Show Discussion: The Cash Machine

By | September 1, 2019

Sundays, 7pm,

“If you want to win you have to crack the PIN.”

Character actor Lorraine Kelly hosts a new show on STV (whilst the rest of the UK watches a new series of 5 Gold Rings) based around answering questions to crack PIN codes for big cash prizes.

Actually getting to watch this outside of Scotland may be slightly tricky. Simplest way is to do this through the website, although you’ll need to start an account with them (although I suppose that’s no different to UKTV Play or whatever).

Let us know what you think in the comments.

If you want to discuss 5 Gold Rings, I doubt there any many changes to last time although I might be wrong. You might as well do it in the previous series’ show discussion post.

22 thoughts on “Show Discussion: The Cash Machine

  1. Mart with a Y not an I

    If you have Sky or Freesat, it’s fairly easy to get STV if it’s not your ITV region.
    Services>Add Channels
    Frequency 10.906
    Polarisation V
    Symbol Rate 22.0
    FEC 5/6
    Then send it off to find channels, and save the STV, and it’ll put it in the Other Channels or Manual Added Channels menu.

  2. Tom H

    Format as follows:

    Four couples play the game.

    In round one, Lorraine reads a two-part buzzer question. Whoever buzzes will give the first answer; their partner must give the second without help. If they get both parts right, they get a crack at the Cash Machine, with £1,000 put into their account.

    The couple choose one of four categories. Ten answers then appear, one covering each number on the ATM keypad. The aim is to get four correct answers, making up a four-digit PIN (although the code generated weirdly means bugger all). As soon as the first question is asked, their £1,000 starts draining away (in the style of The Chair) until they give an answer. If it’s right, they move onto the second digit of the PIN. If it’s wrong, they make another guess, with the ‘money drain’ ticking away again. Couples can give four wrong answers in total before they’re frozen out of the game. If they complete their PIN, we go back to the beginning with the other couples on the buzzers. Each couple get a turn, picking from the categories listed at the start of the show: whoever loses the most money is eliminated.

    Round two is structured in the same way, but the Cash Machine is played for £2,000 a pop this time, and couples have to generate their whole PIN in a single attempt – e.g. ‘enter in the correct order the four highest mountains from these 10 options’ – as the money drains. Same penalties for wrong answers as before. Couple with lowest winnings leave.

    Round three is slightly different. There’s only one PIN to find (starting at £3,000) – but the two remaining couples are head to head, and wrong answers trigger another buzzer question, so the other couple can steal the game – already knowing some of the correct answers in the PIN. Whichever pair completes it goes through to the final, with their winnings from all three rounds.

    The remaining couple now aim to hold on to as much of those winnings by completing a new four-digit PIN in the final. They’re each given a podium, and take it in turns to answer questions – each of the answers being a number. As soon as they give a wrong answer, the money starts draining away again until they provide a correct one – unlocking one digit of the PIN. They leave with whatever money’s left once the PIN is complete – which, in this episode, wasn’t very much.

    The whole thing feels a bit over-developed for my liking (writing this summary gave me a headache). There’s never much tension, and the game could do with being 15 minutes shorter. The set was alright, but the fonts felt a bit dated, and Marc Sylvan’s music was instantly forgettable (some of the rounds were played in silence). There was a live audience, but they too were mute for most of the show – even though Lorraine Kelly did a perfectly solid job.

    Also too few Scottish questions in there – I counted about three.

    1. Brandon

      Yeah,I could see no real reason why this was Scotland-specific. They could network it in a daytime slot.

  3. Simon

    Watched this on catchup and it seems a fairly competent quiz. It does seem a bit slow-paced and the first round is a bit monotonous.

    Also, could do with showing the right answers on the screen to the questions answered wrongly in the final round (as Win Your Wish List does).

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      The right answer is the answer to all the questions, which why I found the final contestant’s strategy in episode one a bit unfortunate.

  4. Will Stephen

    I don’t think I’ve seen a gameshow in so long that gets faster and faster as it progresses, so long for round 1, then quicker in round 2, then potentially super quick in the head to head to an abruptly quick finish for the final.

    Also it wasn’t until after I watched the final (granted I was skipping a lot of bits in between) that all the questions for each number were the same answer I think, because it perplexed me why she wasn’t saying the correct answer when a wrong answer was given :-p

    It’s fine, but I wouldn’t watch it more than that one time, it needs a lot of changing to get a second series I reckon. Lorraine was fine though, and I’d imagine this was pitched as a UK wide show but STV maybe just couldn’t get anyone else to go with it?

      1. Whoknows

        It’s quite a smart way of being able to flog the format abroad. Things sell a lot better when they’ve been on air in the UK and technically this has. STV Productions desperately needs some hits now, they’ve been loss making for a while.

    1. Simon

      Ah – that makes sense about the final round. It wasn’t made very clear by Lorraine that all the questions had the same answer.


    Sorry, but Lorraine doesn’t have the spark required for this type of show (needs a Bradley or a Ben to keep it rolling along).. If a lady presenter is what they want, there are plenty of young intelligent funny ladies around who could carry it off. No offence Lorraine but it doesn’ t suit you nor you it.

    1. Brandon

      If it must be a famous Scottish woman and she isn’t too busy, Susan Calman would be the obvious choice as she has quiz hosting experience. Problem is, I think she might have an exclusivity contract with the BBC

      1. Will Stephen

        STV recently repeated Susan Calman’s the Lie out of perplexity, several years after it first aired. With her doing the Boss and the Armchair Detectives show, I would also assume she’s tied up with the Beeb now.

        1. Thomas Sales

          Calman has, since Armchair Detectives, presented a number of shows for Channel 5. If she had an exclusivity contract with the BBC she certainly doesn’t have one anymore.

      2. Whoknows

        I’m pretty sure she hasn’t given that she’s done stuff for C5 in the last year and hasn’t really done much for the BBC recently. I expect they wanted the biggest bookable name possible for this, hence Lorraine.

  6. Brig Bother Post author

    This was quite interesting, it’d probably fit BBC early afternoons fairly well, but I can’t see it doing anything in primetime.

    I thought the first round was the strongest, I thought it was nice to see some fairly unusual categories and I thought the questions were nicely written as well, going down some fun tangents. I don’t think the contestants panic enough which isn’t good for a money drain show, I don’t think they should stop for a chat after inputting each number, it should be a bit more like Boom!

    It’s a shame then that rounds two and three are ‘just’ Mastermind with facts. Again the reveals are a bit tedious.

    They probably need to make clear that the answers in the final round are all the same for each digit.

    I thought Lorraine was pretty good myself, supportive byt also quite dryly and subtley taking the piss out of surprising answer choices.

    As has been pointed out, the music is entirely forgettable. And the bundles of cash looked Letterbox weak.

    1. Brandon

      >I don’t think they should stop for a chat after inputting each number, it should be a bit more like Boom

      My thoughts exactly. The three beeps before the answer reveal already pad it out enough. If removing that chat would make it run too short, they could always put it after the round.

      1. Brandon

        And another nitpick: on the Mountains question,when they knew they got Mont Blanc and Fuji right but in the wrong order, the reveal should have been much faster. It’s as if Lorraine knew that too, but was forced to go along with the whole drawn out reveal thing

  7. Whoknows

    So according to Broadcast: “Quiz show The Cash Machine, debuted at 7pm on 1 September and delivered 247,000 viewers and a 19% share in Scotland. This was ahead of ITV’s 5 Gold Rings, which delivered 2.6m and a 16% share across the rest of the UK.”


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