Well we all know what Deal Or No Deal is so I won’t furnish you with those details. You’re probably aware that the show has been axed but it’s being allowed a two-week farewell tour series to cap the show off.
Now in the show’s 11-year history I never got to the Dream Factory to see an episode being filmed live, so when I heard last week that they were filming an episode in London at Alexandra Palace I leapt at the chance. In a joke on Facebook I compared going to see it at this late stage the TV equivalent of going to see Hear’Say after one of them had left but I’m really glad I went. The whole thing feels like the sort of thing they should have done years ago, especially as the live ones did so well.
- It sounds like the idea behind this is that the game is so simple you can take the game anywhere, and so far I gather that they’ve filmed an episode in a biodome at The Eden Project, the Trafford Centre, on board The Flying Scotsman and coming soon in an apparent television first (except a gameshow in mid-air has actually been done before) during a flight on a Boeing 747.
- As such the sets are rather more minimalist – each box opener gets a perspex plinth to rest their box on. The board is hysterically low tech – the cash amounts are written on paddles which a member of the audience collared into doing it spins round to remove them, looking not unlike a sort of jackpot game you used to get on quiz TV channels. Atop that is a large-ish monitor for close ups of the contestant’s photos and the like, it would have been nice if it showed the boxes being opened but never mind.
- The contestants on this tour are people who were waiting on the wings the last time the show was filmed 18 months ago. They bring along friends and family to open the boxes, a few of the boxes are given over to people who work at the place Deal has decended upon.
- The game is Classic DOND – no button, no Box 23. We always thought Box 23 was rubbish anyway. The show is all about finding a contestant’s pain point and watching them agonising over a decision (this was a great game today incidentally, gripping stuff), Box 23 rarely provided this.
- The audience were in the round. There were about 400 people packed in the Palm Court.
- Today’s recording was about three hours and for most of us we were standing throughout. They did put a limited number of seats in for the older folk (of which there were many), I did wonder if we were going to have a Pensioner Rebellion when the audience guy announced it was going to be a standing show (they probably should have made this clearer on the application). There wasn’t much stopping once they started. I have newfound respect for contestants who were filming three or four episodes a day back in the day, that’s a lot of time on your feet!
- Mark Olver’s a really good warm-up. To be honest it’s quite nice going to see a warm-up and not know exactly what jokes are about to come out.
- Props to the sound guy who spent the first twenty minutes of the recording panicking behind me when he couldn’t get some clip mics on the pre-selected board turners working properly only for Noel to go and choose somebody completely different and already stood near the board anyway. Who probably hadn’t yet signed a release form.
- Noel’s brilliant. Regardless of some of his nuttier opinions in real life, there really are few people who can sell a show like this, who can build up the drama and just react and go along with wherever the game happens to go. I’d be fascinated to know how much is pre-prepared, the contestant today picked her brother who suggested he could do a better job than Noel. So Noel lets him do it for about five minutes whilst coaching him, but after the break makes him wear a Noel-esque wig that just happened to be in his suit. I want to believe someone on the production was quick thinking enough to arrange that during a break.
- Anyway I think the show’s definitely going out with a bang. Doing the show in unusual never-been-done-before places is such a Noel Edmonds way of going about it, as such the campaign for the titles for these shows to be a shot for shot recreation of The Noel Edmonds Saturday Roadshow begins here: