Out of Time

First Country

United Kingdom

First Date

September 4, 1998 (UK)

Latest Country

All International Countries that have not be canceled yet.

Latest Date

Never Ends (except Russia in September 4, 2010 to August 25, 2018)

Second Country


Second Date

September 4, 2018

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Out of Time Klaxon

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Out of Time Klaxon

"Millionaire" Sound Effect- Klaxxon (Clear) - Time Is Up For Today!

"Millionaire" Sound Effect- Klaxxon (Clear) - Time Is Up For Today!

The "Out of Time" sound, most popularly known as the klaxon, is used to indicate that an episode has ended.  Any contestant who is still playing has to come back the next night. In the UK, the host calls it the klaxon. In the U.S., when the sound happens the host will just say "That sound means were out of time for today". In Sri Lanka, the host calls it the 'dreaded sound' or 'hooter'. In the original Australian version of Millionaire, the host called it the "siren".

The sound that is used in the UK version consists of one long blast of a chord played by brass instruments and the play the following musical notes:

  • D Sharp which pitch bends to the following notes:
  • G Sharp
  • D (which goes down into a C Sharp).

The same sound was used in the USA until the shuffle format was introduced, in which the sound became a short blast of an air horn playing at note E.

Moments involving the Klaxon

Contestants like Stephen Fox and Paul Cleary have been interrupted by the klaxon just after completing Fastest Finger First.

In the UK, Steve Devlin and Ingram Wilcox have been interrupted by the klaxon just before the Top Prize question.

Later (for example, in Poland and India), similar cases also occurred. In India, after completing Fastest Finger First contestants Manish Singh, Balabhadra Deva, Dominik Fernandes, Mumukshu Mohanty, Pradeep Rana, P. Prajatha, Harpreet Kaur, Sripriya Roy Chowdhuri, Anjana Majhi, Archana Kumari Nayak, Mansi Mathurekar, Simiran Mohapatra, Nilesh Katrodiya, Anita Singh, Ranjeet Jaiswar, Dr. Vinay Goyal, Shikher Sehgal, Akshay Rajput, Manish Ratna and others are had sound of klaxon.

In France, Marie Friedel was interrupted by the klaxon just before the Top Prize question.

In Poland, Ewa Wota and Bozena Al Soori also won in FFF, but klaxon interrupted their runs.

In Poland, Paulina Kowalczyk, Katarzyna Zaręba, Karolina Korwin-Piotrowska and Michał Piróg, Remigiusz Skubisz and Maksymilan Bilewicz heard the klaxon in front of the final question. In Turkey, Çağdaş İrfan Yıldırım and Arda Ayten also had klaxon before Top Prize question.


  • Every time the end of an episode, unless a contestant walks away just before the end. Sometimes, it has played even after the contestant walks away.
  • On the UK electronic game if the player presses the pause button.
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Party Edition on PS2 if the player runs out of time.


  • Chris Tarrant normally reacts with exclamations such as "OH, NO!", "AAAAGH" or "OH!" when the klaxon sounds. Regis Philbin once said when the klaxon went off: “That sound means the Russians are coming.“
  • On the 10th Anniversary Special though, there was no klaxon, as Regis just said that the contestant had to return the next night, before the celebrity came into the studio for their question.
  • Only three times did the klaxon sound during Series 31 hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, because the contestant was still playing.
  • The klaxon went off twice in the 2011 & 2012 Mother's Day special. When it went off the first time Chris Tarrant didn't hear it, so they sounded it again.
  • In the School's Out Special in the UK, it was called the "school bell". It sounded during Joe and Connor Calzaghe's £10,000 question, nullifying the question in the process.
  • Contestants have been interrupted by the klaxon after winning £500,000 and had to wait until the next night to see the million pound question. On even rarer occasions, some contestants have been interrupted by the klaxon just after completing Fastest Finger First.
  • The klaxon, unlike most musical scores, rarely appears in many of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? video games, but does in the electronic game when the game is paused. It is also included in Party Edition.
  • In some countries, the klaxon is not used (for example, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Iran, Nepal).
  • In the live UK episodes, it has often sounded during the question, which nullifies the question, and on worse occasions, when a lifeline is in progress.
  • The klaxon played twice during the 1999 UK Christmas Special to signify the end of parts 1 and 2 but was not played at the end of part 3.
  • The klaxon played during the top prize wins of Ralf Schnoor and Matthias Stockinger.
  • In the Philippines the klaxon interrupts the “say bye bye to contestant” cue.[source]
  • In the Kannada-speaking version, small bells are heard when an episode ends, instead of the usual klaxon sound.
  • On Max Shuman's run, after Meridith says “I'm an old, horny woman, alright?” on his $200 question, the klaxon sounds and Meridith says “NO! NOT THE HORN!”
  • In Turkey, the klaxon sounds twice.
  • In Vietnam around 2006, when the klaxon sounded, the show would cut to the very last commercial, with only P&G products (at the time they sponsored the show) being showcased. In 2007 however, they became a sponsorship byline with no interruption.
  • The klaxon was absent in the Hot Seat format in most countries, but it can be softly heard in the Vietnamese version.[source]
  • Since 2019, in Kaun Banega Crorepati, when the soundtrack of the show was modified, the out of time klaxon was modified too.
  • On June 16, 2020 episode in Ai Là Triệu Phú, the klaxon was absent for unknown reasons. It returned on the next episode.
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