Wild Things

Hey! Purveyor of unusual comedy gameshows Gary Monaghan has been in touch:

Hi Nick – just to let you know we’ve got a new game show coming out on Sky One on March 15th called Wild Things. It’s hopefully quite a funny physical game show that unusually for me is for a family audience, and it’s hosted by Jason Byrne and Kate Humble. It’s going out at 7pm on Sunday nights, the idea being that it’s like your last weekend treat before bedtime and school the following day . I think it’s quite good, although I would say that wouldn’t I

This is the link to the Sky website:


Hope you like it



The clip is quite funny, it is of a man in an owl costume who can’t see anything running through the woods. It’s the slapstick version of that bit from the film Intacto. Something that might be worth looking forward to at any rate.

Edit: here’s the press release. Short version: couples complete, one dressed in a woodland creature costume. That person can’t see. They must get through obstacle courses in the woods, with comedy consequences. The end result is GOLD.


Interesting interview with Paul Farrer on Buzzerblog this morning, now mildly irritated that TV people put so little stock in their background music when for me it can absolutely turn an OK show into a more watchable one, and goodness knows we’ve got annoyed by shows that used good stuff and replaced it with tuneless rubbish.

That’s Yer (Pi)Lot: The Hit List

tomdavidhitlistTuesday 24th Feb, 4:30pm,

Well more of an exciting runthrough, but it’s got proper TV people working on it and a set and everything.

You may remember Tom Scott doing a live Youtube show called First Person Quiz last year, this is a v2.0 of that with a view to actual real television.

Again a contestant in studio will be racing the internet to find as many answers as possible to David B’s questions but we’ve been told to expect a lot of format tweaks. Personally I have some question marks as to how it would work with an audience of millions, so it will be very interesting to see how it all comes across this afternoon.

I’ll put the video back here if an edited one goes up. 

There might also be a practice go earlier in the afternoon, so make sure you keep it locked to @hitlistquiz on Twitter for the latest details.

Show Discussion: 1000 Heartbeats

1000hbsWeekdays, 4pm,

After a false start it’s time for everybody to get the chance to watch ITV1’s newest afternoon quiz 1000 Heartbeats.

Contestants can win £25,000 if they can calmly make their way through seven rounds of questions testing knowledge and mental agility. They are wired up to a heartbeat monitor and they must go as far as they can – and play the final cashout game – before their 1000 heartbeats run out. Wrong answers cost 25 heartbeats, and if they don’t like a question they can switch it for an additional 50 penalty.

From what we’ve seen of it it’s a nicely made albeit highly derivative show – the structure of The Cube meets the games of Five Minutes to a Fortune meets The Chair, but all those shows had something going for them. As a show based around minigames, we will have to see if there are enough of them and minigame fatigue sets in. There is a rather large question mark over having the timer tick down whilst the questions are being read.

The show’s USP is that the music in the studio is provided by the actual real light entertainment music legend Paul Farrer (who devised the show) conducting the Heartbeats Strings quartet, four professional violinists who will vary the speed they play at depending on the contestant’s heartrate. This is designed to panic! This is also, I think, the first time Vernon’s done a daytime show since T4, although I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong.

Sunday general notices

Alright we’re in the middle of a busy period so here to act as a general thread is a round up of things you might have missed and things that are happening and things generally:

  • Last week David Bodycombe won Quiz the Nation. You can have a go yourself tonight at 8pm, once again it’s free.
  • Sunday night means I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse. Not much buzz around tonight’s episode, I hope the first one didn’t blow it. That’s tonight at 10pm.
  • On Friday night there was Bear Grylls’ Mission Survive and Million Pound Drop.
  • Yesterday night I went and saw upcoming big BBC1 Saturday night adventure reality game show quiz Prized Apart in a hangar in Farnborough, you can read about that here.
  • Monday at 4pm 1000 Heartbeats begins on ITV, the first episode was accidentally watchable but has been taken down now. The Show Discussion post for it, which will be done up and moved to the top of the page tomorrow morning, can be found here.
  • Tuesday is very exciting as it’s Tom Scott’s and David Bodycombe’s LIVE Youtube quiz The Hit List around 4:30pm. We’ll be putting up a pilot discussion post for it (although it’s more like a runthrough) for it on Tuesday afternoon. Information can be found here.
  • I still want to know your favourite promo shots of hosts holding a card.
  • Finally quiz nerds if you’ve got a PS3 or PS4, there’s a game out called Trivial Pursuit – Live! which is quite fun, although I’ve not been able to complete an online game yet for whatever reason. Questions a little bit tougher than previous versions, but as most are multiple choice hardened quizzers probably won’t have too much trouble with most of them. It’s closer to Buzz! than traditional Triv, and it’s currently £12. Add me as a friend – Brig Bother, we might be able to have a game sometime.

Watching Telly: Prized Apart

PrizedApart3So I’ve just got back from watching this in Farnborough (note to potential audience members – this is very pedestrian unfriendly albeit not impossible, I advise you to take a torch or be prepared to book a taxi especially for the end of the evening – walk or take the shuttle bus to the car park, continue to Gate B, turn right and follow the road to win your freedom. This is a format in itself). But what is it like? There are no results spoilers here so don’t worry, although if you don’t want to know what the challenges are like then come back and read this after it’s gone out.

  • The show is set in the FIVE Exhibition Centre in Farnborough. It’s a big ol’ aircraft hangar basically. The stage is raised diagonally across the middle of the floor – at one end is a big screen which splits to act as doors, at the other end is some grandstand seating for friends and family and lucky audience members. The rest of the audience are standing either side of the stage, and they are standing for the whole recording – about three hours tonight.
  • Around the stage are various banners with the show’s compass logo on it. On the stage are various adventury/aeronautical props – cargo boxes, propellers, ropes and the like. The contestants have their own podiums along the right of the stage with pictures of their other halves on them, and on the floor in the middle are some grid markings (I presume, I couldn’t actually see it from my vantage point).
  • And Emma Willis is our genial host, with Reggie Yates doing the OB bits.
  • Right so the basic premise is pretty good – ten couples (not necessarily romantically linked) compete to win the £100,000 prize. One of each couple stays at home whilst the other half will compete in adventure challenges in Morocco (for it is there). The three worst performers each week get on the plane back home, and their partners must compete in a quiz to earn the ticket back to Morocco. Each week one or two couples are eliminated until the last one left wins the money.
  • The show is recorded in real time (so it’s baffling it’s not live really) – the challenges are filmed during the week, the losers fly back on Friday night, compete in the quiz on Saturday and the winners fly back out that night. The halves don’t have any contact with each other except for a fleeting couple of minutes in the studio, so tearful reunions are expected.
  • Out in Morocco the adventurers all face a team challenge – the group is split into two teams, the winners automatically stay on the show, the losers face a Survival Challenge.
  • It is fair to point out that the videos we got to see were rough cuts and there are all sorts of questions about how the entire thing is going to edit together, so please bear that in mind.
  • This week it’s exploring the Marketplace of Fes. The teams have been invited to a party at the Palace but they have to pick up some things along the way. They have a map, a wheelbarrow and a phrasebook. Their first job is to pick up as many oranges as they can carry, in the event of a tie the amount of oranges will determine the winner. The other things to pick up all have a sort of mini-task involved – it might be a very specific rug, or they’ll have to negotiate buying slippers. This isn’t a race, but it probably ought to be. It’s not the most interesting or original task in honesty.
  • There are quite a lot of filmed interjections regarding home and personal life, and fairly often the tape will be stopped and Emma will have a chat with the partners in the studio. It feels a little bit like it could do with more action and less reaction, but as I say it might edit well.
  • The partners of the winning team in the studio are all sent packing for the evening, we will see them next week after a brief video message from their adventure partner.
  • The losing team now face the Survival Challenge, and the bottom three will fly back to the UK. This week a rather spectacularly shot challenge in a cave above a 260ft drop. Simply, they must walk along a very ricketty-looking bridge then jump off and grab onto a trapeze and hang on for as long as possible, until the inevitable, a not-260ft drop attached to a safety rope. Not an original challenge, but some spectacular filmography here so it can have a pass.
  • Once the film of all four contestants have been played, the losing three are introduced one-by-one back through the doors into the studio. They’re still kept apart from their partner, and will remain so until after the quiz.
  • The quiz. There are five lights on the floor leading up to the departure gate – a runway of sorts. Every time a player gets a question correct, they move one step forward. Every time they get a question wrong, the opposing players get to take a step forward. Whatsmore the best-worst performer on the Survival Challenge gets a two step headstart, the next player a one-step headstart and the outright loser no headstart, whatsmore this will be the order of play. The adventurer chooses the category of questions for their partner – four to choose from – and they will continue to get questions on those categories until they get to the Departure Gate. Once they get to the Departure Gate they will get a question on Morocco and/or something tangentally related to things the adventurers have been up to. A correct answer on the Departure Gate means you’re getting back on the plane.
  • All questions are three-option multiple choice. Most of them aren’t too difficult I thought, but there is the occasional stumper.
  • Tonight was especially exciting as there was a double eviction elimination so the quiz worked slightly differently – the first two people to get three spaces then fought it out in a straight race for the line, whoever didn’t make it to space three is out there and then.
  • Winners get a brief chance to hug their partner, then straight out back to be shown getting on a plane – literally (you can see it on your way in just outside the hangar, although whether this is actually the plane they use to fly them back is doubtful).
  • I really want to like it but I think it’s got its work cut out in the edit to make it watchable – the tasks aren’t all that original, the quiz rather slow and a bit hackneyed and the one thing I can almost guarantee people will say is that “there’s too much chat.” BUT the conceit is quite nice and it’s well filmed and I quite like the logo, and if I’m hard on it it’s because I’m an adventure game nut and want them all to be brilliant, so.

Edit: A few more things whilst I remember:

  • The casting is diverse, there’s a wide range of ages and ethnicities not only in the question-answerers but especially so in the adventurers. It positively encourages have-a-go heroes.
  • There were a couple of times where they had to stop chatting because a plane flew overhead. These bits will almost certainly be edited out, but it might be worth keeping one or two instances in to reiterate they’re in a real hangar, for ambience.
  • It sounds like they’re going to go big on behind-the-scenes stuff and extra clips on the website, so there’s that.