Show Discussion: !mpossible

By | January 1, 2017

Weekdays, 2:30pm (2:10 for ep 1),

Rick Edwards hosts a new quiz from the feverish mind of Tipping Point‘s Hugh Rycroft where contestants fight it out to win a daily £10,000 jackpot. We’re not quite sure of the format at time of writing, but from what we’ve pieced together contestants answer questions and earn points with the highest scorers from each round going through to the final where the big set-piece exclamation mark will hopefully give up it’s monetary contents, but along the way anyone who gives not just a wrong answer but an impossible answer is eliminated. Losers come back the next day.

Presumably we’re looking at multiple choice questions here, we’re certainly intrigued to find out what makes an impossible answer impossible and whether this element is interesting and different enough to make the show stand out. Rick’s an intelligent guy but he doesn’t scream BBC daytime. We’ll see.

84 thoughts on “Show Discussion: !mpossible

  1. Thomas Sales

    As I understand it, the different between wrong answers an impossible answers is that wrong answers aren’t right, where impossible answers can’t be right. For example, if the question was “who was monarch at the turn of the 20th century”, George VI might be a wrong answer, since he was king between 1936 and 1952, but Elizabeth II would be impossible, because she was born in 1926. I could be entirely wrong, though.

    1. Alex

      Rick Edwards was on the New Year special of Sunday Brunch and basically confirmed it was that. There’s always three answers, one correct, one wrong, one impossible.

      1. Alex

        Also there are 30 contestants, which I believe carry over throughout the series.

    2. Gerard Rocks

      That’s the general idea Thomas but not quute right. Elizabeth II would just be another wrong answer since she is, after all, a monarch – it’s just that her dates don’t fit the terms of the question. An impossible answer would be, say, George VII or Albert I, since there have been no British monarchs with that name or regnal number. (I know because I was one of the contestants on the show – and great fun it was too!)

  2. John R

    Coincidentally a new series of Tipping Point starts tomorrow too, wonder where they’re going to be filming that in future now that Fountain is no more

    Also wonder if they’ll ever slightly modify the barrier on the bottom of the machine to avoid those pesky floor counter drops

    1. Mart With A Y Not An I

      Doubt the closure of a studio facility will cast a cloud over the future of Tipping Point.

      It’s been recorded in the past at The London Studios & Twickenham Studios.

      Suspect, it’ll end up at either stage 6 or 8 at Elstree Studios – just like Pointless (after the closure of BBC Television Centre) and The Chase (Because there was no space at The London Studios) did.

  3. Arun

    It’s an odd show this. I want to know a bit about the contestants, even if it just where they came from or there job. It could be he case somebody gets knocked in the first question, they will not get a word in the whole series. And the Blankety Blank theme tune idea of singing the name of the show repeatedly is incredibly irritating.

    1. John R

      Today seems to be only slotted in for 35 minutes but the rest of the series seems to be 45 minutes so they’ve probably had to edit quite a lot out today

      1. Simon

        It’s on 2.10 – 2.55 according to my EPG today so still 45 minutes

    1. Simon

      That’s the possible maximum win but the majority of shows won’t have a jackpot win (especially with the short time allowed to answer the final question)

  4. Brig Bother Post author

    Right, that was quite interesting. I think the concept is quite fun, I think the way they’ve done it is a bit of a slog, but I quite enjoyed the buzzer round (which reminded me of those either/or/neither questions Bob’s Full House used to occasionally throw in), ten seconds feels a bit short for the final, although at least we weren’t given interminable talking it out.

    Thirty people play across the series, all sitting in a 1 vs 100 esque wall. In each round they face five questions, each of the ‘What/Which [X] is [Y]?’ variety, of which one answer is right, one answer is wrong, and one answer won’t satisfy the X part of the question so is Impossible. Right answers score a point, wrong answers score zero, picking an impossible answer means you play no further part in the episode and will come back tomorrow. Highest score wins, ties broken by time.

    The winner of the round gets to add some money to the pot and go through to the final. They’re shown nine answers and the first part of the question. They then have five guesses to pick the five impossible answers that don’t satisfy the question. Each correctly identified impossible answer adds £100 to the pot. After their five guesses they see the second half of the question and must now pick the right answer. Getting it right makes you a finalist, getting it wrong means whoever finished second in the round gets an opportunity to steal the finalist place, picking any remaining impossible answer means you’re also eliminated for the day.

    Repeat twice, scores reset at the top of the round. By round three it’s likely there will only be a handful of people left.

    The three finalists face off in a buzzer quiz, everyone gets ten lives, right answers knock a life off both opponents, wrong answers incurs a life penalty. However some of the questions are impossible (eg ‘what letter comes after the letter a in cemetery?’) so you need to buzz in and answer with ‘impossible’. Correctly or wrongly doing so incurs a two-life hit.

    The last one standing earns the day’s pot and has a chance to win ten grand. One question with nine answers – three right, three wrong, three impossible. Ten seconds to give the three right answers to win the money. However if any one of them is impossible they lose the day’s pot. Win or lose they get to come back next episode.

    First use of vocoder in a daily game since 24 Hour Quiz so there is that, but the jury still very much out on Rick Edwards who is not yet convincing. I think a better choice would have been able to wring more fun out of people’s choices, might make it feel less of a slog.

  5. John R

    It got a bit confusing how they kept switching between whether finding the Impossible answers was a positive or negative thing to do between the various rounds for me

    Glad you explained the final as I understood how the £10,000 was won but not the daily prize pot was won or lost

    Rick Edwards feels very much like the guy who did a pilot episode and was still handy around Manchester when they wanted to film the series

  6. Callum J

    I really wish they actually gave the winner loads of £1 coins.

  7. Cheesebiscuits

    Interesting show – note that a person will always have £300 in the pot as five of the nine answers are impossible and you must pick five answers garunteeing one impossible.

    I was dissapointed by the end game – it was rather boring and dragged if you knew the answer.

    I’m surprised they don’t get rid of the cast after a week but i guess they couldn’t find 60 people to play.

    £10,000 is a bit high for BBC daytime isn’t it? – and there’s a pretty reasonable chance of it being won as well, unlike Decimate.

    The host was a bit boring – I wonder if we’ll get to know the contestants over the two weeks

    I’m surprised the final didn’t operate like the pot builder round – except every incorrect guess to an impossible answer removed £2000 from the jackpot. This would still garuntee a £2000+ jackpot which is more than can be earnt in the first half of the show.

    In other words, good but requires improvement

    I’ll give it a 1275 out of 2017

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I think they’re going big on all the pound coins being emptied out of the exclamation mark when it gets won. I think that’s what’s happening anyway.

      I suspect the average daily prize will fall in the £1,500 to £2,000 region by the end of the series. Somedays they won’t win anything.

      Potentially you can win £20k on Decimate.

        1. Cheesebiscuits

          My mistake – I assumed something stupid

          In response to Brig, you’d have to answer 40 questions straight correctly to do that and i haven’t seen it before.

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            Yes, it’s pretty de rigeur for a show to advertise a top prize safe in the knowledge it will only likely be won a handful of times. I think it’s very likely the money will go just two or three times over the run, if only because of the pressure of having to make the final decisions in ten seconds.

      1. John R

        “I think they’re going big on all the pound coins being emptied out of the exclamation mark when it gets won. I think that’s what’s happening anyway.”


  8. Mart With A Y Not An I

    I’d bet those coins inside the exclamation mark are the very same that spewed out of the egg timer on Five Minutes To A Fortune.

    My thoughts.
    Solid if unspectacular.

    Good to see the spirit of 1 Vs 100 in the contestant area design.

    Last round to play for the £10k question is unnecessarly complex. A ‘Wipeout’ (the Daniels/Monkhouse one) with mutliple correct/wrong and Impossible answers and a ‘bid’ system to find the correct amount of answers with immediate elimination for finding an impossible answer would work better.

    And do we really have a under 16 playing the game? Bottom row, 2nd or 3rd from the left. Keith I think his name is. Looks like he was wanding around MediaCity trying to find a CBBC recording and found his way into this studio.


  9. Chris M. Dickson

    It’s the cash-strapped reinterpretation of Everybody’s Equal we were all crying out for!

    This does a lot of things right. I like the core conceit of distinguishing wrong and impossible answers which leads to some genuinely interesting and surprising question-writing, I like the fact that there is the capacity for entertaining impossible answers, I like the fact that there are 30 returning contestants and there’s a pleasing chunk of diversity to them. (If this gets a second series, I’m tempted to apply. And the ten thousand pound coins will look different.) I like the look of it and am looking forward to the deluge of coins. (If the player was given a nice big helmet and then gunged with the pound coins directly, would that be more funny or painful?) Rick is competent but not very exciting and seems surprised that anybody would know a lot of the answers.

    It’s pretty slow, though – there’s lots of faffing around and indecision in a way that Everybody’s Equal didn’t have. That’s just the way shows are these days, of course, but I miss the good old days.

    1. Alex

      Each of the pound coins are 9.5g each, so 95kg of them to the head is probably going to be a bad day all round?

      I’m intrigued now. What’s the heaviest weight you could take to the head with an F1 helmet and neck brace on?

  10. Clive of Legend

    Visually my favorite new BBC show in a while. Lovely set, and I liked the lives exploding and raining down on the lower screen in the final.

    And I’m all for this trend of game shows with returning contestants, though it dies t seem like we’ll really get to know any despite the relatively slow pace.

  11. David

    I liked it- I do wonder what happens if everyone is impossibled out before all three finalists are determined…

    Only thing I’d really change is the last question- after seeing the answers but before seeing the question, perhaps offer them the chance to not play the question and keep half the daily prize if they think not only they won’t be able to get the right answers, they might hit an impossible one…

  12. jon

    The set is probably the best daytime set i’ve seen for quite a few years.
    Really nice, and the gfx are good.

    But I found the format a bit pedestrian, and repetitive.
    Saying the word Impossible is quite irritating too.

    Not as good as Tipping Point, but solid.

  13. Matt C

    Didn’t watch yesterday, but did today; rather liked it but I think it’ll be better when the concept is more bedded in and they don’t need quite so much explanation. One extra rule was stated today that appears to not have been mentioned yesterday based on the descriptions above: players are replaced after getting to the final twice.

    1. Marc

      Another rule that came up on Wednesday: In the main game, if a contestant doesn’t lock in a choice within 5 seconds, he’s out.

    1. Christopher McB

      Seems to be quite similar to somewhat forgotten Jerry Springer vehicle Greed on Channel 5 many years back, based on that description.

  14. Cameron

    Watched this on Monday afternoon when I was off and enjoyed so watched Tuesday’s in the evening and liked it again. I think most BBC1 daytime afternoon quizzes have been awful but this one works. Great set and Rick Edwards hosts it well. A couple of tweaks for the pacing and talking to the contestants a bit more and it could be a keeper.

    1. Cameron

      I think it’s hard for BBC1 to establish quizzes in that competitive slot as Judge Rinder is a popular show, Impossible also goes against Dickinson which is another popular show. It’s doing better than some of the other quizzes in that post Doctors/Father Brown slot so they should stick with it. It has a real chance of working.

  15. Dan

    Seems likes ITV is looking for contestants for a new game show called bigheads. It is hosted by hosted by JASON MANFORD, It sees members of the public donning enormous celebrity heads and competing in a series of physical games in front of a live studio audience.

    Could either be a fun family show or be terrible.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yes, it’s being described as It’s a Knockout mixed with satire (i.e. people dressed as Donald Trump) with a bit of Wild Things, from the people behind Release the Hounds, with Jason Manford.

      I am politest possible way I’m not hopeful, but you never know.

  16. Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan

    Only criticism I’m having with this show is that we see too much of the same contestants on a regular basis. Yeah, I know they can’t help how good they are at answering the questions, but it’s only a select handful out of 30 people that we ever get to see.

  17. David

    I’m getting to the point where I’m thinking someone actually winning the £10K will be well nigh….difficult.

    1. Matt C

      I’m thinking a choice of subject for the final question could alleviate that somewhat. When the subject fell my way – the TV question – it was very achievable, and I wouldn’t even regard myself as a Little Britain fan.

  18. scousegirl

    I really don’t like this recent trend of having the same people day after day, but at least it’s an improvement on the immensely irritating Think Tank.
    If there’s another series, I wonder how they’ll stack the new 12-sided £1 coins?

  19. Arun

    I might just be being an idiot, but I wouldn’t have had the question about the Welsh sweet bread today. Not knowing what answer A was, I thought Stollen should have been the impossible answer given it is not Welsh. I might be wrong, but that question would not have passed the Arun quality control.

    Again, might just be me being daft, but I haven’t seen the amount of money the contestant won be in the bottom corner. If they are doing this, they should by showing the prize fund all the way through. IT is really annoying without it.

    1. Crimsonshade

      The amount of money a player has won is shown in the bottom-right corner if the player has managed to walk away with any money at game end. I do sort of agree with you that an on-screen graphic recapping the current prize fund elsewhere in the show wouldn’t go amiss…

    2. Matt Clemson

      It’s not really explicitly stated, but there seems to be a rule that the ‘Impossible’ answer is defined by the earliest part of the question that it breaches; so with sweetbread not being a bread at all, it’s shown up as soon as you get to “Which type of fruit loaf”

      (Said rule *is* more explicitly outlined in the grids, of course)

  20. Cameron

    I have ratings for Impossible for the rest of week 1.

    Wednesday 996k
    Thursday 892k
    Friday 1.2m.

    Behind Judge Rinder by about 100k on Wednesday & Thursday and around 60k behind on Friday.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      If it’s getting about a million that compares very favourably with most quizzes in the slot, Decimate was getting 600-700k for example.

      It’s on a level with The Link, but with much better writing.

    2. Steph

      Do you happen to know what the ratings are for this week so far please ?

  21. scousegirl

    ‘Sweetbread’ (all one word and usually plural) was impossible because it’s neither cake nor bread. It’s various bits of offal such as gullet, assorted glands and often lamb’s testicles. Rick did actually say offal.

  22. Danny Kerner

    We finally know what happens when all 30 are eliminated by impossible responses. They reverted back to the last person who was knocked out before the board.

    1. Matt Clemson

      Of course, we now have a *new* question – what happens if they get down to just one answer on the remaining question?

        1. Thomas Sales

          It’s funny you should say that. You have to wonder why they kept the contestant up there without them being ordered off the stage. I reckon if there was only one answer left, it would default to the contestant who first faced that grid.

  23. Brig Bother Post author

    Classic episode today, a brutal set if questions meaning they had to go back to previously eliminated players just to find a finalist (why you couldn’t just have two finalists in that situation is beyond me).

    Then someone won the final! The cash pouring moment was underwhelming! Not worth the time it took to load.

    1. Danny Kerner

      Hopefully if they get a series 2 they can build a pinball like release system for the coins making the cascade effect more enjoyable. However will it work with 12 sided coins

    2. Kniwt

      Epic episode, small quibble: The £10k win cue shouldn’t include the vocoder person saying “Impossible!” because, well, it’s no longer impossible.

  24. Brekkie

    Watched one of these this morning and it was good enough to watch another in the afternoon. Best new daytime show in quite sometime and if it is recommissioned I’d like to see it given a chance in the 5.15pm slot rather than Pointless repeats.

  25. Crimsonshade

    Interesting situation on today’s !mpossible – the second to last in the series. After a bloodbath in the second round, Round 3 started with only one remaining player. We now know what happens in this situation: The player plays round 3 alone; and the first point the player scores in the round automatically ends the round and puts them through to play the grid, with the last eliminated player becoming the steal if needed. However, if they give an impossible answer and eliminate themselves as well, then everyone is back in play.

  26. Danny Kerner

    We now know how the everyone elimnated rule is applied when in the round, due to this i will describe both the round format and the grid format.

    Rounds 1,2 & 3 – If all 30 are eliminated before the end of the round everyone is reinstated and scores are reset to 0 and remaining questions score until the end of that round.

    Grid – If all 30 are eliminated when the winner of the round is knocked out by a impossible answer they resort back to the last eliminated person.

  27. Cameron

    I have some week 2 ratings for Impossible. Nothing for Monday unfortunately.

    Tuesday 854k, Wednesday 1m, Thursday 1.13m, Friday 1.13m

  28. John R

    I can’t believe I’ve only just noticed that the end credits have a dedicated person responsible for the “coin machine logistics”!

    1. Chris M. Dickson

      Another amusing credit: “Camera Supervisor Richard Bacon”. It’s far from the most unusual name in the world, but very occasionally people known as being one side of the camera (or mic) do work on the other side as well – e.g., Keith Chegwin orchestrating the tunes on Keynotes. (No, I’m not seriously suggesting this is an example: “our” Richard Bacon is said to live in the US these days. The door to his house apparently has 19 locks.)

      The more I watch the show, the more I like it, and the contestants get even more engaging and likeable over time. Still wonder what an old-school, really quizzy (though not to say patriarchal) quiz host might do with it, though.

  29. falklad

    According to the BBC website this has been recomissioned.

    Casting open until 17th February

  30. Daniel H

    Good series and good to see it coming back – like the concept.

    4x £10,000 Winners in 15 shows for the record

    The definition of an Impossible Answer was good as it avoided any possible worries we’d had before the series started about ambiguity of what classed as Impossible. One slip today, however, did rather give away the impossible answer (or at the very least a wrong answer) in the question…

    Which US Vice President encountered ridicule when he ‘corrected’ a child’s spelling of ‘potato’?
    A: Walter Mondale
    B: Dan Quayle
    C: Sarah Palin

    1. David B

      IIRC an early show used a gendered word to eliminate the impossible, so it is fair game.

      1. Daniel H

        Ah must have missed that one – I assumed they intended to use solely the “Vice President” as the criteria for an impossible answer

  31. Brekkie

    Good that it is coming back and great to see ratings rise across the week which is a great indicator of success as generally speaking in daytime rating peak on Mondays and fall through the week.

    Really would like to see it given a shot at 5.15pm.


    I am a contestant on the new series of IMPOSSIBLE which starts transmission on 22nd May. I totally disagree with the comment that Rick Edwards was ‘the guy brought in as he did the pilot’.
    Having recorded 10 shows with Rick as host, I think I can speak for my fellow contestants in saying that Rick is an extremely good host. He has a lot of charm, he isn’t patronising to the contestants which some hosts are guilty of – no names, no pack drill. He got to know each of us by chatting to us during the recordings and generally having fun with us, commiserating when we got the questions wrong and genuinely pleased when we did. He really helped to make it great fun. At the briefing, the producers told us we would all have fun and leave having made new friends. Unfortunately I didn’t win any money, but thanks to the Producers, Rick and the amazingly patient production team, I felt as if I had been on holiday when i returned home.

  33. Gerard Rocks

    As a contestant on series 1 of !mpossible I completely agree with Shirley. Of course what went on when the cameras weren’t recording would never be seen but the show was so heavily edited that even much of the banter that was recorded between Rick and the contestants was lost on “the cutting room floor”. But I can vouch for the fact that it was a fantastic experience. We contestants became firm friends and the production team couldn’t have been kinder.


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