The logo for the first Australian episode of Sale of the Century

1980[edit | edit source]

  • The program premieres on 14 July, at 7pm on the Nine Network, with Tony Barber as host, Victoria Nicolls as co-host, and Ron Neate as announcer.
  • The standard intro for Sale of the Century during the shopping era, would start with a stuttered zoom-in on the opened big door, as the car spins around on the turntable, as the announcer exclaims "Tonight, on Australia's biggest bargain sale, we're offering a (luxury car) valued at (price), for (discounted sale price). A (slightly lesser prize, usually furniture, or a trip), valued at (price), for (discounted sale price)".
    • The camera then zooms out from the door, which is now closed, as the logo forms, in a anti-clockwise motion, as the announcer continues, "Two of the incredible bargains on SALE OF THE CENTURY!"
    • The camera then focuses on the main door, with the contestant podium at the far right of the screen, as the announcer continues, "And now, here's the star of our show/the Sale/some amusing quip, TONY BARBER!". The doors then open to reveal Tony, who will run/jog/dance/walk out and take his place at the podium.
  • The set is basically three colours: yellow, orange and brown. The main doors are in an octagonal shape, and the Let's Go Shopping Set, is very bare, with just one or two prizes at either side, with the car in the middle on a turntable made of carpet, with the car maker's logo above it. The Fame Game board uses octagonal panels, and the hostess has to turn them herself for the contestant to be able to see the prize.
  • After 10 episodes, Ron Neate leaves, and Peter Smith replaces him as the announcer, on 26 July.
  • The standard cold opening for carry-over champions would be a camera shot of the champion, with a drum roll playing underneath while Ron or Pete would say, "This is our carry-over champion (champion's full name) from (champion's home state). Stand by to see (name) play for (next level prize) valued at (prize amount)."
  • For champions playing for the car or the lot, the intro would be changed to, "This is our carry-over champion (champion's full name) from (champion's home state). With (amount needed) and a win in the game, (champion's first name) will take home (name of car) / all the prizes / cash and prizes totalling (total amount)."
  • Vincent Smith of Sale, Victoria, becomes the first contestant to win 'the lot'. He wins over $64,000 in cash and prizes. On his last show, Vincent picked the $25 money card in the last Fame Game. This significantly boosted his lead over his opponents; the last three questions would not have been enough for his opponents to catch up, so Vincent won his last episode by default. This is possibly the only occasion (on the Australian version) where such a victory occurred.
  • In November of 1980, the names on the podiums are changed to white names on black backgrounds, previously they had been the opposite.

1981[edit | edit source]

  • In January of this year, Cary Young wins everything, including a Mercedes Benz GL Sedan, and walks away with prizes totalling $79,391
  • In June of this year, Mercedes Benz is dropped as the main car sponsor of the show, replaced by BMW, also the logo of the car is removed from the car turntable in the Let's Go Shopping set.

1982[edit | edit source]

  • Victoria Nicolls leaves, and Delvene Delaney takes the job. This gives the show a ratings boost.
  • The set receives an upgrade of sorts. Because Delvene is significantly shorter than Victoria, a riser is added in front of the Famous Faces board, Tony frequently uses this to comic effect in his entrances, and it will remain there until the set upgrade in 1986.
  • The Let's Go Shopping set is given a slight update, the car podium is made slightly smaller, and is flanked by two diagonal pillars that light up when they enter the set, when the car is being described, and when the cash jackpot is announced.
  • On 13 April, Andrew Lockett wins everything, valued at over $85,000.
  • In August, the cash jackpot is introduced, with this, the introduction is changed somewhat, instead of the smaller prize being shown, the camera zooms out slowly from the car to the doors, where a large briefcases moves onto the screen, its locks click open, revealing the inside to be full of Australian notes (for the time), the amount of the cash jackpot for the night, then zooms onto the screen, made out in yellow translucent writing. Instead of announcing the smaller prize, Pete says, "Cash to the total of (cash jackpot's amount) for $620".
  • Originally the cash jackpot banner is multicoloured in red, orange, blue and yellow, and the numbers are written in chunky white lettering
  • On 11 October, Ian Tweedie becomes the first champion to win the cash jackpot as part of "the lot"
  • Just two weeks after Ian Tweedie's win, Lee Tanabe is the second champion to win the cash jackpot, for a grand prize total of $149,091 ($70,000 cash, $79,091 prizes)

1983[edit | edit source]

  • The logo also undergoes a change, as the camera zooms out from the doors, the $ from $ale spins into view, the rest of the word blinks into view, followed by "of the", then similar to how Star Trek or Doctor Who introduced their shows, with a white outline of the name zooming in to form the name, the "Century" part zooms in.
  • The car presentation during the opening announcement would be followed by "All the prizes plus a cash jackpot of (cash jackpot's amount) for $550".
  • Hayward Mayberley of Chapel Hill, Queensland, becomes the biggest prize-winner in the history of Sale of the Century, and of Australian television. Between 3 and 12 October, he wins a prize pool totalling $343,536 ($206,000 cash and, $137,536 in prizes)
  • On the 17th October, the "Dirty Dickie" incident occurs. This happens when Tony accidentally reads a question as "In rhyming slang, what does a Cockney call his "Dirty Dickie""? After giggling a bit at the inneundo and the mistake he made, he corrects it to, "In rhyming slang, what does a Cockney call his "Dickie Dirt". The answer being "His Shirt". Delvene makes fun of for the rest of the show, and some of the other episodes taped that week, and Pete even introduces him on the next show with, "And now, here's our own Dirty Dickie, Tony Barber!"
  • A "Champion of Champions" tournament featuring previous champions airs around late October. The final features Cary Young, Fran Powell and Ian Tweedie; Fran wins the tournament

1984[edit | edit source]

  • The sale prices stabilised at $75, $155, $240, $330, $420, $515 for the car, $605 for the prizes, and $700 for the prizes and the jackpot.
  • On the 25th June, the "falling safe" incident occurs. When Tony introduces the cash jackpot the safe holding the money hits him on the way down. From that point until the end of the shopping era, he would stand in the centre of the car platform while introducing the jackpot. This incident has often featured in several blooper specials.
  • Barry Jones, from Western Australia (no relation to the then federal parliamentarian of BP Pick a Box fame) goes "all the way" between the 4th and 13 of July. He wins $213,712 in cash and prizes (including a $90,000 cash jackpot)
  • David Bock, from Victoria, wins "the lot" in August 1984

1985[edit | edit source]

  • The logo undergoes a slight change with the "OF THE" changed to all-caps.
  • The Australia vs USA championship, airs. Champions from the program compete against the same from the USA version over a period of 3 weeks. The best 12 Australian champions play the first week, with the winners of each heat, playing on the Friday game, to get the two Australian competitors, the same is done the following week with the Americans, then the 3rd week is devoted to a "best of 5" playoff. The first team to win 3 games, will win $100,000. If one team gets to 3 wins before the end of the week, the rest of the week is devoted to normal episodes.
    • For this special, the intro starts with a zoom-in on a flag, that has an Australian half (with a cartoon kangaroo on it), and an American half (with a cartoon Uncle Sam on it) in the middle of a starscape background. They then show several short clips of Australians and Americans competing in various sports. Following this, the three (two in the final) competitors for Australia (Virginia Noel and Fran Powell) are superimposed over a map of Australia, while the three (two in the final) American competitors (Frances Wolfe and Alice Conkright) are superimposed over a map of North America
    • Peter Smith's introduction for the First 4 Australian and American heats is, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we proudly present (Australia/America), Heat (1/2/3/4) on Sale of the Century! (The 3 competitors playing tonight), clashing head-on for a spot in the (Australian/American final), on SALE OF THE CENTURY!
    • For the Friday show of each week, there is no numbered heat, and it is simply changed to "Final", while the "Final" (in Australian/American Final) is replaced with "Challenge"
    • For the Final Australian/American Challenge, Pete Smith's introduction is changed to, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we take great pleasure in presenting the final of the Australian/American Challenge! Two of the greatest competitive nations in the world ever to challenge for national glory, now face each other in the quiz arena, for a grand prize of $100,000 cash. Representing Australia, from New South Wales, Virginia Noel, and also from New South Wales, Fran Powell. Representing America, from New York, Frances Wolfe, and from Arizona, Alice Conkright. The ultimate head-to-head competition with the best players in the world on SALE OF THE CENTURY!"
    • The Australian team wins 3 straight games, clenching the victory and $100,000.
  • Vincent Smith releases The Great Australian Trivia Quiz Book
  • In September, BMW is replaced by Toyota as the main car sponsors; around this time, they regularly begin to have 2 cars as the main prize on the program. Some previous episodes to that point occasionally featured two BMW cars; two cars are now more often presented at this point. They occasionally offer one car if it is a high-end model. Toyota is soon replaced by Holden (one YouTube clip showing a Holden Jackaroo and Holden Camira SLE being offered in November 1985)
  • On 25 October, Brett Ednie wins $338,878 in cash and prizes (including a $204,000 cash jackpot), the second-highest amount achieved up to this point.
  • The final episode for the year is also Delvene's final show.

1986[edit | edit source]

  • The main theme is remixed, with a jazz/big band sound.
  • The second set debuts
  • The main colour of the set is now white, and the doors are changed to a triangle shape. The riser is removed from the Famous Faces board, which is now motorised, allowing the Famous Faces squares to spin on their own, previously, the hostess would have to spin them around manually.
  • Alyce Platt joins the show as hostess
  • Former champion contestant, Fran Powell, becomes the program's question writer/adjudicator
  • Geoff Saunders wins "the lot", with a grand total of $307,608
  • The first Ashes tournament occurs. This was played in the same way as the Australian/American Challenge from the previous year, but with Aussies playing against Brits. In the finals, the Australian team (David Bock and Cary Young) wins, with David Bock named as "Player of the Series" (which was determined by the total number of correct answers given during the Finals)
  • Following the success of The Ashes, the program holds its Commonwealth Games. Australian, Canadian and New Zealand contestants compete against each other. Cary Young wins
  • The Wild card is added to the third Fame Game
  • David Poltorak, of Sydney, New South Wales, becomes the new record-holder, winning cash and prizes with a value totalling $376,104 (including a $244,000 cash jackpot) On his final show, his score is $200, the highest single-episode score on the Australian version. (There were at least three other instances of the score reaching or exceeding $200 - one such example was achieved on the New Zealand version of Sale when Dean Sole scored $201 on 14 November 1994.)

1987[edit | edit source]

  • The first world championship airs. Contestants from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom compete. Cary Young wins for Australia.
  • An Interstate Championship airs, featuring contestants representing Australia's states and territories. Dean Cupitt (representing New South Wales) wins the final. (Incidentally, on his initial appearance in 1984, Dean was playing for "the lot" when he was beaten by David Bock, so this is a rare instance of a defeated champion appearing in a tournament.)
  • Leesa Selke becomes the show's youngest female champion (aged 17), winning $239,249 in cash and prizes

1988[edit | edit source]

  • The host and contestant podium backgrounds are changed to a diamond pattern with grey and brown tones. The doors and Fame Game set remain unchanged
  • The second world championship airs. David Bock wins for Australia.
  • The first student championship airs. Year 12 students from across Australia compete
  • Andrew Werbik becomes the show's youngest-ever champion to win the lot (aged 16)

1989[edit | edit source]

  • The set undergoes two colour scheme changes within the space of a few months. The backgrounds are initially given a pastel blue and dull mauve pattern, and later a brighter variation of the same colour scheme
  • In addition, the logo undergoes a major change becoming larger and three-dimensional.
  • The third world championship airs. Brian MacDonnell wins for New Zealand.
  • A format re-vamp occurs. Cash Cards, audio-visual questions, a mid-show Fast Money and an extra fame game are now included in the front game. The major prize round adopts the Winner's Board. Now, winning contestants are able to play for a car on any night, and winning seven consecutive shows, guarantees winning 'the lot'
  • Episode 2000 airs
  • The second student championship airs. During this series, the show celebrates its ninth anniversary

1990[edit | edit source]

  • The Masters series airs. The three winners from the world championships compete against each other. Cary Young wins
  • Kate Buckingham, of Seventeen Mile Rocks, Queensland, breaks the prize record in October. She wins cash and prizes totalling $471,640 (including a $318,000 cash jackpot). She had to first beat John Sargeant of New South Wales who was on his final match.
  • To celebrate the show's 10th anniversary, the first celebrity series airs. One of the episodes includes a clip montage of international versions of $ale (including the pilot episode of the German version).

1991[edit | edit source]

  • Before the show's season begins, the Nine Network runs three weeks of 'classic' episodes, including the 1986 Ashes tournament finals and the 1985 Australia/US tournament finals.
  • David Poltorak replaces Fran Powell as question writer/adjudicator
  • Tony has a steel hip replacement. On one of the year's first episodes, he apologises for not running on to the set at the start of the show!
  • Tony Barber and Alyce Platt leave the show in April. Glenn Ridge and Jo Bailey replace them
  • A Champion of Champions tournament airs in November. (NB: Kate Buckingham was invited to appear, but was absent at the time of taping in October due to the birth of her child)

1992[edit | edit source]

  • Robert Kusmierski, of Victoria, breaks the prize-winning record. On 1 June he wins the cash jackpot, and his winnings total $676,790 (including a $508,000 cash jackpot). He really needs the money, because he has to borrow a friend's suit to wear on the show!

1993[edit | edit source]

  • A second Ashes tournament airs. Unlike the 1986 tournament, the British contestants had appeared on game shows other than Sale of the Century (the second British version having ceased airing in 1991). In the finals, the Australian team (Anthony White and Kevin Gardner) wins.
  • Jo Bailey leaves, several weeks before the end of the season. For the remainder of the year, guest hostesses have week-long tenures. Guests include Alyssa-Jane Cook, Denise Drysdale, Effie, Alyce Platt, Jo Beth Taylor, Suuzie Wilks and Dame Edna Everage. Jo is a 'guest hostess' for one week as well, and then model Nicky Buckley also guest-hosts for at least one episode (prior to becoming the next full-time hostess).
  • Minor format changes mean that winning the cash jackpot requires eight wins, rather than seven

1994[edit | edit source]

  • A new contemporary set appears, and is modified around mid-1997
  • Nicky Buckley joins the show as hostess. She competes in the celebrity race at the Adelaide Grand Prix
  • Episode 3000 airs
  • A Battle of the TV Shows series airs. Red Symons and John Blackman of Hey Hey it's Saturday win

1995[edit | edit source]

  • Sale's 15th Anniversary Special airs on 24 July. Tony Barber, Alyce Platt, Jo Bailey and Delvene Delaney, make guest appearances on the hour-long program
  • A French production team comes to Australia, to film two pilot episodes for a French version of Sale. Using the Australian set, studio and sounds, the shows are made, with the French community organising French-speaking contestants and studio audience members. The show goes well, despite the fact that the host snaps his Achilles tendon prior to recording

1996[edit | edit source]

  • As Australian television celebrates its 40th anniversary, Sale airs a 40 Years of Television celebrity series. On one episode, Pete Smith appears as a contestant and also does announcing. He wins his heat against international guest Gary Coleman. In the finals of the series, Gary does the announcing (although the introductions are pre-recorded by Pete)

1997[edit | edit source]

  • Nicky Buckley gives birth to her first child, Cooper Alan Bingham. She works on the show throughout her pregnancy, and some viewers express concerns about her "flaunting her pregnancy." Her supporters greatly out-number her critics, though
  • At the Logie Awards, Daryl Somers presents Nicky with a special Logie for 'most publicised pregnancy'. To ensure the whole family can enjoy the award, it makes a squeaking sound when squashed
  • When Nicky takes maternity leave, guest hostesses are Rhonda Burchmore, Colleen Hewett, Gina Jeffreys and Kim Watkins. A Battle of the Footy Codes series airs during this time, and each night therein has a different sportswoman serve as hostess.
  • A Masters series airs. Contestants who win their way through to the finals, play against Cary Young. Cary wins

1998[edit | edit source]

  • The 'State of Origin University Challenge' airs
  • Other 'specials' to air are the 18th Anniversary challenge (a champion of champions series with most of the big winners from the show's history, won by David Bock), Battle of the TV Shows (won by Russell Gilbert and Wilbur Wilde of Hey Hey it's Saturday) and Battle of the Footy Codes.
  • Episode 4000 airs
  • Nicky gives birth to her second child, Jasper Leonard Bingham. When she takes maternity leave, guest hostesses are Livinia Nixon, Chelsea Gibb and Felicity Urquhart (country music performer)
  • The Nicky for a Night competition occurs. For a week during Nicky's absence, 'everyday' people are given the chance to co-host Sale of the Century. After sending in short 'audition' videos, the producers choose ten finalists, and the viewers vote to determine the winners. Strangely, the 'everyday' people all end up being tall blonde women.
  • Another Masters knock-out series occurs. The two-week-long series begins with seven champion contestants from the last two years, with one being eliminated every night. They play for the chance to compete in another knock-out series, opposing Cary Young, David Bock and Vincent Smith. David wins

1999[edit | edit source]

  • This season comes with a new logo where every letter spins into the centre of the screen forming "SALE OF THE CENTURY"
  • The year commences with a celebrity challenge
  • Robert Kusmierski's big win makes its way into Who Weekly magazine's 100 Greatest Moments in Television
  • Nicky Buckley's "resignation" is announced after the show's season concludes. It is later revealed that the Nine Network decided to replace her

2000[edit | edit source]

  • Karina Brown joins Sale as the new hostess
  • The show is re-titled Sale of the New Century... despite the fact that the 'new century' does not begin until 2001
  • Along with a rebrand comes a brand new peach-coloured logo in a new serif font. The perspective of the logo is also changed.
  • The most significant format change is the controversial contestant elimination rule. The show now begins with four players, and the lowest-scoring player is eliminated at the end of rounds two and three
  • Tom Beck wins the lot totalling $420,573 in cash and prizes (including a cash jackpot of $250,000) and became the first contestant to win the lot under the "contestant elimination" format.
    • Immediately following Tom's win, Glenn announces a new tournament in the form of Super Sale, in which the next champion would play a best-of-three match against the previous champion - both playing for the same cash jackpot amount as that won by the new champion (i.e. if the recent champion won a $200,000 cash jackpot, both players would then play for $200,000 in cash).

2001[edit | edit source]

  • The program reverts to the title Sale of the Century. The "$" and the "C" in the logo are made slightly larger.
  • The show returns to a three-contestant format, with the lowest scorer being eliminated before the final 'fast money'
  • A special 21st-anniversary tournament airs in July, featuring champion contestants from each year covering 1980 through 1999. The initial heats each cover four-year periods (i.e. 1980-1983, 1984-1987 etc.), and also include contestants who had not appeared on the show since their initial wins. This tournament does not include Gift Shop playings, except for the regualr "Cash Card" segment in the third round. In the tournament final, Cary Young makes a "guest" appearance in the final as he had decided to take a break from playing in Sale's tournaments (his most recent appearance being the 1998 Masters Showdown tournament).
  • A fourth Masters tournament airs at the end of the year. The first two episodes each feature four recent champion contestants, the two highest-scoring contestants of each episode then playing in a prelimiary final. The winner of the preliminary final - Maria McCabe (who won "the lot" in 1998) - plays against "Reigning Master" David Bock, who ultimately wins the final episode.
  • Following the Masters tournament, Glenn Ridge, Karina Brown and Pete Smith are axed from the program. The network later announces that the show will be "rested" for the first half of 2002 and returned with new hosts

2002[edit | edit source]

  • A nationwide search for a new host is conducted, with commercials airing inviting people to submit audition tapes
  • Shafted fills Sale's timeslot, and is planned to air for six months before Sale returns. However, the show rates poorly, is replaced by re-runs of Frasier which rates so well that plans for Sale to return are put on the backburner

2005[edit | edit source]

  • The program returns to the Nine Network, under its 1970s Australian title of Temptation. The show ran until the 30th of November, 2007.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.