Stool Pigeon April 2019 – The Results

By | April 23, 2019

Last month, a really interesting selection of stories which invited a lot of comment.

This month? Er…

As ever, only the writer and the people involved know the truth, let us try and sort the wheat (truth) from the chaff (lies).

  • Hearing rumours that the Survivor UK revival may have found a host – Rylan has been in negotiations for some time. (Two things of note here: there’s a Survivor UK revival? Secondly, as much as I love Rylan, I can’t see “‘ere, you’ve just won immunity babes!” flying. I call BS.)
  • After the success of Ben Justice’s YouTube video countdown series – he and Luna Cat have been targeted as the new presenters of the Crystal Maze 😂 (Well it’s only taken six weeks but FINALLY we have our first piece of Ben Justice fanfic.)
  • Very early stages, but I’ve heard whispers that Endemol are considering reviving Golden Balls – no words on Jasper Carrott returning. (Intriguing if true, although I’m not sure where it would go. ITV’s afternoon line-up is solid right now. Jasper Carrott is 74 years old.)
  • Eggheads rumour appears to be true. The regular series producer has been casting around for a new job. (Not sure how I feel about this. Sure, it’s just Eggheads, but it’s been a solid around-a-million an ep since time immemorial. I mean it’s not as hip as Richard Osman’s House of Games but it probably could have been treated a bit more nicely.)
  • Not looking good for a second series of WonderBall – averaged 11,000 viewers last week, and one episode in the run had fewer than 3,000. Not helped by generally low viewership for BBC Scotland, mind. (Bit of a shame that, although I haven’t gone out of my way to watch it since the first ep, so…)
  • I can exclusively reveal the number 1 spot on “Ben Justice’s Top 100 UK Game Shows of All Time” will go to: Take on the Twisters. (That’s C21 FORMAT OF THE YEAR Take On The Twisters, to you.)
  • Some significant money has been spent on the upcoming season of “The Crystal Maze“, which wouldn’t make sense if they knew it was their last season (in response to last month’s Stool Pigeon). (Shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. Surprised there’s been no recommission press release from C4 about this.)
  • Going off previous suggestion that Eggheads is to be cancelled, rumours are abound BBC is considering keeping on some of the Eggheads and is considering pitches for new intellectual formats starring them; though discussions are at an early stage. (Would make sense. Although if a space ever came up on The Chase)
  • The reason no one has seen Richard O’Brien in years is that he has been cryogenically frozen and stored beneath Disneyland next to Walt disney’s head. (Unless you’re in New Zealand where he’s been hosting a show that’s a little bit like Who Do You Think You Are?)
  • From seeing posts on Twitter, celebrities confirmed to appear on Series 3 of HoG include; Kate Humble Ivo Graham Andi Oliver Phill Jupitus Kerry Godliman Radzi Chinyanganya Ebony Rainford-Brent Hal Cruttenden June Sarpong Dev Griffin Debbie McGee Alex Horne Rachel Parris Jay Blades Reverend Kate Bottley Susan Calman Judy Murray Rob Corp (looking forward to see what Alex Horne thinks of his format.)
  • S4C deciding to ‘own the story’ after some unfortunate question writing. (I think this ‘works’ in English too.) (Heh. The correct answer is B by the way.)
  • Supposedly, if you win the Impossible £10K, it’s in your account that day. (There’s a lot of having to put those pound coins in those plastic bags before the bank shuts though.)
  • Say, wasn’t it this website’s birthday last week? Congratulations! How many years are you on now? (Hey you’re right! 19th April 2004, which makes us 15! Or if you work in television, 16 probably.)

So there we are.

31 thoughts on “Stool Pigeon April 2019 – The Results

  1. Danny Kerner

    Well, the crystal maze statement might be true if 20 eps were recorded. 10, however, feels far too much. unless they want to go out with a bang in regards to prize money to charity if all 10/20 are celebrity only.

  2. Alex

    Christ, 11 years since I made that Crystal Maze remix. God, I’m old.

  3. David B

    That S4C question gets her name wrong too. It’s not Tanni-Grey, it’s Grey-Thompson.

  4. Tom Lancaster

    I did see Richard O’Brien three years or so ago when he held the Narrator role for the London special performances of Rocky Horror. Although he’s aged since he led The Crystal Maze, he was on fine form. I imagine he’s happy leading a relatively quiet life.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      There was a really good interview with him on podcast before Christmas. Let me see if I can find it.

  5. Brandon

    I don’t speak Welsh so I don’t understand what’s the matter with the question from Rhannu, could someone translate it? ( I don’t trust Google Translate, especially with Welsh)

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      It sounds like ‘arsehole’.

      The question is in which paralympics did Tanni Grey-Thompson win four gold medals.

      1. Brandon

        I don’t know how I didn’t notice that already, maybe too many Fanny Schmelar incidents have desensitized me to this kind of thing.

  6. alex

    I am the writer of the House of Games series 3 comment. I missed four celebrities; Holly Walsh, Gregg Wallace, Charlene White and Chris Hollins

  7. Unoriginal Name

    Kind of a fun story from the other side of the pond, where the big story right now is James Holzhauer’s incredible run on Jeopardy!. Holzhauer was also a contestant on the US version of The Chase, which in an interview with The Atlantic Mark Labbett called ‘the worst beating I’ve ever had on the show.’ The Chase USA producer Bob Boden also told them that he had auditioned Holzhauer to become a Chaser on the show following his appearance. I would presume it never happened because the show was cancelled, but what could have been.

  8. John R

    ITV are making a drama series about the coughing major based on the recent West End play (which was very good but I’m not sure it’ll translate that well to TV)

    Also, I’m sure I read somewhere Who Dares Wins is back for a new series in a weekend or two, seems to have survived the lottery axe quite well!

    1. Thomas Sales’s main page says it’s back on the fourth of May. I’ll be disappointed if they don’t do a Star Wars list.

    2. Tom H

      Having also seen the play, I imagine the TV drama will be a very different beast – no jokey parody of Tarrant, none of the whimsical musical interludes; rather a dramatic retelling of events.

      1. Mart with a Y not an I

        Fascinating to see how good the set will be recreated. Could this be the first fictionalised drama about real events, filmed on the actual millionaire set?

        1. Brandon

          I wonder if they will rebuild the set to the period-accurate one?

    1. alex

      The laughs you may hear are from members of the show crew. These people most likely work for the question writing, and are smug when a funny questions pops up.

      1. Brandon

        I think it’s exactly the sort of thing that’s dying to have a proper studio audience.

  9. Chris M. Dickson

    Unconnected to anything else: I propose that any game show named after the title of a very famous hit pop song is MANDATED to shell out to use that song as its title music, because we’ll surely associate the show with the music in the first place even if we know what the show’s title music really is: Take Me Out, NIght Fever, Let Me Entertain You, Roll With It and surely many, many others.

    1. Matt Clemson

      I’m just going to quietly shelve my pet-based Price Is Right knockoff, then.

    2. Brandon

      It really annoys me to this day that they didn’t use the Franz Ferdinand song for Take Me Out ,which coincidentally just came on and I have my music on shuffle.

  10. John R

    Just noticed another new series from Sunday 5 May at 7pm

    Tenable All Stars
    New series. Celebrity version of the quiz show hosted by Warwick Davis, in which a team of five answers questions about top 10 lists from the realms of pop culture and general knowledge. In the first episode, a team of Olympians take on the Tenable Tower for the chance to win £125,000 for charity.

    Is that the first time Tenable has turned to Celebable? (and in ‘prime time’ too for that matter!)

    1. Brandon

      There was an episode in Sunday primetime a few months , but it was a regular civilian episode and it could have even been a repeat.

  11. Des Elmes

    Last Monday’s University Challenge final saw Edinburgh pull off a surprise by defeating the much-fancied Freddy Leo and his just-as-fancied St Edmund Hall Oxford team – thus becoming the first non-Oxbridge champions since Manchester in 2012-13, and the first Scottish champions of the Paxman Era.

    The 155-140 scoreline might seem low – but winning scores under 200, and aggregates under 350, *are* more frequent these days than they were up to around 2013. Not because students are getting dumber, of course – but because the questions *have* become that bit tougher, and fewer of them are being asked in each episode. And the producers *do* have to make the show with the Twittersphere in mind…

    It *is* unfortunate, though, that this all means that seriously high-scoring matches – like Manchester’s 270-250 victory over Clare Cambridge in 2011-12 – are now as rare as hen’s teeth, and that the highest Paxman Era score – the Open University’s 415 against Charing Cross Hospital in 1996-97 – will probably never be beaten. This year’s Durham team, who lost to Edinburgh in the semi-finals, did score 360 in their first-round match – but that required answering almost every starter correctly (17 out of 22 asked), answering almost every one of their bonuses correctly (38 out of 48), and doing it all at a fairly fast pace.

    Of course, low scorelines do not automatically mean poor matches. And last Monday’s match was quite the opposite of poor – swinging in Teddy Hall’s direction first, then in Edinburgh’s, and then in Teddy Hall’s again before Edinburgh won it on the last starter. Indeed, quite a few matches this series have been close and exciting – like Goldsmiths’ huge comeback against Glasgow that fell just short, and Bristol beating Jason Golfinos and his Darwin Cambridge team after five tie-break starters.

    But is it just me, or are University Challenge studio audiences not as explicitly excited during close matches as they once were? In the aforementioned Goldsmiths-Glasgow match, the audience’s response to each of Goldsmiths’ starters during their comeback was merely polite clapping, with only a few “aw”s when the gong sounded just as they were about to draw level with the Glaswegians. And in last Monday’s match, the last few starters were merely responded to with polite clapping as well – plus the round of applause at the gong felt quite short, and the cheering when Edinburgh received the trophy seemed to be at a minimum.

    By no means am I criticising these audiences, of course – I’m just making observations. And upon seeing that many of the members of these audiences are closer to Paxman’s age than they are to the average ages of the teams (and no ageism intended here, either), I accept that in all likelihood they’re there simply to watch a great demonstration of the things that students know – no matter what the actual contest is like. It’s quite likely, too, that they take no notice of certain tweets or newspaper articles about the show, and don’t see why they should – and if that is indeed the case, good for them, I say. 🙂

    Has Paxo *really* presented UC for 25 years now – the same length of time as Bamber? Seems hard to believe…

  12. Alex McMillan

    Was thinking about the Survivor rumour today, and it occurred to me the host should clearly be Zoe Lyons


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