'Foolish' Idea: Game shows for TV.
Start-up Costs: Not known.
How Idea was Launched: In 1998 joined Action Time, which he now runs. The company produces shows from other people's ideas.
Sales: Worldwide. Sold Catchphrase to Japan. Lose a Million to Pakistan. Body Heat to Australia. Love at First Sight to Russia - with a million viewers. Happily Divorced to Germany. Divorce Me to Spain and Italy.
Earnings: Royalties each time a programme is screened. Turnover is reputed to be £12 million.
Stephen Leahy takes lots of holidays in the sunshine, relaxing by the pool. Every now and again, he will jot down some notes. These scribblings could gel as yet another TV game show which Stephen will produce through his company, Action Time.
Stephen's inspirational moments can happen anytime and anywhere; at the bar, in the bath, or on an airplane. From 15 yrs of age, Stephen knew he wanted to work in television as a researcher. He and a colleague, were asked to come up with an idea for a game show. The result was Krypton Factor. After devising another 10 games, Stephen Leahy joined Action Time, which he now runs. He enjoys being independent, and the royalties they receive when their programmes are screened.
Stephen sells the game shows abroad and although always on the move, he says he is not a workaholic and enjoys lots of holidays in the sun. He's also a theatre goer, enjoys cooking and of course watching television.
Stephen's expert advice on game shows:
A good game show has to have a beginning, middle and end. The trick is to keep it simple. Also, it's important to understand what appeals to a nation. In the programme Happily Divorced, a woman's ex-husband and her current lover gain points for knowing her habits - it is unlikely to ever appear over here, but the Germans love it.
A good show should be challenging and stimulating. Studio audiences and viewers should want to shout the answer or cheer for their favourite contestant. It should be as gripping and compulsive as watching a soap. Broadcasters like quiz shows, because they cost far less than sitcoms or dramas.
From Catchphrase to Body Heat, Stephen Leahy's game shows are enjoyed by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and give Stephen's company, Action Time, a reputed turnover of £12million a year.