the remaining contestants. In the event of a tie, all tied players would receive the score for the higher place. From 1986 to 1991, each round was introduced by the distinctive K logo, which would morph into a symbol for the round.
Personality - This round only took place in the first series, to be replaced with Mental Agility. In it, the players were tested on their creativity by having to perform a task such as re-writing a nursery rhyme as a news story. A focus group would then vote on the best effort.
Mental Agility - First played in the second series, this often took the form of a memory test. The contestants frequently had to memorise a sequence and then answer a series of progressively more complicated questions.
Response - This round in the initial heats was a combination of a race between the contestants using double-odometer bicycles, and a video wall which would display random numbers of coloured blocks; the contestants were required to press one of four coloured buttons corresponding to the highest number of blocks of any one colour being displayed. In later series it involved contestants taking turns on a flight simulator and being marked by an actual flight instructor on their landing.
Physical Ability - Probably, the most memorable of the rounds, in the original series, this pre-recorded segment involved the contestants racing to complete an army assault course. This round typically included 20 obstacles including vertical and flat cargo nets, rope swings, water jumps, Burma rope bridges, and a rope slide into water.
Intelligence - A two or three-dimensional puzzle where shapes had to be put together to fill a rectangular grid or make a bigger shape was the basis for this round.
General Knowledge - A quick-fire question round with a varied time limit (which depended on the year). This final round was conducted using a side shot of the four contestants lit in profile. A feature of this round was that, as each question was answered, the next question contained either the answer to the last question, a word from the last answer, or a word that sounded like it. Correct answers scored 2 points, with an incorrect answer deducting a point.
Other versions of The Krypton Factor have included Young Krypton and Champion of Champions.