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July 2009

31st July 2009

Recording Review: Pointless

It's quite difficult for us to go and see shows outside of, well, London really. Which as everything's moving to Manchester and Glasgow (Manchester's a five-six hour train journey each way from Cambridge, so probably needs a night or two in a hotel as well) is a bit of a shame. So, if anyone does go and see a new show being filmed and fancies writing a report, feel free to send me an e-mail and I'll put it front of house.

Pointless was filming in That London last weekend, we just couldn't be bothered to go and see it. LUCKILY FOR US, Bar regular Mart S saw it and has this to say. Thanks Martyn!

  • Sold to the audience as 'The Bastard twin of Family Fortunes'.
    However unlike the open-ended questions in FF (i.e other than wearing them give another use for trousers) all the questions/answers in Pointless are drawn from lists (a la Who Dares Wins), and then the contestants aim is to come up with the answers that very few or no-one 'from the 100 asked came back with during the survey' - those are the 'pointless' answers and score 0. Every other correct answer scores the respective number of responses back. So, popular answers score big and are therefore bad. Obscure answers score low and are good. Wrong answers automatically score 100.
  • Hosts - Alexander Armstrong and 'Richard'. Armstrong did a good job, keeps the show moving along, and has a good banter rapore with Richard, who is there as the facts and answers guru. This being an Endemol production, no doubt all the banter will be edited out  and Richard's role will be reduced to a fact and answers reading bore. [So far, so Topranko - Brig]
  • Music - sounded like a Marc Sylvain composition, but very catchy with trumpets and more hummable than the Golden Balls theme.
  • Graphics - Lot of purple and the shows name is in the same blocky big font as 'For The Rest of your Life' Looks very nice.
  • Set - Semi circle. Using less than half of foorspace in TC6 but it makes it compact and means no walking around by the host. It's a black background with varilights parked around the place, with an abstract shaped backdrops and a twisty silver bars above the stage.Contestants behind a podium, with an LCD monitor stuck to the front - used to display the score. At the start, 3 sets of contestants stand on a raised step, the other 2 on the lower level. Just to the right of centre is a tall column, with a large upturned LED screen which is used to display the amount of responces for each question. Alexander stands to the right of the column at a podium identical to contestants, Richard is a the edge of the set sitting infront of another big screen used to display the in-game question categories, scores and highest/lowest answers, at a desk with a laptop (although it's not switched on as all his notes are on paper which he puts on the keyboard).
  • Format: 5 sets of 2 teams (who get two stabs at the show on consecutive editions, unless they get to the final in which case - fin) get the question subject from Alexander. This is vague - i.e Movie Soundtracks. They then have 5 seconds to decide who will answer first (as no confering is allowed during the game) and then they shuffle around standing one infront of the podium and the other one directly behind them. Then the proper question is given on the big screen behind Richard (in my show it was 'Artistes or singers that have done Bond movie title songs. Another question was Horse Race Courses in Great Britain) after a bit of question rules, verification and boundaries not to cross to be wrong..... Off goes the game.
  • Contestant one gives answer and the number of responces are displayed on the LED screen by a large counter and a graphic reducing down to the answer. This works very well and builds suspense by slowing down closer to 0 it gets. The score is then banked and repeat until all five first contestants have had a go, then they shuffle around so the partners have a go at answering the same question, however this time on the scoreboard a red line appears at the point where the pair with the highest score are, to point out where the safety line is for the team answering (ie if top score is 90, then the contestants would have to come up with an answer lower than 89 to get through).
  • After all 10 contestants have had a go, Richard then tells us all where the high answers were and if there were any poinless answers. The rounds top scorers are out, and the process is repeated until we get down to 2 sets of players.
  • Semi-Final. The pair with the lowest score of the semi finallist from round 3, get to choose the category (of two) to play. The idea of this round is the first team to break 100 points first is out, so the teams (who can now mumble to each other) have to consistantly come up with correct and low numbered answers. Answers are batted between both sets of teams one after the other. This is the round where tactics are most in evidence, as the category choosers will try and guess the subject that the other pair will be most useless at.
  • Final - The prize pot was not fully explained (my show was 14/30) but I'm guessing as the pot was at £2,250 - it starts off at £1,000 and Alexander mentioned that £250 is added everytime a pointless answer is guessed in any part of the show. The winners are given 3 subjects to choose from - again the titles are vauge (World Geography, American Movies, Aurtharn Legends) they choose one, and the question is given out (in mine the chosen 'Amercian Movies', became Woody Allen Films) they are given 60 seconds to discuss, and then give 3 answers. To win the pot, one of those answers has to be a pointless answer. If they do - money. If not - they win a 'pointless trophy' (not seen in the studio) and the money rolls over to the next show, but with nothing added to to the pot unless a pointless answer is given during the next show. Alexander and Richard have one final chat, say goodbyes, audience clap, credits, end.
  • Final thoughts. It's actually what would happen if Who Dares Wins and Family Fortunes mated - and it sort of works. Unlike Family Fortunes previous answers are not displayed on the screen on the studio, so repeated answers are given 100. Likewise if one team is so far ahead in terms of points, the other teams still have to have a go, as even though they are through to the next round, they could still uncover a pointless answer and add £250 to the pot, so it took a while to get the hang of that one. As for presentation, Alexander is a affable chap and if the edit allows him to be quickwitted and doesn't cut out the post question banter with Richard then it will be a welcome addition to the land of quizzes.
  • 45 mins show took 95 mins to record (including the traditional Endemol rebooting of the computer system which took 20 mins for IT to sort out) and very enjoyable. If editied in the right way, and allowed to get on with it by the BBC, in the right timeslot (i.e not up against Edmonds or O'Grady) it may just become the sleeper gameshow of the year. [It's unfortunate then than at 45 minutes, I suspect it's going in Weakest Link's slot... Brig]

At a glance:
La Juste Prix music, Sporcle, Panic Attack isn't networked, is Only Connect better than Countdown?, Pointless.

28th July 2009

It's got Vincent Lagaf and an AMAZING theme tune...

I think this deserves a wider airing, because I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed it, it's the new Le Juste Prix (Price is Right) on the channel that can seemingly do no wrong when it comes to flashy and entertaining modern interpretations of formats, TF1.

Part 1 is here.

The Clipton Factor: Smush

It's week one of our Ken Ober Season (i.e. we're doing Remote Control next week), this week it's entertaining word game Smush from 2001. The entire show is built around the conceit of "smushing" words together, so for example, "Video game company who invented Mario + Bob Marley's favourite ones of these had jam in" would be "Nintendoughnut". Do you see? Where it sounds the same you merge them together.

This is round two.

If you think the style and direction feel rather familiar but you can't put your finger on it, you might be interested to know that the format was owned and created by Jellyvision, of You Don't Know Jack fame, which we've always been quite big fans of. It was also exec produced by Michael Davies.


Quite good. It's nice to see the set design from Perfect Strangers didn't go to waste. What's surprising is that for a show about facts, quite a lot of it feels quite arbitrary, especially in terms of difficulty during the Quickfire round. The seven seconds thing feels a bit ridiculous, why not just "give us a fact"?

26th July 2009


You might find this quite interesting.

At a glance:
The QI pilot is on the series A DVD, Accumulate! gets mentioned by Iain Weaver, Dragons Den, Face the Ace, the morality of contestants vs charity, US word games, non-spoilers for Deal or No Deal, no Wipeout this week but all-stars next week, The Fuse, Mark Labett was on Only Connect, the scoring system for Knowitalls. Portmanteux, whether Knowitalls has a live audience or not, Le Juste Prix. Is the showcase too ewasy? Probably. Lagaf on Cresus, will Around the Horn make on to the new ESPN Channel? Le Juste Prix's theme, almost Smushes.

25th July 2009

Clip Boyard

Well, today was the penultimate day of the Tour de France, but for all intents and purposes it is the last day of meaningful racing, other than a large bunch sprint on the Champs-Elysees tomorrow. And today's stage finished with a run up the tough Mont Ventoux. Well that's brilliant, I thought, I can cash in with this by doing Ventouse (because it sounds quite similar and would have sounded clever). Unfortunately I've already done that, so here's Everest, because that's also a mountain. This is the first playing from 1998.


23rd July 2009

I got nothing

Crikey, it's a very slow news week. Doubtless you've all read about Kenneth from Big Brother escaping the BB House, and David points out that it might be a betting scam, very interesting. Tomorrow's eviction is cancelled. As an aside, Le Tour's been very entertaining this year.

In the interim, why not have a new comment box?

At a glance:
The Fuse is predictable, Noel gets married, 1 vs 100 on XBox, Czech Republic exit the Eurovision Song Contest, Step Up To The Rocket, University Challenge changes its tournament structure, Adult Fun House, Tout le Monde... Place has a new set, Panic Attack not looking good for a third series.

21st July 2009

The Clipton Factor: Extreme Activity

We're phoning it in a bit this week, sorry. Anyway, this week's clip comes from a show we've featured in the past, for no discernable reason today it's Extreme Activity.


20th July 2009

Someone more important than me sort this out please thanks

A charity celebrity poker tournament called Stakes on a Train.

It's a poker tournament. On a train.

Also! Only Connect's on tonight. I don't think anyone's bothered advertising it, and I'm sensing a bit less buzz, so tell all your friends.

At a glance:
Stakes on a Train, Only Connect, Dan Peake on The Fuse, David B's got an X Box Only (he can't yet) Connect it to the internet. Lots of XBox stuff, Masterchef does quite well in Australia, will Pointless be pointless? Tiffany Michelle and Maria Ho off of poker are going to be on The Amazing Race, Ken off of Big Brother escapes.

18th July 2009

Clip Boyard

This week it's Moulin, it's got chickens in it and it's from 2001:


I can't let this go by unannounced, David points to this in a comment box, which sounds great and I can't help but feel is exactly what Codex should have been in the first place.

17th July 2009

Well, I went to a funeral of a family member today. Except we were almost late for it, because we became engrossed in the episode of Deal or No Deal that was repeated on More 4 this lunchtime. DoND: MORE IMPORTANT THAN MORTALITY.

In other news, what do you get if you cross 1 vs 100 on X Box Live, with current other excitement Pat Sharp and Melanie and Martina? You get this. Seriously, is there any adult between the ages of 16-30 who wouldn't apply to appear on an ironic (I know, I know) Saturday evening adult Funhouse revival? I think not.

At a glance:
Get Grace Out! has gone forever, the Bar policy on bad language (fine where it's justifiable). Relic with relish, charging for Britain's Got Talent clips, where to complain about Total Wipeout (you can phone the numbers if you want, I suspect they won't really care), the National Schools General Knowledge Quiz Championship, Deal or No Deal repeats.

16th July 2009

Only Connecting Walls

"Dastardly" David Bodycombe (as doubtless TV Cream will refer to him in future) has done a thing, so he's won some points. It's some talking about question setting on Only Connect on Vicotira Coren's blog, including three difficult Connecting Walls for a bet, which thanks to the power of the internet, have been solved before I could alert alert readers to them. Still, though.

14th July 2009

The Clipton Factor: TV's Finest Failures

This was a clip show that went out on the BBC in, we think, 2001, and the ten minutes we have on tape show us some very rare and exciting pilot clips - Fun House for adults (the kids version is currently showing on Challenge at weekends), and Beat the Chimp, effectively the same format as Fluke. We'd probably put up an entire episode of Fluke if we had one. But I digress, enjoy the clip. Of a clip show.


We're 1 vs 100-ing until about 8:30-9pm then we will put this week's clip up.

Alex Davis of Buzzerblog fame keeps putting in a request just as I put out a new comment box, so in case you missed it:

"I'm working on a redo for a pitch film and I'm sending it out to a few UK production companies and networks. It's a show that's gone pretty far in the US process but I got screwed at the last second by a network on my last pitch. I figured a decent way to get attention from UK networks and companies is to convert the money into pounds and get British voice overs and make a specific UK version in addition to the US version.

My question is would anyone here be willing to do a few small voice recordings over the computer to help me out? You'd just either need to read the script convincingly and email me your lines or we can do this over Skype and I can record it and coach you. I'd really appreciate it if anyone could help me out. I'd only need three. If something would happen with the show I'd definitely remember who helped. My email is Thanks."

At a glance:
Wordplay Plus' Gary Male is quite good at 1 vs 100, questions repeating on 1 vs 100, will The Chase sell to America? The Master, an awe inspiring clip of Fluke and Tim Vine hosting Beat the Chimp, Heroes and Villains Survivor, Stand By Your Van, The Fuse and The Chase ask the same questions, Joe Schmo is out on DVD, You Have Been Watching. We're all wrong about The Colour of Money, Richard Hearsey, Deal or No Deal fainting, Big Brother US had an interesting eviction, dubstar Austin Healey, Farhenheit 451, 1 vs 100 Live and the gaming thereof. Relic.

13th July 2009

As Conor Knighton off of the ever entertaining Infomania would say, we've got a lot to go over this week, so let's start with some of the big stories (NOTE: The comment box is quite far down).

The Fuse

  • Six loud contestants (hey! It's the happy fun atmosphereless 5pm hour!!!) compete against each other and eponymous Fuse to win up to over £50,000 in actual real cash.
  • Round one is 6-in-a-Row. In each round, a contestant gets to pick a category 'box'. Inside each box is a cash value ranging from £1 all the way up to a whopping £5,000. To win it, the players must get six questions right in a row, wrong answers mean control goes back to the first person in the line, and the questions get more difficult the further down the row. They must do this before the graphical fuse gets to the graphical box to blow it up, two minutes in round one, but ten seconds off after each additional round. To help, the players may confer once, and the leader of the round may opt to use the Quickfire where the team must list six things correctly, with a wrong thing blowing the box. Goodness knows why the leader doesn't just shout Quickfire from the off - perhaps it's limited to when the fuse crawls right in fromt of them.
  • After all six have had a go, the everyone gets to choose one of the remaining twelve category boxes as their own. The prize inside is unique to them, but they won't find out what it is until the end.
  • The two people who answered the most questions correctly get to do a schoolyard pick to choose their opponents for game two.
  • In Burn Out, each player has a 90 second fuse attached to their box. Questions are asked of the three categories in play on the buzzer. A wrong answer lights your fuse, or knocks ten seconds off if your fuse is already lit, a correct answer extinguishes your fuse and lights someone elses (your choice, if neither of the other two's fuses are lit). It seems a bit of a shame that giving people the chance to knobble each other at the beginning of the round, some sort of fuse penalty isn't applied when someone whose fuse is off gets another question correct.
  • The two winners go through to Fire Fight, which is a straight chess clock (well, fuse clock) general knowledge quiz. Each contestant has a 60 second fuse, and the first question is on the buzzer, which would have improved Grand Slam no end.
  • The winner goes up against The Final Fuse. The money won in game won is added to the money in the box they chose after round one to come up with a base figure. The contestant will now try to answer six questions correctly - if they can do it in 50 seconds, their base figure will be tripled. If it takes 51-60 seconds, the figure will be doubled, but after 70 seconds the fuse will blow up the base figure and they'll leave with nothing.
  • We fast forwarded through most of round one. It feels like it goes on for too long.
  • When you take away the clever fuse motif (it's just a clock), there's not really anything here you've not seen before with rounds that feel like they go on for a bit too long, and when you realise there's an entire hour of it you wonder if there's not something else you'd rather be doing instead.
  • Getting the contestants to supply all the noise is irritating. Also, it would be better if the box threw up actual sparks and/or fire when time elapsed rather than a graphical representation. That would be both fun and exciting.
  • Austin Healey was very stilted. Stick to dancing.
  • But like The Chase, it gets through questions at a fair old whack.
  • So it's not refuse, but it's hardly fusilli pasta either.
  • We did literally spend hours thinking that up (NB: license).

Only Connect

It's new, it's blue, it's got an exciting new camera shot pre-Connecting Wall, we liked Vicky Coren's opening, we like Vicky Coren generally. Good stuff, really, well done to all concerned.

We know all about Cambridge Uni's 800th anniversary inter-departmental quiz, because we work for a Cambridge Uni department. Our representatives lost in the semi-finals, they were sacked.

1 vs 100 Extended Play

It was Pan European, General Trivia all evening with a special Super Hard edition this evening. We played the Super Hard episode and hung around for whatever episode it was after.

  • Episodes are half an hour long, that's enough for a whopping and nicely rounded 37 questions.
  • We cannot stress enough how much more fun it is when you're playing against people you know - tonight we had the company of the excellent Mark X from the excellent Broken TV - it looks like if you've friends in the lobby, it will try and match you with them regardless of whether you send them an invite or not. It was quite literally nailbiting stuff.
  • The rules: 37 questions. All answers earn a speed bonus, instant correct answers earn a bonus, correct answers earn 500 points. The two important things are the streak, and the mob knockouts.
  • Every correct answer in a row earns a streak bonus, going up to 1,000 points for ten questions in a row. Every three correct answers earns a skip which you can use to protect your bonus. A wrong answer resets it.
  • The potential big points come from a mob knockouts - everyone answers each question, the amount of wrong answers is converted to a percentage multiplied by 100. You score that amount of points if you are correct. Example, 56,789 people out of 65,789 players get a particularly hard question wrong. That's worth 8,632 points.
  • Therefore there's some interesting strategy coming into play balancing up the risk of playing a difficult question vs the risk of blowing your streak when deciding whether to skip or not.
  • Anyway, lots of fun, and the more you play the better your chance of making it to the Friday Live Show proper to win actual real prizes.
  • It's a pity the Super Hard questions mainly seem to consist of "who was the champion of an obscure sport in an obscure year?" as it felt a bit cheap.

12th July 2009

The Fuse is on tomorrow, ITV1 at 5pm. Also, it had completely slipped my mind that Only Connect starts tomorrow on BBC4 at 8:30. Meanwhile...

The National Lottery Portmanteau Tautology

God, just looking at the word Guesstimation literally makes me feel physically sick (NB: licence). So despite everything, I was quite surprised to find I didn't think the show was completely awful.

  • Two families of four compete (including this week in a move that is thrillingly and uniquely Endemol/Talpa, one of whom with gay partners) in a guessing contest the winners of which will win a lovely holiday.
  • There are three rounds, winning a round gives you a better chance in the final round.
  • In each round there are three questions. To begin, the team captain chooses two people to play. A category is chosen apparently at random from six, although the non-illusion of non-choice felt a bit pointless. The first two questions are your typical estimated guess questions, although I think they went a bit overbaord with the hilariously surprising actual answer angle. The person who is furthest away is revealed and laughed at /commiserated before the winner of the question and the guesses of everyone else is revealed. This is entirely better than the original Wat Schat Je? the show is based on which took an average guess from 100 or whatever representatives from a town.
  • The third and final question in the round is the Challenge question. It is played by the team captain on each team plus one other person chosen by the captain for each of the previous two questions their team had won. It is important to win Challenge questions, because it wins the round and each one won allows an extra person from the team to play in the final round.
  • These Challenge questions involve guessing how well some guests will be able to perform at apparently difficult and surprising You Bet! On A Budget challenges. Unfortunately, the ones in week one weren't very spectacular or interesting and felt over before they even began.
  • Round two is played by the two people who weren't chosen for round one, and round three is a free choice.
  • The final round is played by the team captain of each team plus one member of their choice for each round won. Three questions are asked based on the holiday destination, the first team to win two of them is the winner. The answer reveals are treated slightly differently, usually worst to first except when one family has only one answer left to reveal, then it's kept until last for tension. They should have done a properly spectacular stunt for the final round instead, I reckon.
  • I've always found Nick Knowles a bit irritating, so I was quite pleasantly surprised to find him quite acceptable here, given a bit of a chance to free wheel.
  • I quite liked the pyramid-esque structure of the game. The cause and effect feels fair, whilst still allowing for shock results.
  • The biggest problems are the rather underwhelming challenges and the spectacularly underwhelming graphics, which frankly wouldn't feel out of place on an episode of Look Around You (series two, naturally).

Interestingly, despite the fact Wat Schat Je? (the Dutch original) had a bigger studio and bigger challenges, I think Guesstimation works better as a game to the point where it successfully managed to hold my attention for the full 50 minutes (plus lottery draws) when WSJ? did not. It's pleasant and undemanding and everyone will have forgotten it exists by the end of September, but I don't think it's deserving of some of the vitriol I've seen.

At a glance:
International King of Sports! Daniel Peake is on telly again! We forget Only Connect is back! Richard Stilgoe has yet to write a satirical song about the demotion of Arlene Philips! The Fuse! Is The Fuse better or worse or equal to The Chase!

11th July 2009

Clip Boyard

Right, mainly because we're fed up of people claiming the cat - shuttlecock - Badminton joke as new this week, here's Tim Vine telling the same joke six years ago. Oh, it's The Searching Head as well.

Meanwhile XBox Live 1 vs 100 last night was quite good fun, although they need to work on the multiple choices a bit as the questions were by and large a bit easy, and there seemed to be no real rhyme or reason to their difficulty at any point - hard ones just seemed to randomly crop up, to be followed by "which band was Andrew Ridgeley a member of?" We failed to hear James McCourt at any point. Goodness knows how people are apparently answering within 0.05 seconds.

Extended Play episodes can be played all next week from 6:30pm to 9:30pm from Monday onwards, the theory being the more you play the bigger the chance of appearing in The Mob or as The One with a chance to win Big Prizes.

It will be interesting to see what the big prizes are and how many will go for it. The prize ladder is still laid out like it is in the US show, so unless you singlemindedly go for the ultimate win the gambles get less worthwhile as you go along. Still, though.

10th July 2009

Married to The Mob

Right, have been playing for half an hour - the questions are a bit easy (more by dint of useless multiple choices more than anything else), and if James McCourt is live I can't hear him. But quite good fun, and seems to be giving away Microsoft points like nobody's business.

Edit: Except no-one's winning any prizes this week, doubtless the live host is telling us this, except we can't hear him.

1 vs 100 on X Box 360 is now live on the dashboard, the first "episode" in Beta is at 7:30 this evening. I'll be there!

9th July 2009

Thanks for all your birthday wishes, unfortunately I'm ABSOLUTELY FUMING after wasting a massive final table chip lead to finish on the bubble of a poker tourney this evening (don't worry! I will go drinking with real actual friends over the weekend!!!) so no proper update until tomorrow or Saturday.

But in the mean time, Alex sent us this which deserves a wider airing. It is about 2MB. And no Alex, there wasn't originally a NES version so you're OK.

At a glance:
XBox Live 1 vs 100, a quick Final Chase, Beau Van Erwin Dorens is going to host Dutch Hole in the Wall, the entire 50 minute version of the legendary Richard Whiteley Gotcha! The perils of broadcasting shows almost a year in advance, Guesstimation, Greg Scott, Old BB on New BB, Patrice Laffont's Liste Gagnate begins 27th July on France 3, Ratings Bear, Super Geoff.

7th July 2009

This deserves a wider airing, according to David in the commentary box Beat the Star's been axed. Shame.

The Clipton Factor: International King of Sports

Alright, for the B-Day week Clipton Factor we're bringing you a full episode of something I came across recently that we quite enjoyed at the time, but felt that it didn't know what it was trying to be. However, years later we discovered it holds up well, so here's the very first episode of Five's gone but not forgotten International King of Sports, hosted by Helen Chamberlain and Mark Robson out of hosting and producing Sky Poker, or at least we assume they still do, now it doesn't simulcast with At the Races on an evening we don't really know as we're on Virgin Media. Alan Parry commentates. Watch it now, or I will be furious with you!

I think the explanation guy is meant to be Norwegian. Anyway, here's Part 2 and Part 3. No Men's Individual Falldown, alas.

Wasn't this axed halfway through series two?

6th July 2009

Do you have an X-Box 360? Do you like 1 vs 100? Than why not play 1 vs 100 on your X-Box 360 on Friday?

Because that's when it's launching in the UK. I might pop along.

At a glance:
Vernon Kay, Jeremy Paxman surprisingly being in character, X Box 1 vs 100 - yes it's gold members only I'm afraid, but it's also only a Beta so I don't think any prizes are being given away, The Chase rates well. Fangarna pa Fortet, Guilty or Not Guilty with Paul Ross - Guilty we reckon, Strange Strange Nathan Strange and International King of Sports, Happy Birthday to me, Alisha Dixon is the new Arlene Philips for no discernable reason, Couples Wipeout, The Chase is equal to Weakest Link in the ratings - but that is a ten year old show so I don't think it's too exciting just yet.

5th July 2009

It's B-Day on Thursday

i.e. my actual real birthday, and I'm afraid I won't be around an awful lot this week. I will be here on Tuesday to bring you a FULL EPISODE!!! of something I think has rather unfairly fallen down the back of the Settee of Public Conciousness.

Otherwise Total Wipeout was on, Brekkie's opinions in the comment box are pretty close to my own, so they'll do.

4th July 2009

Clip Boyard

It's Action Saturday! Total Wipeout at 7:25pm, and at about ten/half ten this week's Fort Boyard should be avaliable to view on the official site. Tonight, Miss France 2009 leads a team round.

But today, we'd like to show you L'Esquif, mainly because we were having a chat about the music over the last week. This clip comes from 1997 and was the first time the game was played. It's also one of the more memorable, for reasons that will become apparent.


At a glance:
Dan makes a bad joke, subtitle errors in Totally Saturday, Total Wipeout series two, Ratings Bear gives Saturday night ratings and uses 'due to' rather than 'because of'. University Challenge, Gail Bloody Trimble, in a shock move nobody saw coming, Totally Saturday apparently gets the axe, sponsor DoND.

2nd July 2009

Let's Let's Help ITV Programme Ideas Help Get!

  • Do a Thing and Win Some Points!
  • To be hosted by Richard Bacon.
  • Catchphrase: "You've done a thing, so you've won some points!"

1st July 2009

Bother's Bar has a CAT scan

Clever wording, I know. Basically, La Carte Aux Tresors 2009 is a bit odd. It's barely even CAT at all, really.

  • Three teams of two now play. The game is divided into three stages.
  • In stage one, the teams must find the helicopters. There are only two of them, so one team will be eliminated at this point.
  • To help find them, the teams are each given a map with six points of interest. At each point of interest there is a task to perform based on the people and places they meet and go to, tasks such as identifing which sort of instrument is used in salt panning, or successfully riding a horse to collect a flag.
  • There are two prizes that can be won. At two locations are "bonus treasure time" which will come in handy at the end of the game. The other four will give in indication of where the helicopters are. First two teams to find the helicopters go through to round two.
  • Round two is apparently exactly the same as round one, except the two teams are now looking for the Treasure Map, and they can go places by helicopter rather than badgering someone for a lift. Next time you are in France, why not see how far you can get round the country by insisting to passing motorists that "you're from Carte Aux Tresors, can you get a lift please?" Basically, the first ninety minutes are the detours from The Amazing Race writ large.
  • The team that finds the map gets to try and find the treasure. This is now a rather baffling Fun House-esque adventure obstacle course around a large landmark (a castle in the first episode). The team have ten minutes to complete all four obstacles and get the four different coloured keys to the box. They also get a bonus minute for every bonus task they completed during the day - this makes it sound like there are some interesting game making decisions to be made, but this week's team SPOILER get round the whole course in under seven minutes, rendering the bonuses rather moot, really.
  • At the end the team open the treasure box. Except woah - there are five differently coloured locks. So the team put their four keys in the correctly coloured locks and they win. I'm unsure if there's meant to be an element of suspense here - perhaps they've got to take a guess if they don't get all four, or something. Anyway, if they win they win a trophy, €10,000 and the chance to come back as reigning champions next episode.

At a glance:
US Big Brother cast released (except one) - new series starts next Thursday, Anecdote!, inevitable list of Pet Shop Boys song title based puns, The finer points of Do a Thing and Win Some Points discussed, they're repeating Superstars on ESPN Classic, and here's some broadcast dates with literally no innuendo immaturely pointed out, Total Wipeout's on tomorrow, Million Dollar Having Some, One, Or More Arguments, why The Chase can never be Eliminator, the format to Without Prejudice summed up in both one sentence and three paragraphs, Endemol hope that nobody in Britain can do basic maths, not that it really matters as nobody's watching Big Brother anyway, Noel Edmonds uses a blowdryer for fun and profit.