This is where it all started! More than fifty
five years ago, the
rollercoaster that grew and grew into a European popular phenomenon began with
a television series on Italian television, entitled
Campanile Sera. The series debuted pretty much fully formed and even
contained the Game of Questions that typified the early Intervilles and
Jeux Sans Frontières broadcasts that were to follow three and six years
Presenters were Mike Bongiorno, who was the main host based at
the studio in Milano, Renato Tagliani and Enzo Tortora, who were the master of
ceremonies, one at the first town, the other at the second. The towns were
generally chosen so that a town from the north would face another from the
south. The Game of
Questions was hosted by Bongiorno at the Milano studio venue. The questions
were focused on two subjects - general knowledge and current affairs - and
each town was required to send two contestants to Milan to take part in this
part of the contest.
major variation between Campanile Sera and its successors was that the
Italian series operated a 'winner stays on' system, meaning that teams could
feature on the series for many weeks - until they were finally defeated. Aside
from the attraction of a continuation in the competition (with its resultant
good publicity for the local area), winning towns were awarded a 1,000,000
lire prize. In the case of scores being tied at the end of the competition, an
additional tie-break question would be asked.
series ran only with short breaks almost continuously between 1959 and 1962,
but to keep our entries for Campanile Sera in the same format as the
rest of the Series Guide, it has been decided to break the programme down into
years. Programmes are numbered consecutively, from 1959 until the end of the
series in 1962. Breaks in series are denoted in the programme listings.
A 9.5mm film recording survives of the pilot programme, although this was
never originally broadcast. Incredibly, the legendary Italian Jeux Sans
Frontières games designer, Adolfo 'Popi' Perani, was involved right from
this pilot broadcast.