Three couples compete in a missing word game, with the winning couple going on to solve riddles left by guest performers to win prizes and avoid Dusty Bin's booby prize.




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Series cast summary:
Ted Rogers Ted Rogers ...  Himself - Host 149 episodes, 1978-1987
Dusty Bin Dusty Bin ...  Himself 134 episodes, 1978-1987
Chris Emmett Chris Emmett ...  Himself / ... 64 episodes, 1978-1986


Three couples compete in a missing word game, with the winning couple going on to solve riddles left by guest performers to win prizes and avoid Dusty Bin's booby prize.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

One three, Two See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Sunderland was the artist who designed the original opening title animation, and also the characterisation of Dusty Bin, in 1978. See more »


Referenced in TV Hell (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

classic 80's bad TV which was inexplicably massively popular
7 April 2005 | by ArmandTanzarianSee all my reviews

This is one of those 80's programmes which crop up on cheap cable channels and when you watch it you can't believe that this was Saturday evening prime time entertainment and 15-20 million people would watch it.its a bizarre cross between a quiz/gameshow and variety show.Basically,the idea was to interpret totally in penetrable cryptic poems which represented a prize, and the contestants would have to reject prizes and hope they got something tidy and not the booby prize of a dustbin, represented by the 'hilarious' character Dusty Bin. It was called 3-2-1 cos three couples would be whittled down to 2 via a quiz for the main part of the programme and then to 1 couple for the climactic choosing of the prize. The host , Ted Rodgers did this sort of visual 'catchphrase' where he would hold up 3 fingers, then 2, then 1 finger at a speed which dazzled the easily impressed people of the 80's. The weirdest bit was that instead of just bringing out all the clues to the prizes at once, there would be variety segments where various seaside comics, singers, dancers and magicians such as Keith Harris and Orville and The Krankies would do a few minutes of an act, or if the money was a bit tight that week then the in-house dancers 'the Brian Rodgers Connection' would do a turn. The act would then come over to Ted and the contestants and Ted would ask either where they were doing 'Summer Season/Pantomime" depending on the time of the year and they would read out the cryptic poems which made no sense and an item which was also supposed to be a clue but had no connection to the prize we later find out it represents. The couples would get to 'reject' the prizes one by one, supposedly by deciphering the clues, but actually by blind guess work. Once they picked an item to reject, Ted would open the envelope the poem was written on and read out an incredibly contrived and tenuous explanation for the clue, and the contestants were none the wiser as he went along until he shouted "Its the car/holiday/dusty bin!". Thered be another little quiz to knock out another couple and the final couple would get the choice out of the last few clues and win either a holiday,car, kitchen suite or a dustbin. Fantastic.

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