TONIGHT! I went and saw Tipping Point Lucky Stars, the show everybody is just going to refer to as Celebrity Tipping Point. I spent all of it sitting next to Ben Shephard’s delightful Mum (it is great to know that celebrity parents are just as prone to accidentally shoutwhispering answers as well as anyone else in an audience). It was a ton of fun, even if it’s actually not the most audience friendly show in the world. Main format points first, then some interesting production things:
- The celebs have quite lengthy scripted bits to camera they’ve had to remember for their introductions.
- There are just THREE celeb contestants in each episode. The game is played exactly the same as regular Tipping Point, except nobody is eliminated after Round One.
- All counters are worth £100. The jackpot token is worth £20,000. Losers get to keep their money for charity. If the winner takes the end of show trade and loses, they still get £1,000.
- The mystery tokens are there and may confer comedy booby prizes, the chance at bonus counters by answering a question related to them or even charity cash!
- And of course there’s an audience, which means lots of oohing and ahhing in the right places. It doesn’t really need coaching, the reactions are pretty natural.
Otherwise it’s the same great show we know and love. I’m not expecting it to be an immediate hit on Sunday nights (starting June 9th, I’ve read), but I think it will grow into one as it will have the new audience of people who work standard weeks develop a love/hate for it.
OK, so now the interesting production bits:
- This was filmed at Wimbledon Studios where they used to film The Bill, the set of which is still up. It’s actually not an easy studio to find from the map given, although it turns out there’s a fairly simple route in when you know what it is.
- The studio was hot – really hot, it was the thing most of the people on set remarked about. Apparently they retooled the studio but didn’t put any air coniditioning in, so they had to open the big scene doors between parts to cool everyone down.
- The audience sit behind the contestants, slightly raised. Interesting thing apparent: it’s actually quite hard to judge the counters in the machine from the angle the contestants and the audience are positioned at. It’s quite deep, but it’s on an angle about 25-30 degrees from your eyeline. The big screen at the end of the studio cuts to an overhead once the counter has dropped (but not until, the director wants eyes forward most of the time). Interestingly I think this shot turns up on Ben’s monitor, because the one time it took ages to show up he was bending over to look at a constant overhead feed in a monitor inset to the immediate left of his podium stage. The audience was about 150 people.
- Speaking of his monitor, we got to see a shot of what it shows whilst they were doing audio pick ups. Player scores up the top, second row featuring clock and the stats for each drop zone, bottom half for the questions.
- After each go, a man called George silently runs in and counts the counters that have been pushed over for OFFICIAL confirmation in a style not dissimilar to Jason Bourne. In the first rounds there’s a short pause so he can count, Ben can reveal, then he can take them away. In the final round, he comes in to remove them whilst the contestant picks their next category.
- Timing. The rule is “three shoves of the shelf” – if anything mysteriously falls after that it will not count (unless it’s the final round, then everything counts).
- It was all done and dusted within two hours.
I’ve probably forgotten a lot of stuff, so if you have questions feel free to ask (although I’m quite busy Friday generally so don’t be offended if you don’t get a quick response).