Week 7, 11 December 1996.

Some new faces this week, including unexpected visitors. Paul Denchfield's the studio expert, and Beryl and June have dropped by to pick up their cheque.

Now, to business. James McQueen, a business consultant and Gary Bond, a garage owner, both from Bristol. They're playing in Birmingham, they're going for gold (no, it's WANTED, confirms Richard.) Dave McBride is in the Brindley Arms in the centre of Birmingham. He reckons they'll have gone to a phone box near a hospital, because Gary has a lot of medic friends. He's also recruited the Harley Davidson and Capri clubs. Different clubs, let me make that quite clear.

Lucy Renwick and Paul Naginsky are charity workers from Liverpool. They're playing in Newcastle, and they're standing in the open. "We're incognito," says Paul; Richard wonders if that's a suburb of Gateshead. Victoria Fay is in the city centre, dressed for the part in the Newcastle Utd strip. She appeals for help from the people of Newcastle, and filmed a completely incomprehensible insert while bouncing along the Tyne. This morning, Lucy and Paul crushed a Beetle, so she enlists the help of the Newcastle Beetle Owners' Group.

Jon Hinton and Jonathan Simon are both in their twenties, come from London, and are playing from a sort-of phone box in South London. "We're just beneath Canary Wharf," claims Jon. Matt Randall is their tracker, but the fog in London means that his helecopter can't take off. Richard apologises for the lack of pictures, but we do have a video insert showing Matt sending off some cyclists.

We'll start with Jon and Jon, who have been climbing up the wall all week. Their plan takes them to Birmingham on Saturday, but they're nowhere to be found. The lads ride on to Wolverhampton [waves], but the first train to Chester isn't until 10am, and their appointment is at 10am. They pay 60, and try to throw Matt a false lead. Bristol? Foolish move. They spend much of Sunday in A Field In Wales. Matt's comment: "Ha ha ha ha ha." Their route back takes them through Bristol, with over 700 miles on the clock.

Paul says that with just two weeks on the game, the runners can really rack up the miles in a way that Beryl, June, and all of last week's runners couldn't do. Tracie and Anthony covered 1000 miles on the ground in three weeks. Much to their surprise, Matt hasn't caught up with them all week, so they're playing for the full 7000. Matt's in Peckham Rye, and reckons he has a sighting in Redpost Hill, Dulwich. This is where Tanya's parents live.

Dave's at the Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre, but no joy.

Lucy and Paul have taken the east coast route, totalling 519 miles. It's the same square for Beryl and June two weeks ago, and less succesfully for Dawn and Lisa last week. The fog on the Tyne has lifted for Lucy and Paul, and they're looking terribly exposed. Their task has been to crush a car a day. Their tactic has been to travel early in the day, then do the task late. Victoria catches up with our runners on Friday, but their cover is blown when Paul takes a call from C4. Victoria gets them again at 6am Saturday. The task's impossible on a December Sunday, but meet John, who introduces Kevin, who knows Julie, who knows David, who knows Charlie of Charlie's scrapyard. The two reckon they've become closer over the week.

"This isn't BLIND DATE," says Richard, namedropping his second competitor game show of the night. Oleg says how Lucy is charming, just like Victoria, and unlike Tracey last week. Paul Denchfield remembers his low point, when Richard calls him a failure. While Paul's talking to Richard, Lucy nips off to talk to someone. They've done well: filmed on Friday and Saturday, failed on Sunday, so playing for 4000.

Where's Victoria? Somewhere on the Quayside, boarding a pleasure cruiser filled with able seamen. An internet sighting places the duo somewhere near the Tyne Bridge, not far at all from Victoria's location. Lucy and Paul decline to comment.

Over in Birmingham, Richard calls for the curtains in the box to come down. Both Victoria and Dave have made captures in Birmingham earlier in the series, and it's the square in which Tanya was born. The gents hugged the south coast to Penzance, then up to Bristol, the west side of Birmingham, up down to Blackpool, then down to central Brum. Their task was to feed a shark, but they find that sharks don't always eat. They didn't bite in Plymouth, so the lads don't get their feed. "Have you had any phone calls this morning?" asks James at Weston-Super-Mud. "No," he says, declining to reveal the calls he had yesterday. Dave catches up with them, but they've made good their escape. They try to feed a sharkfish. "It's not a shark," says Dave, "just as a dogfish is not a dog."

James and Gary have a vicious row on film; the short section has two bleeps, but Richard hints it was a lot more bloody. Oleg says how this underminds their morale. Paul calls the duo cheats: "they've not been playing within the spirit of the rules." We'll put the blue cast on their phone box feed down to technical problems, but they're playing for 4000. Dave's last guess: the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.

In London, Matt's tip didn't turn up. He's stuck in traffic, and reckons people at home are having fun at his expense. Up in Newcastle, Victoria's lead was a duffer. A car pulled up beside Victoria while she was checking it out, and they said "Follow us, follow us!" so she did. She's now at the north side of the Tyne, and Lucy is looking "twitchy" according to Richard, or "smug" according to me.

Matt's stuck in traffic on the Peckham High Street. Dave reckons they're at the Orthopaedic hospital. They're not there, the phone box outside the ROH is modern, not red. They're actually hiding somewhere in the back of the Bull Ring / Arcadian complex.

Jon and Jon are in Thornton Heath, but the real stars of the week are Lucy and Paul. Victoria was within 500m of them when she was in the Quayside area, but Lucy managed to flag down a passing car driver and get him to divert Victoria the wrong side of the Tyne. They figured that even if someone gave them away, Victoria would be too far away to make the capture in time. Excellent planning.

Next week is the series finale, and all three teams will be playing for double money.

In the wider world, Man U's 2-0 win at Austria Vienna allows the Red Devils to qualify for the last eight, where they'll play Porto. John Major's parliamentary majority vanishes after Sir John Gorst (Hendon North) announces he'll "no longer be bound by the Conservative whip." He's discontented with the handling of Edgware Hospital. A popular uprising begins in Yugoslavia following Mr Milosovic's annullment of local election results, and Iraq will be allowed to sell oil to buy humanitarian aid.

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