Watching Telly: Tipping Point Lucky Stars

By | May 31, 2013

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).

17 thoughts on “Watching Telly: Tipping Point Lucky Stars

  1. David B

    Air conditioning a TV studio is difficult. For one thing it would be bloody expensive to install and run a room of that size, never mind the noise it could generate.

    Another problem is that the people under the lights feel warm enough even if the room feels too cold for the rest of the studio, so getting the balance right is tricky.

    But the other main reason is that it would remove all the cracked oil (‘fog’) they’ve spent introducing in the studio for the last two hours so that the light effects work.

    It’s not impossible to have powered air-con, but the simplest solution is to have passive air ducts that get rid of the worst of the heat naturally.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Interestingly heat has never really been an issue at any other TV recording I’ve been to (except maybe an episode of Weakest Link filmed at Pinewood about ten years ago) – in fact it’s usually the other way round, audience complaining it’s too cold. So I don’t have a clue.

  2. Smogo

    I hope it’s not as painful as Celebrity Catchphrase.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      It isn’t, because at least this format is designed for an hour rather than awkwardly stretched out, whatsmore there’s a guarantee *something* will happen after each question. Usually.

  3. Chris M. Dickson

    Unrelatedly: a somewhat hoarse RACHEL RILEY interviews JESSE MAY about… MOSTLY SCRABBLE, ACTUALLY.

    Wait, what?

  4. Silent Hunter

    ‘Sun Hill’ has been kept for use as a set – a recent ITV daytime show called ‘Crime Stories’ used the set and it also turned up ‘Case Sensitive’.

    If you’ve got a pre-built police set like that, you don’t throw it away.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      It was weird, they had to put up large paper signposts everywhere because the existing ones all lead to different police departments, I did get quite confused for a little bit trying to find the audience holding room again after using the loo!

    1. Travis P

      Given the bookmakers. The favourite to win this year’s Britain’s Got Talent is a shadow dance act from Hungary.

  5. BigBen

    Not sure where to put this, but wroth noting that on Thursday, Pointless celebrates its 500th episode.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      And apparently “slightly modified endgame” happens soon after, although I’ve not heard anything else about that.

      1. BigBen

        Interesting that they should decide to do this in the middle of a series… Unless we’re waiting for them to get to the end of Series 9, which would be another 26 episodes from now.

  6. Travis P

    Some Affari Tuoi news.

    Last episode of the season airs tomorrow in Italy. Turns out this will be Max Giusti’s final episode. He will be moving on and looking into other projects.

    Turns out the replacement for next season will be Flavio Insinna. In other words, a former host is returning.

  7. Brekkie

    Really hope Celebrity Tipping Point tanks. Can’t think of a worse gameshow on TV at the moment.

  8. Geordie Smitj

    Can u tell me A. Size of normal counters?B. Size of the “lucky star” token? and the size of the machine itself?


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