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Show Discussion: The Crystal Maze

Fridays, 9pm,
Channel 4

The first episode is viewable on 4oD until Friday night.

It’s the show that has repeatedly come top of “shows they ought to bring back” lists, well 22 years since it was last properly on it’s now a reality as new Mazemaster Richard Ayoade leads a group of five adventurers around the Maze, testing their skills in a bid to win crystals, each one worth time in the Crystal Dome.

The remake begins with a run of celebrity specials.

Hoo boy, I think it’s likely you will have an opinion on this so do add yours in the comments below.

Show Discussion: Blind Date

Saturdays, 7pm,
Five

It looks like Episode one is being repeated Friday at 8pm.

It’s-a Blind-er Date with new host Paul O’ Grady. And Our Graham is now Our Melanie Sykes.

This is a really interesting one – if anyone’s going to be able to make it work in 2017 it’s the warm but acidic tongue of O’ Grady and pitching it as an early evening family friendly affair like the original when all signs previously were it likely being very downmarket is quite brave in a world where there’s a reasonable chance it will be outrated by the steamy Love Island.

Is there much call for Blind Date in a world of Take Me Out and Tinder where people tend to be more direct? We look forward to finding out. Obvious differences is the set seems a bit darker and there will be LGBT+ episodes.

Watched it? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

Show Discussion: CelebAbility

Thursday, 10pm,
ITV2

Frankly it’s a bit of a mouthful to pronounce but this might be quite good fun. Scottish comic Iain Sterling, fresh from narrating the extraordinarily performing Love Island just an hour previous, invites a team of five members of the public to battle five celebrities in tasks the celebs reckon they’re good at. Winning challenges increases the pot and eliminates wrong answers from the big important endgame.

It sounds a bit like Schlag den Star by way of Celebrity Juice style mini-games which might be quite good fun. The celebs are mainly ITV2-style celebs (episode one is Vicky Pattison, Olivia Buckland, Pete Wicks, Mikey North and Rickie Haywood Williams) but don’t let that put you off.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Show Discussion: !mpossible Series 2

Weekdays, 2:15pm,
BBC1

The speedy return of the afternoon quiz with Rick Edwards where a group of thirty 24 contestants must try and answer multiple choice questions but one of the choices is impossible (i.e. they satisfy none of the conditions in the question) and if they pick that they’re eliminated for the rest of the day’s show. The daily winner gets a chance to win the £10,000 contained within the exclamation mark.

Enjoyed the first series, especially the hilariously brutal episodes when there were about two people left to contest round three, and we enjoyed the quickfire head-to-head-to-head where you had to quickly figure out whether a question was nonsense or not. This is a longer run of thirty episodes so I’m intrigued to see if they’ve made any changes – last time you stayed on the show until you saw the final question twice, with double the length of the run is there a limit to how many episodes you can be in the gallery for? Do the coins falling out look a bit more spectacular this time round? I’m sure we’ll find out in due course.

Show Discussion: Dara O’ Briain’s Go 8 Bit Series 2

Mondays, 10pm,
Dave

Go 8 Bit DLC
Mondays, 11pm,
Dave

UKGameshows/Bother’s Bar Poll Winner Dara O’ Briain’s Go 8 Bit returns to our screens tonight (or any time during the last week on UKTV Play), a panel show that instead of asking questions asks our guests to take part in videogaming challenges.

We’ve watched the preview episode already and we can reveal that they’ve ingeniously changed two points of contention from last series, the stage revolving and the audience voting, by combining them. Otherwise it’s basically the same show (including the sometimes not great use of screen real estate). The guests on the first episode are TV’s hardest working man Richard Osman and Sara Pascoe. They should have chosen Micro Machines 2 and drag racing round the bath over driving round the billiards table in the original though, obv.

Following after the show (and has also apparently been on UKTV Play but rather unhelpfully under ‘G’ for Go 8 Bit when the main show is under ‘D’ for Dara O’ Briain’s Go 8 Bit I have literally just discovered this morning) is Go 8 Bit DLC which looks to be a straight videogaming magazine show starring Ellie, Steve and Sam. Ellie Gibson was one of my fave writers for Eurogamer back in the day so I look forward to watching this in due course.

It’s Eurovision Week!

Semi 1: Tuesday, 8pm
BBC4
(The UK can vote in this one)

Semi 2: Thursday, 8pm
BBC4

Final: Saturday, 8pm
BBC1

IT’S TIME! Everyone’s travelling to Kiev in the Ukraine for the 62nd edition of the Eurovish where we will be celebrating diversity with 42 songs, most of which power ballads sung in English, a language that’s losing its importance in Europe. As we are well aware this is a song contest and as we’re always told through various thinkpieces throughout the media politics just doesn’t come into it and this year is looking more apolitical than ever. We cannot wait!

The UK entry is Lucie Jones. We’ve not actually heard the song anywhere since it was picked as a winner so I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest it probably won’t win.

Annual FAQ:

  • “Why are Australia in it? They’re not even IN Europe!” They are associate members of the European Broadcasting Union and have been invited.
  • “Why are Israel in it? They’re not even IN Europe!” They are members of the European Broadcasting Union.
  • “Why are the UK in it? They’re not even IN Europe!” They are members of the European Broadcasting Union.
  • “What happens if Australia wins?” They’ll probably hold the next one in Germany as a co-production with SBS.
  • “Why is the BBC wasting the licence fee on an event we have no chance of winning?” Even so it actually works out as a rather good value per hour proposition for effectively 7.5 hrs of primetime telly, which would otherwise have to be filled with something. It’s not like we’re staging it.

We’re basically going into the week completely blind this year. We can’t wait for everyone on Twitter to go “this is rubbish OH BLOODY HELL THIS IS SO EXCITING” with the voting like last year. And this year there are special Twitter emojis for #12points, #eurovision, #esc2017 and #celebratediversity.