Originally a radio quiz show, this iconic series was hosted for most of it's run by Selwyn Toogood.
Co-hosts included Heather Eggleston
Contestants has to answer some questions. If they got them right they could take the mystery prize (in the bag) or the cash offered to them. Sometimes the prize was worth more then the money offered, sometimes it wasn't.
It's Finally In The Bag!
The Listener (27/11/1976)
Some lucky contestant going to win a $25000 kit house tonight In the final of ITS IN THE BAG.
Leading contenders in the series so far are Mr Peter CaIlaghen of Hastings and Mr Bruce Mervin of Greymouth, who have both answered eight questions correctly. There will probably be a "sudden death" play off between these two men in the live-telecast final. but there is still the possibility that a member of the audience might snatch the main prize by answering nine questions correctly on the big night.
This final show of ITS IN THE BAG tonight will be the highlight of a 16 to 18-hour day for the technical, lighting, staffing and production Crews — the crews are usually still doing last-minute checks when the audience arrives. The contestanls for the night are selected from the audience while Selwyn and Tineke are being made-up, Selwyn quietly going over his questions and running over the show in his mind. Even someone as experienced as Selwyn gets pre-show nerves, a fact most viewers find hard to believe. But as producer Ken Sudell says. better nervous than complacent.
The show gels underway with an introduction and explanation of how things happen during the recording and how contestants will be selected. The invitation is then extended to anyone who would like to compete to "come up onstage" for elimination quizzes. These are carried out in a simple and effective manner.
The contestants who think answer A is correct are asked to stand in a particular place on stage, those who choose answer in another; and those who choose answer C in yet another. There IS only one correct answer so the people to the two incorrect groups are thus eliminated. This process is repeated until the number of contestants is whittled down to around 20. Further 'eliminations.' are then held to determine a batting Order. — the order in which contestants will compete on the show.
At this point the contestants are led back-stage to have names, addresses and other relevant information recorded so that their prizes (yet to be won) can be forwarded to them.
While this is going on, Selwyn is out-front going through his warm up with the audience. He explains exactly how the show works, and then has his Characteristic round of quick-fire jokes and "digs" about local attractions. One of the most Importent parts pf the warm-up is selecting a member of the audience to ready the bags — In reality wooden, box - containing envelopes identifying the prizes. There are 15 bags (12 major prizes and three booby prizes) and the envelopes for each are shuffied by the person from the audience and put into the bags in random order.
Finally everything Is ready for this final of the series. The excitement of the audience grows as the countdown ends, the recording lights on the cameras glow red, and Selwyn steps forward with his customary "Hello New Zealand..."
The show was updated in the late eighties with John Hawkesby and co-host Hillary Timmin, then Nick Tansley and co-host Suzie Aikte.