Jungle Run was a British children's television series which aired on CITV as part of the ITV network from 10 September 1999 to 29 November 2006. It was a game show similar to Fort Boyard and The Crystal Maze. The show has had three presenters, referred to as the "Jungle Guide": Dominic Wood from 1999 to 2000, Chris Jarvis from 2001 to 2002 and Michael Underwood from 2003 to 2006.
A team of children complete five challenges in the jungle (four for the celebrity guests). Originally, bananas win them time in the final challenge. In later series, these are replaced with silver monkey statues which give them ten seconds of time inside the Temple of the Jungle King; in each episode, there is a golden banana worth more bananas or a ruby monkey worth twenty seconds.
Jungle Run was recorded at the disused air base: RAF Newton, near Nottingham.
Challenges took place in a variety of locations. Some were swamps or waterfalls; others were obstacle courses or mazes, and some were just places out in the open. The same location could be used for multiple challenges, but each task could only be played in one place.
Usually, four or five statues were available in each of the challenges. Occasionally, members of the team could be trapped by running out of time in an obstacle course or failing to complete a game involving cages; the rest of the team would then decide if they wanted to pay two statues to release them, or leave without them. In some games, Sid and Elvis, a pair of monkeys who serve the jungle king, would try to distract contestants by throwing coconuts or other objects in their direction.
Locations in the jungle included;
- The Swamp/Dark Swamp. The smelliest part of the jungle and sometimes nicknamed "The toilet of the jungle."
- Angel Falls, a beautiful waterfall.
- A Mayan styled pyramid temple called the Pyramid of the Sun. An eerie place, it was full of tricks and traps. Contestants would play on the steps and inside the pyramid itself.
- The Monkey Trees. A hang out for Sid and Elvis, near a rope bridge and a crashed helicopter.
- The Lost Tomb, a spooky ancient burial place full of tricks and traps.
- The Abandoned camp. Seen only in the older versions of the show, this was an abandoned explorer's camp. Sid and Elvis hide bananas or statues in nets high above the contestants.
- The Chasm. Also seen in the older versions of the show, this was the playground of the monkeys. Unlike the jungle, it was a more arid location.
- The Rapids. Another older location, this was the forerunner for Angel Falls. Contestants slid down the rapids trying to snatch as many bananas as they can on the way down.
Games took approximately two to three minutes each, and included challenges such as:
- Capturing statues while going down a zipwire.
- Discovering bananas/statues in a maze or obstacle course; usually one member of the team would complete the course while others would provide assistance by using tools on the other side of the wall, or provision of guidance from above.
- Collecting bananas/statues hanging above a swamp, using lilypads or a bridge.
- Climbing up a wall and collecting bananas/statues hidden in ridges.
- Diving underwater to get statues hidden in treasure chests.
- Filling shrines with water, so statues would float within reach.
- Using bamboo poles to hook baskets containing statues.
- Finding and using a series of keys to unlock cages where contestants were imprisoned. (Statues were released by using the same keys in a machine.)
- Remembering pairs of symbols on a board, and matching the symbols to win bananas/statues.
The Temple of the Jungle KingEdit
The final challenge involves contestants making their way through the Temple of the Jungle King, their time inside varying based on the number of bananas/statues collected. Inside the temple is a series of rooms each containing a large monkey statue. Once the challenge in each chamber is completed, the door to the next room opens. In the first few episodes, teams would only win one prize (based on the chamber they advanced to), but following this, teams won one prize per chamber completed. There were four challenges and one statue for each chamber: Stone, Bronze, Silver and the Golden Monkey.
When a team has only 10/20 seconds left (depending on the series), a warning sound (such as a chimp screaming) would be heard, signalling that they should make their way out of the temple. If some members or the entire team fail to get out in time, those people are locked in the temple and they receive no prizes other than a monkey teddy, regardless of tasks completed.
Challenges could involve:
- Getting a ball in a hole by lifting up and rotating a maze.
- Completing a jigsaw.
- Each contestant matching their hands and feet to the correct symbols.
- Solving an abacus puzzle.
- Turning cogs.
- Getting across a pit without touching the sand.
- Spelling the solution to a riddle by standing on the right tiles.