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BBC Gameshow From 2004 Titled ‘Traitor’ That Bears Striking Resemblance To Smash Hit ‘The Traitors’ Emerges Online

A 20-year-old BBC gameshow that bears striking resemblance to smash hit The Traitors has emerged online.

Yesterday, the Back the BBC Twitter account posted a YouTube video of a BBC series from 2004 titled Traitor, hosted by presenter Tony Livesey, in which contestants sit in a circle and try and figure out who the dishonest ‘traitors’ are to win a cash prize.

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The BBC and IDTV, the Dutch producer of recent smash hit The Traitors, were taken by surprise by the emergence of this 20-year-old gameshow.

Traitor aired several episodes on the BBC in 2004. One of the former contestants, Pete Liggins, commented on X that the show was being considered as a replacement for The Weakest Link in the late afternoon slot but “I guess cost too much/was too complicated a production in comparison.”

Traitor, which can be watched in full on YouTube below, sees three ‘traitors’ selected and the ‘citizens’ – similar to ‘faithfuls’ in the modern-day Traitors – trying to sniff them out throughout the episode to win £5,000 ($6,300). There are no outdoor challenges and the contestants are all replaced each episode rather than staying the same throughout the series. Notably, audiences at the start of the episode were told to look away from the TV if they wanted the identity of the ‘traitors’ to remain secret. “Who’s honest, who’s lying, can you spot them?” Livesey says at the start of the show, as he invites all contestants to say a truth about themselves.

The show clearly didn’t take off in the vein of the current smash and this version appears to have been completely out the limelight for the past two decades.

The current Traitors is hosted by Claudia Winkleman in the UK and Alan Cumming in the U.S. on Peacock, where it is produced by Studio Lambert. It has been a huge hit in multiple territories and the latest UK version attracted millions of viewers per ep, concluding with a dramatic finale. Distributed by All3Media International, it was created in the Netherlands and first aired under the title De Verraders in 2021.

“The Dutch original, De Verraders, is our own format, a unique creation developed by IDTV with [Dutch broadcaster] RTL4,” said an IDTV spokesman. “The 2004 show is very different from De Verraders.”

The BBC declined to comment on Traitor‘s similarities to The Traitors.

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