That’s Yer (Pi)Lot: Amazing Greys

This is very exciting, it’s the first show I’ve been to see with smartphone in hand. This doesn’t really help with describing the show (except on Twitter on the way home) but it does allow me to make awesome jokes. Admittedly that gag would be funnier if I had learnt to zoom on the McDonald’s sign a bit better. I digress:

  • It was filmed at The Fountain Studios in Wembley, Andy Collins was warming up, Paddy McGuinness is your host. Peter Dickson is your voiceover.
  • The stage is large, it consists mainly of scaffolding, doors set into columns of varying classical styles, a large staircase back left which the contestants come down (also has a large screen at the top of the stair case, and a large screen at the back with a small set of stairs. The far left of the studio has some chairs and tables for the amazing greys to sit at, in a sort of geriatric Game For a Laugh style. The production team were very lax with people taking photos so I’m sure if you looked hard enough you’ll find a few online variously.
  • Young contenders (I think we’re talking under 30s here) attempt to take on old people (60+) in a series of contests based around the talents of those old people. If the contestant wins three out of five then they win £25,000, otherwise they go home with nothing. The show is set up so there will be six challenges an episode with contestants rolling over where necessary (in these instances which maths suggests will be often the seventh Grey is introduced to give an idea as what the first chasllenge is going to be about the next week).
  • Contestants come down a large staircase. After a chat Paddy introduces the Amazing Grey who comes out of a door with full stage smoke effect. Paddy will ask the contender what they reckon the old person’s special skill is, the contender will hilariously say something like “making tea”. They’ll play a film that’s been made, they’ll be a shock, then they’ll be a challenge.
  • In every event the challenger must beat the Amazing Grey, a tie is not good enough.
  • The challenges tonight were: a race to deadlift their own bodyweight 20 times against an 80+ year old champion weightlifter. I thought the challenger had a disadvantage here of being taller and therefore having more distance, but there we are.
  • A general knowledge quiz against quiz champion Brian Edwards whose name we vaguely recognised. This was best over 15 questions. The buzzers had a nice shade of red.
  • A rollerskating time trial over a short oval course against an 85+ year old rollerskating champion.
  • Target football against Sir Geoff Hurst MBE. Various targets were set around the goalmouth ranging from 5 points to off centre to 15 points for the corners. A big red cross target in the centre meant a five point penalty. Biggest total over five balls wins.
  • An anagram (“nanagram”) buzzer quiz against an old guy with an IQ of 157. Categories are given and they’ve been arranged thoughtfully so they aren’t too difficult. Best over 15.
  • Finally a tennis serving challenge against one-time World Number Two Christine Truman MBE. Simply you had to hit more balls through a target as possible in 30 seconds, but you could choose to stand from one of three different positions for a x1, x2 or x3 score multiplier, the furthest away being worth the most points.
  • It quickly becomes clear that even at these old ages they are no push overs, and they’re specialised talents are still likely to be better than someone who has had zero to little experience in something. Across the show it was 4-2 to the Greys, only just losing the roller skating and perhaps surprisingly, the nanagrams.
  • As such it’s quite difficult to know who you’re meant to get behind – the youngster playing for a large amount of cash or the Grey showing off that they can still show the young ‘uns a thing or two even in their advanced years. The audience seemed to be backing the Greys.
  • Paddy McGuinness is basically as matey and unthreatening as he is on Take Me Out. They haven’t seemed to have got much in the way of “no likey, no lighty” crap catchphrases down, although there were several plays on OAPs (although the only one I could remember was referring to them as OMG OAPs).
  • Font fans will be “pleased” to note that Impact is the font of choice.
  • It’s made to the current level of ITV slickness and standards (think Catchphrase – basically decent albeit with light broad strokes rather than precision) and was actually a fast recording for all the setting up they had to do – started at seven, done by about half nine, so that’s good.
  • I gather it’s been piloted around the world to little success. I can see this fitting on the schedule on Sunday nights although I think it’s the sort of thing that’ll be tolerated rather than loved, and if it wasn’t for the success of Off Their Rockers probably wouldn’t have bothered at all. It was a pleasant enough experience but not really a must watch. Not quite as good as Just 1 Thing for me, and that wasn’t perfect by any means but did feel like it had a bit more weight.
  • As with all recording reports it comes with the caveat that we don’t know how it will edit and ultimately that’s what it’s going to be sold on. We’ve come to trust gut feeling and it didn’t really feel much either way coming out of the recording.

5 Comments

  1. David Howell says:

    Interesting and possibly confused dynamic – not sure how well having uncertainty in who to cheer will go over. Though I guess that not everything can be out and out good vs evil, and there’s precedent with SdR (and by implication ITV precedent with BTS).

    The comparison with Just 1 Thing sounds fair, this feels like a show that if commissioned would appear in a similar time slot. Probably Sunday. And given the legendary large-but-old-skewing audience that night has for ITV I can almost see the support for the Greys working

  2. Crimsonshade says:

    Impact? Like the font The Sun used to use for headlines on its website? Urgh… whoever thinks that font is good for anything OTHER than headlines deserves to be hung, drawn and quartered.

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