Week 1, 30 October 1996.

"If you understand hide and seek, you'll understand Wanted." So promises Richard Littlejohn. Three pairs of runners have been moving about all week, but this is the Hour That Counts. They have to stay put in a phone box somewhere in mainland Britain, for the next hour. If they're captured, they're out.

Drew Kane and Scott Burgess are in a phone box in a 10km grid square. Their box is somewhere in the square containing Solihull, to the south west of Birmingham. There are lots of motorways, but only 85 phone boxes in their square. Tracking them: the blonde bombshell, investigative journalist and extreme sportslass, Victoria Fay!

Andy Stuart and David Angus are in an old phone box in East London, somewhere around the Kray's territory. 2,569 phone boxes for Paul Denchfield, the expedition leader and survival technique specialist.

Richard's been putting in a lot of conditionals - "should have" "should be." And there's a blank monitor on the big board. Sisters Lisa and Andrea Gordon have wimped out, cracked under the pressure. Dave McBride, an SAS-trained barrister, is done for them.

Voiceover man explains how the game works: public transport, 10km squares, can't return once they've left. Perform a daily task, provide video evidence, and 1000 per day for doing their task. But! The tracker has a camera; if they film the runners, that money is lost. The Wanted Organisation will phone bus stations and B&Bs to try and find their prey.

They can run ... but can they hide?

Team one, then Scott and Drew, somewhere in the Birmingham area. They're part time barmen, and their special tactic is to do a lot of drinking. The Scotsman reports that they've been spending the nights with friends of friends, through the barmen's grapevine. Richard explains their route, along the south coast, looping back, then up to Brum. Where did the red route spring from?

Anyway, their task: shake hands with a local mayor, in full regalia. They start in Lewes, while Victoria is over in Maidstone. The lads do an interview for Het Grauniad, in return for a night's bedding. They've planned their route with military precision, and spend the night at Portsmouth naval base before meeting that town's mayor the next morning.

So, off to Gosport, but Victoria's finally got a lead. She visits the Mayor later in the day. "Met them at the heart of Portsmouth," for values of "heart" that include the ferry terminal. She tries to appeal to taxi drivers, offering 50, but no joy. Desperate, Victoria gives them a call, but they're giving nothing away.

Colour commentator Oleg Gordievsky says the gentlemen are well organised, polite, and doing well. That said, Victoria is intelligent, smart, and comes up with new tricks. John O'Connor praises the trek along the south coast, but is worried that they've chosen a poor square in which to play. He's pleased that Victoria gets other people to do some of her work.

Drew says that Victoria was in their area yesterday, but the mayor led her astray. Drew reckons he's playing for five or six grand. It's better: they've played a blinder, and they're going for the full 7000.

Come in Victoria! She's at the Solihull athletics track, and has spent the day chasing the lads down a lane they've not used. Victoria has a young army of helpers, equipped with posters and 10 pence pieces to call the studio. There will be whines on Right 2 Whine later...

Dave and Andy are perhaps a little more nervous than before. They've carved out an anticlockwise loop of 306 miles through the south east, finishing up about six miles from where they started. Dave is putting his thumbs up at two policemen outside the box. They're live on national television, coppers.

Their task: get a guided tour of a castle each day. They start in Berkhamstead, where Paul's already speaking to the bus drivers. They turn up in Donnington on Friday, and take a tour of a pub called The Castle. To Guildford on Saturday, and they take a bed in an assistant from the tourist shop. Paul's flinging his arms about like a mad 'un in Horsham. He takes a guess that they'll head for Tonbridge, where there are three castles. 8am Monday, and he's keeping watch in the turrets. It turns out to be a valuable hunt, catching them on film. They try the old Castle pub trick again in Croydon, and it turns out that they give her the tour. She scarcely speaks English.

Today, Paul invades a taxi driver finishing school, and hands out his Wanted WANTED posters. Maggie, the lady in Guildford, was an angel, as was her husband. They were filmed on Monday, and the Wanted Organisation isn't accepting the second pub tour in Croydon as properly guided, so they're playing for 5000.

Tanya, the lovely assistant, reckons they're somewhere in the Shoreditch area, but nothing specific. Paul is at Hackney town hall, the best place to be. Well, perhaps not, the best place would be where these gents are.

Two calls put Scott and Drew at Lodge Lane, by Solihull station. Victoria's about 1.1km away...

When the clock in the corner reaches zero, the game's up, and any surviving runners keep the money they've accumulated, and they run on for another week. We won't be seeing Lisa and Andrea next week, they cracked, but left a film record of their week. Their task: visit a football ground and interview a member of staff.

No plan, no knowledge of football, but stay the night in Dad's house and visit Stamford Bridge. They head down to Croydon, where paranoia sets in. They get on a train to Portsmouth, giving Dave McBride a long drive. But they jump the train at Guildford, and yomp across country towards Swindon, where they interview a janitor. Dave is seeing stars at Portsmouth FC, but the runners are seeing Dave everywhere. They visit the closed St Andrews' ground on Sunday, and see their own poster in Coventry on Monday. The number on the poster: 0171 308 5127.

Oleg warns against getting paranoid, but it helps if they're organised and come into the game with a plan. When defecting from the KGB, Oleg had a master plan, a weekly plan, and a general plan. Tootle his own trumpet. Don't think that this paranoia can last in future weeks - John says that they exagurrated the opposition, and made a route that looks like a piece of spaghetti.

Dave McBride is in Ipswich, and is worried about the effect he has on women. "I wasn't anywhere near them, it was their fear that got to them." He started slowly, worked up to a big finish, and was in Ipswich when they declared their square for tonight. Dave was thoroughly confused, reckons they had a good terrorist organisation. He spoke to them earlier, and Andrea's gone down with the flu. Stress-induced?

Cripes, two and a half minutes to play! Drew and Scott could be at Farmhouse Way, near Widney Manor golf club. Victoria's going over the M42, about 1km away. Scott is "nervous."

Dave and Andy have had an awful lot of visitors. Paul Denchfield is driving around like a good 'un, running traffic lights. He reckons they're a minute's drive away, but he doesn't have a minute!

It's a tense climax... they're safe. Dave and Andy really explode with huge leaping celebrations, Drew and Scott are more restrained. Are they

Our new runners for next week will be Kay and Francesco. They're released from some sort of prison type thing.

The show may be over, but the game goes on, and as of now, these two are wanted!

Also ... Arsenal are top of the Premier League, the Spice Girls have the number one single ...

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