Gameshow Marathon 5 starts tonight

gsm5Starting tonight,
From Midday Eastern/5pm UK

Watch live and donate at

Here is the Watch Live link.

It’s that time of year again where some Friends of the Bar – Cory Anotado, Bob Hagh and Christian Carrion, alongside assorted special guests, stay and play 24 different gameshow formats over 24 hours to raise money for Child’s Play.

The schedule is varied and interesting with plenty of UK shows in the mix (largely panel shows but there’s a version of Mastermind and Bob’s Full House is there towards the end). The highlight for me is probably going to be Schlag den Pacdude, 8pm Eastern/1am UK, a planned nine-game edition of Schlag den Raab. Which also works out well for me because I’m seeing The Pet Shop Boystonight, ahem.

They are hoping to raise $2,500 for the kids hospitals, if you watch you should donate, both things you will be able to do on their website.

[Yes I have literally just bumped last week’s post with some of the words changed, if you’re wondering.]

Watching Telly: Go For it

goforitIt’s been a while since I last did one of these. This sounds like the plan is for it to be leading into The X Factor, and it sounds like they’re recording more in November which I’d guess is for leading into The Voice next year.

No results will be spoiled, but as the tasks are disparately filmed so they can fit episodes together I’ll reveal the tasks today as a representative sample.  As usual the caveat I can only comment on what’s in front of me, they may improve/make worse in the edit.

  • This is based on Challenge Me! by Talpa. I think I prefer that title, in honesty.
  • This was filmed in Studio 1 at The London Studios. The air con on this hot day was appreciated. I had heard they were struggling to fill seats and were resorting to a cash prize raffle to entice people in, it also sounds like some of the audience were from casting agencies. No matter, this afternoon was a full house.
  • The theme tune is of course electroclash.
  • The host is Stephen Mulhern. He was very good. It probably won’t change whether you like him or not though. There seemed to be lots of Ste-fans in the audience.
  • If you can imagine the QI set but rotate it 30 degrees anti-clockwise without the desk, the giant Q forms a tunnel Stephen Mulhern and challengers walk down, the right of the set is dedicated to a large-ish rotating stage. Half of it has a wall which rotates round to hide the challenge, there is a video screen on it. There’s also a large video screen on the back of the stage. The main colours are chrome and red, although the lights turn blue on occasion.
  • Show opens with some slapstick You’ve Been Framed-esque clips from the internet of things going physically wrong.
  • People with unusual talents and skills are invited on to perform a challenge to demonstrate said talent. If they complete the challenge they win £1,000 (wooh). If they fail they have to take the “walk of shame” up the audience to an ironically chosen tune (for example: man fails at eating glass, they’ll play something like Heart of Glass by Blondie), a bit like when someone blacks out on Take Me Out.
  • Each challenger is introduced with a VT package on their situation and hinting at their talent. They come out and have a chat with Stephen amongst much the same lines, teasing what their talent is before revealing it in a style not unlike when they chat to Matthew Kelly on Stars In Their Eyes.
  • Each challenge has a sort-of gag title and then Stephen reveals what they’ve got to do. And then the stage revolves to reveal the set up.
  • The set-ups are frankly not very exciting. Some speakers. A table. Occasionally just the screen on its own.
  • First challenge tonight, a DJ is tasked with recognising any top 10 song from the 80s and 90s from the intro played backwards.
  • Second challenge, a nervous young PC technician attempts to solve Rubik’s Cubes that have been legitimately mixed by members of the audience. He must do one blindfolded, one one handed, one with his feet and the last two as normal within three minutes. I don’t think I drew breath at all within that three minutes, I watched with stunned open mouth throughout it was that good and tense. Honestly.
  • Third challenge, someone who has just finished his A-Levels attempts to do six speed-stack cycles within 60 seconds, each cycle consisting of three layouts. This was decently explained with slo-mo beforehand.
  • Fourth challenge saw a competitive eater down eight pints of unpleasant liquids (gravy, milk, baked bean juice, baby food etc). He has four minutes to down the lot, if he throws up he gives up.
  • The turnaround for each challenge was reasonable, but there were a lot of extra links and pick-ups filmed. And some promos at the end!
  • And that should have been it, except we got a sort of bonus. On a recording yesterday there was a challenge where a Tube enthusiast had to give the shortest route between two given stations, ten or more correct in 90 seconds won. But evidently there was an issue because he had to come back today to find out if he won or not. I find it inconceivable that they didn’t have answers yesterday – did he come up with better ones? And it has been pointed out that “shortest route” is a somewhat ambiguous term with regards to the underground, they went for fewest changes in today’s reckoning. Besides which, to be rewarded after a three-and-a-half hour recording with ten minutes of Stephen Mulhern basically listing tube routes for ten minutes was a bit of a kick in the teeth, God knows how they’re going to make that look entertaining in the edit, I wanted to pull my eyes out. That’s no disrespect to the challenger who seems to be a better and faster option than
  • So we have an intriguing prospect – the challenges don’t have You Bet‘s scale and they don’t have Epic Win‘s inventiveness in the main (how sad it is that a prime time show doesn’t have Epic Win‘s ambition or indeed prize budget and that was five years ago and considered a bit cheap then). The show is played with much more of a straight bat which may work better with an ITV audience.
  • But of the challenges seen today only one ended up being properly gripping, the rest ranging from OK to frankly boring. They’ve recorded a lot of them so I don’t doubt there are others that are similarly gripping, deciding which ones go in which episode is going to be a bit of a headscratcher I suspect and getting the balance right is going to be absolutely vital.

Cash Trapped starts 1st August

In the The Chase slot with the The Chase host:

It’s Bother’s Bar Game Night 3! #bbgn

TONIGHT, 10:30-midnightish
Right here, via Youtube

Play along by pointing your phone to


Yes it’s Ga-ames Night and the feeling’s right oh yes it’s Ga-ames Night oh what a night!


Tonight me and a panel of punters will be playing games of creativity, knowledge and bluff drawn from the Jackbox series of games in a manner we hope you will find entertaining. And whatsmore all these games are fully interactive and you can playalong on your phone, trying to find correct answers, choosing your favourite answers and affecting the outcome.

Tonight’s menu:

  • Drawful 2 – Our panel are given something unusual to draw. It might be something easy like “a dolphin”, it will probably be something much harder like “a dolphin dreaming of becoming president”. Everyone then gets to see each picture and come up with a name for it, then everyone tries to guess what the actual title is. You came up with lots of these picture titles!
  • Lie Swatter – a simple true or false quiz. Bonus points for correct answer streaks and answering the fastest.
  • Fibbage 2 – Fill in the blank with something believable. Hope that people pick your answer and that you pick the right one.
  • Quiplash – Players given prompts and have to come up with something witty and entertaining to fill them. Everybody votes for their favourite answer.

To determine the winner of the night the panel are playing for extra marbles for the new and improved The Road to Sortition finale, Bother’s Bar’s hit marble race quiz format that’s already been sold to 200 countries.

I will also be keeping a close eye on Twitter, please use #bbgn to share your thoughts.

Edit: If you want to use that set of Drawful 2 titles for yourself, start a custom game and put the following code in: TMD-LCTG.

A Rose d’Or Prediction

Alright, this actually came out a few days ago but the full list of Rose d’Or nominations is up and the category we’re most interested in is the Game Show one, obviously.

  • Baking in the Dark – DR (Denmark)
  • Pick Me! – ITV (UK)
  • The Getaway Car – BBC (UK)

Pick Me and The Getaway Car are known quantities, Baking in the Dark (Ultras Sortes Kageshow – Big Cake Show) is a Danish show where pairs try and bake a cake in the dark. Here’s an episode of it here.

This year apparently the people who make the shows will get a say in who wins which may skew the results slightly differently. Previous winners suggest that the judges look for originality and a strong idea before commercial considerations. With this in mind, I’m going to predict the winner.

I rate The Getaway Car‘s chances at around 5% and my main reason for this is that Wild Things won last year with a show that’s similarly physical and similarly has the backseat driver element, but Wild Things is much funnier and more creative, I can’t see it going to a similar sort of thing twice in a row.

Baking In The Dark is the slightly unknown quantity, I put its chances at 35%. It’s a funny idea but really it’s quite derivative – any cooking show combined with Total Blackout. It would be the first time a non-English show has won the category since 2010.

So by process of elimination I give Pick Me! a 60% chance of winning. It was an original idea, It was fairly funny, being a flop non-commercial success domestically doesn’t seem to put the judges off.

I’d be thrilled for Possessed if they won it but I can’t say I’d be pulling for it enthusiastically, it seems somewhat unbelievable that of all the shows that put themselves forward these were the top three, but the correct show out of the nominations tends to win in this category, unlike other awards in the past I don’t care to name.

Roboteers stand by

The new series of the new exciting emotional and story-led Robot Wars starts Sunday 8pm on July 24th, we’re reading. That’s the old Top Gear slot.