Utilitarian general discussion post

By | September 6, 2017

To avoid people accidentally spoiling themselves re: the new series of Taskmaster, please stick your general news and discussion in the comments here.

24 thoughts on “Utilitarian general discussion post

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    Interesting to note Peter Davey’s stepped down as ITV’s head of entertainment comedy. Great producer, not sure quite so hot as commissioner, interested to see what he does next.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        It sounds genuinely awful and I can’t wait.

        They were advertising tickets for this on Applause Store a few weeks back.

        1. Dash

          >Dancing on Ice confirmed for next year
          >Remembers it aired last series in 2014
          >Brain starts exploding

        2. David

          Sounds like a variation of the ’50s US show Masquerade Party…


          (and actually, I’m a little surprised they haven’t thought of giving this another go- with the way makeup and prothestics are nowadays it could be real interesting..)

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Re: Broadcast – I wonder if someone’s left a gate open by accident. I know the Google news workaround doesn’t work anymore which is annoying but also fair enough really, so I’d be surprised if this lasts.

        1. Whoknows

          Whenever they have issues with the subscriber site (which they did yesterday, impossible to access articles) they make the site free until they can get it up and running again.

  2. Luke

    Went to a Not The Million Pound Drop recording earlier in the week.

    Quick summary:
    – It’s exactly the same as before, basically, but with less money.
    – Not too much faffing – it moves at a reasonable clip. Would guess at two full games in an hour, three if they’re not doing well. Doesn’t look like they’re doing rollover games.
    – Set’s the same as before, but slightly lower to the ground instead of being on a big tower. (The set is perhaps half a storey up instead of two storeys.)
    – Contestants a bit more mixed than before (i.e. some of them over 30!), generally well cast.
    – Davina is an absolute pro and amazing to watch in person. Recording operation was slick.
    – Fear it might feel a bit inessential, but we’ll see how it does.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Thanks for this. Heard some info about it which looks like was wrong, and would probably have made it a hot mess anyway.

    2. John R

      Might go to one later in the month and combine it with a trip to the Countdown studios…

  3. Mister Al

    Today I took part in a run-through of The Percentage Game, a game show being developed by Taskmaster’s Alex Horne and Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme’s Tim Key. I’ve been given no instructions to keep things confidential so I see no reason why I can’t share all the goss about it with you all. It’s worth pointing out that this is very much a show in development so if this does get commissioned, it may not work exactly the same way as I’m describing it.

    Two pairs of contestants are pitted against each other, being asked questions where the answers are all percentages. Typical questions might be “What percentage of the world’s population live in the southern hemisphere?” or “What percentage of the UK’s population own a pet dog?” Alex Horne stands up behind a lectern asking the questions, Tim Key sits at a desk making funny comments. Each contestant pair simultaneously writes their answer on a whiteboard as Alex and Tim indulge in a bit of arch and wry conversation about the premise of the question – sometimes this is a scripted gag but often it’s just some improvised banter.

    Once both guesses have been revealed, a hundred people stood on the studio floor demonstrate the correct answer physically in some way. For example, if the correct answer happened to be 72%, say, 72 of the hundred would stay put while everyone else cleared off to one side. Or maybe 72 of the hundred would hold a big red card above their head while the others held a big white card above their head. That sort of thing. The hundred people are stood really close together the whole time in a ten by ten grid, with an overhead camera giving a constant bird’s-eye view of the tops of their heads. Oh, and for some reason they’re all wearing identical boiler suits. Occasionally Alex or Tim would pick one of the hundred to have a have a chat with (i.e. gently poke fun at). It was all very light-hearted and friendly though.

    The main game consisted of three rounds, each containing three questions. Round 1 was about the world’s population and the pair getting closest to the correct answer gained £50 per question. Round 2 narrowed it down to the UK’s population with £100 per question going to the pair with the closest answer.

    Round 3 changed things slightly; rather than having questions based on a published statistic, the boiler suits were removed and the hundred people themselves were surveyed live. This was quite interesting since the hundred were chosen because they have something in common; today’s hundred all happened to be vegetarians. This allowed for questions like “24% of the UK population ate at McDonald’s at least once in the past year – how many of our hundred ate at McDonald’s at least once in the past year?” (NB I can’t remember what the actual figure was – so don’t take 24% as the actual statistic there.) In other words, players were told the relevant stat for the general population but then had to try and figure out whether the subset of the population in front of them would be similar or not. Because the hundred were being surveyed live, no-one knew what the answer would be ahead of the reveal. Closest pair got £200 per question.

    After all that the pair with the smaller amount of money was eliminated and the winners had one chance to boost their prize. If they could find one person out of the hundred with a particular characteristic, their prize pot would be multiplied by 10. Today’s winning pair were asked to choose one person from the hundred who they thought had been to Spain in the past 12 months. Once they’d chosen, the contestants were allowed to ask a question or two (e.g. “Do you have a tan?”) and change their mind to somebody else if they wanted. If their final choice happened not to be correct they still went away with the money they’d gathered during the main game.

    It seemed like this was being put forward as a daily half-hour quiz, with the same hundred people being used for a week’s worth of shows. This allows a bit of scope for viewers to get to know the individuals in the hundred over the course of the week, although since everyone in the hundred was referred to by a number rather than a name, it would still be a bit impersonal. I got the feeling that the show was being presented to potential commissioners as being as much about Horne & Key’s slightly wacky comedy as it is about the game itself.

    Still though, it was a fun day out. And they let me keep my boiler suit.

    Number 15

      1. Mister Al

        Yes, the game itself is a lot straighter than I expected from those two. So it’ll stand or fall on the quality of the banter from the two hosts. I thought they both did a decent job today but as with any unscripted show not all of it was gold so a lot of it would be down to the editing too.

        I can say that both Alex and Tim were very friendly and warm with all the participants afterwards, chatting and answering questions in a very down-to-earth way.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I also can’t think of many places you’d fit a half hour quiz these days, unless it’s for a digital channel perhaps. I feel like it’d be quite hard to sustain this sort of thing for longer than that.

          Actually, BBC2 is a possibility. Apparently The Button’s a 30 minute show going out midweek on BBC1.

  4. Nico W.

    Just found an old casting call for Germans to participate in another season of Netflix’s Ultimate Beastmaster.
    Here’s a link: http://www.komparse.de/Gesuch54253.htm
    Since you are allowed to be from any of the countries that participated in the first season, I suspect nothing will change contestant wise. Hopefully they will have varying obstacles this time and fairer rules/better shots. Apparently it is currently filming in the US.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      There’s actually a second series in the can filmed the same time as the first one, possibly with different countries (I know they were looking fir Indian contestants at one point) I don’t *think* it’s gone out yet.


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