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 later respectively.

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.

The 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.

The 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.


JSFnetGB Series Guide pages researched by
Neil Storer and Alan Hayes
with Ischa Bijl, Julien Dessy, Sébastien Dias, David Hamilton, Denis Kirsanov, Paul Leaver, Philippe Minet,
Christos Moustakas, David Laich Ruiz, Marko Voštan and JSFnet Websites