Stool Pigeon – April 2020 LOCKDOWN EDITION

By | April 6, 2020

Right, let’s open the box and dive in:

  • Rylan is hosting a reboot of Jailbreak. I guess lockdown programming is going to be a thing now. (Untrue. But I liked Jailbreak, although you have to take it an immersive escape room experience rather a serious attempt to break jail. In many ways years ahead of its time.)
  • Channel 5 are bringing back Richard Bacon’s 19 Keys – now titled”COVID-19 Keys”, hosted by Tim Vine. (Not true, because it’s Rylan.)
  • Before Jane McDonald left C5 she was put forward to front revivals of shows including Blankety Blank, Telly Addicts and Wipeout. C5 didn’t go for any of them. David Tennant has been put forward to pilot a UK version of a rather big US gameshow that is scheduled to air later this year. (There was certainly a story going round that Jane McDonald had her heart set on hosting a Blankety Blank revival and she was so upset it fell through with C5 she quit the channel, although I don’t know how true that is. I can well imagine David Tennant fronting a gameshow, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet actually. The question is: which one?)
  • There was a UK revival of Deal or No Deal in development throughout last year, but as far as I know that was abandoned a few months ago. (Is it too soon? Have any of the Deal revivals around the world lasted especially? Other than the Italian one, obv. It appears to have been quietly dropped from MNBC and Direct 8.)
  • I know it isn’t strictly a quiz, but I like gossiping about tv, so… ITV did some audience testing of ITV 2’s CelebAbility through YouGov, made participants watch a whole episode whilst tracking your mood about the programme through a good/bad slider, and then rank the constituent parts of the show. Gave it both barrels, sub-par Taskmaster rip off where Iain Stirling is totally wasted as a host. I mean some of the games had already been done to death and the celeb chat bits were both long and boring (looking at you Katherine Ryan trotting out tired old material.) Don’t expect it to return. (Well it has already had three series, so…)
  • Barnstorm Games are apparently working on a Cash Trapped app – if not, House of Games, no? Some other things (taking advantage of the fact that I can only write something in this box once) – Omid Djalili set to present ITV game show, ‘Winning Combination‘ – New series of CT to be let out soon – New Russian doll prize for House of Games, series 4. But you already knew them, didn’t you. (Two out of the three. Great to hear Barnstorm working on something, my gut says it’ll be Cash Trapped over HoG because Endemol haven’t given Barnstorm an app yet. Still, would be happy with either.)
  • Those reports of a Stars In Their Eyes comeback a few weeks ago were way wide of the mark. ITV have commissioned a new show that has a vaguely similar premise, but with plenty of key differences and a completely different format. It’s a new programme, by no means a revival of an old one. (Your Face Sounds Familiar series two waits expectedly for a space to open up in the schedules.)
  • I don’t have any gossip, but being in lockdown feels like we’re all taking part in a global version of The Circle. (Send).
  • Schlag den Brig 3. (Now there’s a thought.)
  • Boris Johnson to host a reboot of Supermarket Sweep, enforcing strict item limits on empty shelves. (Bit trite. You could have at least made a “hospital trolley dash” joke.)
  • Latest Fingers on Buzzers with Richard Osman is very good, with definite allusions to a particular DonD identity. (I’m a week behind with my podcasts but I enjoyed the Nick Helm one and I shall look forward to this. I note they have a NEW GRAPHIC. If the allusion is what I think it is, I’m not sure it’s really much of a secret any more.)
  • Channel 4 to continue to produce their regular game shows, but using the pods from the set as Naked Attraction as isolation chambers to ensure no spread of the virus. (Heh!)
  • The Daily Star have a weekly quota of stories about The Chase they need to publish on their website. Last I heard it’s currently two a week. (Plausible, but may or may not be true.)
  • The Quibi version of Legends Of The Hidden Temple has had a casting page up for several weeks – They’re looking for teams of two, who will supposedly have to be in Los Angeles in May, though given recent events I seriously doubt this. I got this link through Quibi’s email list, and am putting it in the anonymous Stool Pigeon box as I’m not 100% sure it’s supposed to be shared publicly. I joined Quibi’s email list for the sole purpose of receiving this casting link – as Brig said on Twitter, Legends is almost certainly the only reason anybody is interested in Quibi.
  • BBC following in footsteps of Have I got News for you and planning to record Question of Sports and Would I Lie to You remotely in next few weeks. (I don’t think this is true, they’re not topical, filming can wait, by the time they make it to air lockdown will likely be over.)
  • Would you like a tasteless but on-topic joke about a true industrial accident? The Warrington Guardian recently reported that a local utility company had been fined because in January 2018, three workers there had been attempting to remove a pump for maintenance when the pump’s incorrectly pressurised contents caused tens of thousands of litres of diluted slurry to be released with sufficient force to knock the workers off the concrete plinth on which they had been standing, causing multiple fractures. “It’s the Takeshi’s Castle Experience. Sixty minutes, two hundred thousand quid plus seven grand in costs.” (I am 90% sure I know who wrote this.)

And there we are. I’ve kept some of the more pointless ones out, I daresay I might go tighter next time on the less funny obviously fake ones. Until next time!

In other news, this is sort of amazing, French comic Noam Cartozo has been entertaining his street with organic web-based show Questions Pour Un Balcon, which has apparently become so popular it’s attracting sponsorship.

30 thoughts on “Stool Pigeon – April 2020 LOCKDOWN EDITION

  1. Jonathan

    “BBC following in footsteps of Have I got News for you and planning to record Question of Sports and Would I Lie to You remotely in next few weeks. ”

    Pure speculation – but they’re doing a 5Live/BBC Sounds version with Chappers hosting of Question of Sport, so that’d probably be remotely. Source of confusion of this?

    Would be a huge waste for WILTY. HIGNFY felt a bit stilted to me, despite a decent effort and WILTY doesn’t need to happen like this. Don’t think the format helps – Mash Report flowed a lot better.

    1. Brandon

      The WILTY thing is most likely incorrect as it doesn’t matter if it’s filmed close to transmission, and it isn’t anyway. It’s normally (for the last few series anyway) filmed in the summer to be shown in the autumn/winter. this time around it will just have to be the other way round. For example, the episode with the infamous “I couldn’t go to the royal wedding because I had to be on this show” incident was shown in November but must have been filmed in May.

  2. David B

    Question of Sport did do a kind of live version on the BBC Sport website, so there was some truth to this. ITV’s shelf of programmes is infamously long. I’m not sure the BBC is quite as well stocked up.

  3. Brig Bother Post author

    I’ve always thought this would be a good time to repeat The Button and see if it finds an audience, as it’s basically Lockdown: The Gameshow anyway.

    That or Unan1mous.

    1. Chris B

      On The Button, Home Taskmaster videos on YouTube seem to be doing pretty decent #numbers with the tasks Alex has been setting. He’s even roped in Greg to some of the videos. Not sure what that means, probably nothing!

      1. David B

        I imagine they’re drumming up support for the C4 transfer. Wouldn’t be surprised if C4 had thrown then a little cash to fund the effort.

  4. Danny Kerner

    No crystal maze gossip this month but of course we know nothing about what would have been the start of filming this month. We are 100 percent certain another series both here and the US have been confirmed the issue is with no way to film until at the earliest July, now they will miss their 2020 broadcast slot for here and 2021 Jan broadcast in the states. we can, of course, buy the broadcasting rights for the US edition and that can be used as the filler but we also still have 9 unaired episodes here. my guess is that the remaining episodes will air in the Jun slot which has now been voided by lack of filming and these 2020 could be pushed out in two blocks in 2021. The other possibility is that they purchase the US and instead of showing them on E4 move them to C4.

  5. Chris B

    Question of Sport started on Saturday on 5 Live and actually was live as far as I can tell but confusingly was in the schedules as Question of Sport The Podcast. Think it was commissioned only a couple of days before it went to air. It was on Saturday at 2, so scheduled very close to Fighting Talk, before Colin Murray came back on again at 3!

    Could see a radio version of WILTY also to be fair, but given it would likely be on Radio 4 where there is no shortage of content, would be surprised

  6. Whoknows

    The Jane McDonald/Blankety Blank thing keeps popping up but as far as I’m aware C5 passed on it ages and ages ago so I’d be surprised if that was the reason. C5 appear to have dumped her latest series of Cruising on Saturday nights at 7pm to low ratings. There seems to be some sort of bad blood there.

  7. The 90%

    Have we forgotten Tennant’s 2012 Comedy World Cup, which justifies its place on UKGS by being at least nominally competitive – or, at least, by being a single elimination tournament? For what it’s worth, I had; I thought it was World Cup of Comedy, not Comedy World Cup. (I do agree with the general point, though.)

  8. Brekkie

    Question of Sport on 5Live with Chappers might be interesting – it’s long overdue some personnel changes, but Matt and Phil need to go too.

    As for The Chase – surely it’s two articles an episode not a week.

    1. Des Elmes

      I notice that not only has QoS never had a permanent female team captain (according to BBC Genome, Dame Mary Peters was one of the captains for two Olympics-themed episodes ahead of Montreal ’76 – both of which have presumably long since been wiped), but it has never had a permanent black captain either (John Barnes stood in for Ian Botham for three episodes in ’92).

      So when Dawson and/or Tuffers finally go, why not kill two birds with one stone and appoint Nicola Adams or Christine Ohuruogu? (There’ll definitely be a push for a female captain of any colour, anyway, and not just on social media.)

      Dan Walker seems to be the favourite to take over the host’s chair when Sue bows out, although that could change if this 5 Live version proves popular. If it had to be another woman, though, Clare Balding would almost certainly be the frontrunner, with Gabby Logan close behind.

      Most of this I think I’ve said before – but there’s definitely no harm in saying it more than once.

  9. Alex

    Have Possessed given Barnstorm the rights for an app that’s been made yet?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      No, but there’s only been one Possessed app tie in, and I rather fancy the success of other ITV studio based apps from Barnstorm make it the more likely partnership.

      1. Alex

        Cash Trapped is a strong-favourite – for me anyway – then.

        Barnstorm did state that this app – whatever it is – will be released in June, so not too far away.

  10. Philip

    A couple of filming questions.

    Any news on the new series of Celebrity Game Night which taped without an audience? Any guest announcements? I think the only holdover regular this time is Liza Tarbuck.

    I was also wondering if they had began taping Series 4 of House of Games yet? Thought I had seen a tweet on Osman’s Twitter about that

  11. Andrew Hain

    What is that “big U.S. show” that David Tennant will host a pilot of in the UK?

  12. Jonathan

    They’ve dumbed down the new US Millionaire from this preview clip.

  13. Mr Babbage

    Not wanting to say too much about the alleged deal or no deal identity, but I always thought the Banker RAN things like a man POSSESSED, if you get what I mean 🙂

    1. Brekkie

      Didn’t think there was any secret at all about the identity of the Banker on Deal or No Deal.

      Was it the same person throughout the run too. I suspect if the format was coming to the market today they’d be looking to personalise the banker Chaser style.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        No, the person we associate with The Banker left before Box 23 was a thing. There’s also a fairly distinct shift in style of offer from that point as well.

        I reckoned it was Glenn Hugill since episode 1 when I saw him on the credits and figured it exactly in his wheelhouse, although I suspect it was a joint effort with him and Richard Osman originally. You can tell he stopped doing it when The Banker on Twitter became much less funny.

        It seems a bit weird to still be Secret Squirrel about it, I’m sure Richard Osman named him in an interview recently.

        I couldn’t tell you who The Banker for the last few years was, though.

        1. Mart With An Y Not An I

          There were a couple of occasions around two years in, where Noel got the Bakerlite phone earpiece too close to his lapel mic, and it was clearly Glenn down the other end of the phone.

          Which brings me to a ‘should really be working from home time sapping diversion’ about DoND.
          I often wondered where the banker sat backstage?

          The control gallery would be too noisy, but if there was some form of mathematical caluculation for the offer working in the background – I know the first offer for ages was pitched usually between 10 -20% of the remaining totals on the board – then he would have to be quite close the graphics operator to punch up the right offer on screen. Presumably it was some air coned box next to the production office.

          1. Brandon

            In an interview on this very site, Glenn said that the Banker doesn’t use a calculator, but that was before it was revealed who it was and he could have just been trying to add to the character. As the offers never appeared on a screen on the set in our version ,unless they did in the last few years when I’d stopped watching, the graphics are probably added in after.

      2. Brandon

        The UK version showed it as a confrontation between the banker and the contestant more than most other versions. One of the versions I’ve seen from somewhere in Eastern Europe actually had the Banker at a raised desk giving the offers directly to the contestant rather than by phone, making it look a bit like the Chaser’s table.

        1. John R

          I remember watching Series 1 Episode 1 and thinking ‘this will get 1 series and never be seen again’, but then Jennifer came along and I was completely hooked for quite a long period

          I don’t remember the point at which I started watching gradually less and less funnily enough, but by the time the offer button came around it seemed pretty much everyone including Channel 4 had decided enough was enough (a completely pointless gimmick considering if a game was exciting enough the Banker was guaranteed to phone up with an ‘extra’ offer to throw a spanner in the works…)

          Visiting the dream factory was a surreal experience though, you really do start believing in some of the fate and destiny nonsense sat there despite it just being random cash amounts shoved in some (surprisingly flimsy feeling!) boxes, anyone remember the Excel spreadsheet controversy?!

          I still have a Deal Or No Deal stick of rock somewhere from Deal On Tour in Blackpool when the contestant found the 1p in the first five boxes! Antiques Roadshow here I come…

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            You can tell there was different staffing towards the end because the twists weren’t very good. Never liked Box 23, The Super Magic Fairy Box, such a big deal for something that was only ever going to be taken in a bad game, ruining the central idea of having to live with the consequences of your actions.

            I’m glad I got to see it live at least once even if it was at Alexandra Palace rather than The Dream Factory, though. Tense stuff.

            Thought it was a shame they didn’t do more live shows.

  14. Dan

    Oh man, I wish they *would* bring back Jailbreak. It was so much better than Big Brother, but apparently not enough people liked it. 🙁

    1. Des Elmes

      Not enough people liked it because not many people took C5 seriously at the time. (Airing it right after BB1 can’t have helped, either.)

      I still have a soft spot for the theme tune.


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