Stool Pigeon: The Results – June 2020

By | June 22, 2020

OK, let’s see how the ALL NEW TOUGH STOOL PIGEON with TOUGH CHRIS works out. A couple of people still went for obvious gags, and I’m not going to include them. So there.

This being said, this is still anonymous hearsay so may not be 100% true. Some interesting things though:

  • Yes, this *is* E4 testing the waters for a proper return.
  • Big Brother: Best Shows Ever was being used to prepare the audience for a CBB revival next year (thus the focus on fun celebrity episodes instead of things like Fight Night), but Endemol was planning on doing the format that’s currently flopping in Australia (last week one episode finished fourth in its timeslot, in a country with only three major commercial networks) and is now having second thoughts.

Quite interesting, I’ve not watched the new Aussie Americanised version yet, but I’ve always said that Aussie TV is basically British sensibilities with US advert breaks, and it’s probably not that surprising that a country very used to one type of format has difficulty in getting behind another. I’m just not sure what the point of doing it on E4 would be – is it worth building a house for what’s likely to be around 300,000 nightly viewers? And won’t Love Island be back next year anyway?

  • Not particularly exciting or unexpected, but during a talk a few weeks ago Ben Frow basically said Channel 5 is not likely to green-light any more quiz or game shows while he is in charge.

What is Channel 5? A miserable little pile of secrets.

  • Not sure if this is ‘game show’ news or not but 6 part best of Saturday Night Takeaway planned from September.
  • Dave Berry ended up being a regular panellist on the first series of Through The Keyhole due to a mix up between the commissioners and producers. They thought ITV had wanted him to be on throughout the series but the channel had just suggested him as an example of the sort of panelists they could have. By the time the mistake was realised the contract was already signed and they had no choice but to honour it leading his rather odd appearance in every episode of the first series.

Some Deadly Knowledge there. I did wonder at the time if this was an ITV effort to make Dave Berry a “thing” in a way nobody really cares about outside of London.

  • The forthcoming series of Celebrity MasterChef is truncated because the restrictions began to hit while they were filming the semi-finals. Sensing full lockdown was imminent, the crew and the contestants worked round the clock to condense what would have been two weeks of shows into one mega semi-finals-and-finals week, all shot in a couple of days.
  • A Weakest Link 20th anniversary special, looking back at some behind the scenes stuff, classic memorable moments and how the format was developed, is going to be shown in August. That sounds very similar to the 1000 episodes special they made back in 2006 so it might just be a re-edited version of that.

Not really sure what the point of this is, if you’re not going to take it past the Children in Need one-off, when testing the water was surely the point (and that they stuffed up), then why bother with a documentary on a show that hasn’t been on for years? Unless this is the launchpad for Robert Rinder’s Weakest Link, then fine.

  • University Challenge 2020/2021 is canceled due to the lockdown interfering with the taping (the restriction started just a few days before Round 2 taping) and BBC’s refusal to postpone the taping to autumn. They don’t want another Corpus Christi scandal since some students will graduate by that point. We’re expecting a brand new set 2021/2022 and the same old Jeremy Paxman. He is now older than Bamber Goscoine when the show was canceled by ITV.
  • The Circle will be closely reflecting the international versions of the show for season 3 which are all pre-recorded in advance and will be ditching the studio audience live editions.
  • I’ve heard Millionaire is starting recording again in July.
  • BBC have a daytime quiz coming up titled The Money Walker hosted by, I believe, Gok Wan, that’s about all I know currently. Nothing too exciting but it’s an interesting host choice.

Gok Wan’s another “yeah, why not?” choice, although the title makes it sound like The Walk of Temptation from The Mole dragged out to sixty minutes. Should you take £690, or reject it for what’s in the next box which could be up to £3,000? Repeat until the last box has £250 in it.

And finally:

  • I won’t even pretend this is Stool Pigeon material but I can’t be bothered just to mail you directly. What do you think about Glasscar where the new season at debuted directly in competition to the Marble League? It doesn’t have nearly the same degree of charm or personality, but the propulsion system to replace the elevator is a game changer and I suspect has a good chance of becoming the norm in years to come.

Not sure I like it, or at least not in its current form, it means that all tracks are going to have to have a large straight in it and lengthier track segments which means less emphasis on the technical side of marble racing. Say what you like about the elevator – that it’s an imperfect solution that forces unitary time differences if you like – but how many race changing moments have happened because of it? Drama.

*Shuffles papers*


17 thoughts on “Stool Pigeon: The Results – June 2020

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    It’s a reference to THE ALL NEW TOUGH LIGHT YOUR LEMON WITH TOUGH CHRIS, in case you were wondering.

    1. Chris M. Dickson


      I’m flashin’ your flake!

    1. David

      Every episode is an eviction episode basically- they had a total of 20 HM, and are only doing 20 episodes over 7 weeks (final 3 go to the home audience winner vote so).

      I think the fact the whole season was taped in advance turned a lot of people off – you might be able to get away with no live feeds, but not that.

      FYI- current rumor has BBUS starting last week of July with an all-star format…

  2. Greg

    Does anybody know if I am right in thinking there is an Aussie series of The Amazing Race in the can? Or did it not get finished before lockdown?

    1. David

      They haven’t even cast the thing yet – they were still in the planning process when everything got locked down; as is, it’s been confirmed that they’re going to film domestically a la The Amazing Race Canada to avoid the coronavirus (presumably, at the moment this means there will not be a leg in Melbourne).

      There is a US season that’s been on the shelf since 2018 though.

      1. Greg

        Ah I think I mixed up my Oz and US series as I remembered one of them was due to start in May. Looks like that was the US series that was recorded in 2018. That series has been pushed back again.

  3. Danny Kerner

    Wow that University Challenge season cancellation is quite big in terms of breaking the streak of no gaps since it’s inception.

    Umm.. I did read the Circle was thinking of trying to record this year so the broadcast might be postponed until 2021 so the celebrity version goes out first. (C21 media)

    For the 1st I have nothing to say about either versions of the crystal maze. I know the bottleyard is allowing recordings and I guess Tipping point can resume under new guidelines. I think the recording for either series will solely depend on the Americans. If the Americans decide to build their own set so don’t need to follow 14 days isolated which would heavily adjust their schedules.

    I think the only EPs we will get this year is the remaining 6 and I think the tide has passed for the remaining 3 ever to be shown.

    The millionaire statement could work in July however it either means a reduction in audience, but for it to be fair will need 20 minimum. They could do a American direction and excuse that lifeline however it wouldn’t look fair in the part of past contestants. So could do ask an celebrity or pre poll an audience for questions and that could be used instead. However leaks could occur.

    This MasterChef would explain why we have not yet seen it on the schedule. I guess next year will not have a civilian edition as they wouldn’t be able to do an professional kitchen stage.

      1. David Howell

        The thing with replacing ATA is that whatever you replace it with is going to shift the balance a bit – ATA’s wisdom-of-crowds nature makes it by far the most reliable lifeline early and also the most reliably unusable late.

        ABC’s revival was able to plug in ATH as a replacement because that hadn’t been seen before. Maybe ITV use Switch the Question or Double Dip, the latter would be quite an interesting one to add with the movable safety net format actually.

        1. Brandon

          At least one country has replaced it with 3 Wise Men or used Ask 3 Of The Audience with a reduced audience.

    1. Des Elmes

      “Wow that University Challenge season cancellation is quite big in terms of breaking the streak of no gaps since it’s inception.”

      No disrespect intended towards anyone – but just as I did with Family Fortunes and just as I’m doing with The Cube, I’m waiting until there’s official confirmation. 🙂 (I don’t expect to be waiting long, however, since UC has started back in July every year since 2007.)

      Needless to say, the hole left in BBC2’s schedules would be ginormous. But it could quite easily be filled by classic episodes from the past 26 years, couldn’t it? Channel 4 has had no trouble filling its Countdown-shaped hole with a re-run of the 30th Birthday Championship (seven years ago already, good heavens).

      “Jeremy Paxman is now older than Bamber Goscoine when the show was canceled by ITV.”

      This has actually been true since 2003 (Bamber *isn’t* old enough to be Paxman’s father, believe it or not). Unless, of course, this contributor meant to say that Paxman has now been doing the show longer than Bamber? 🙂

      Presumably, as with Sue Barker on QoS, the UC job is Paxman’s for as long as he wants it – and though he’s just turned 70, he’s certainly not showing any signs of packing it in any time soon. Having done it for so long, it would certainly be big news if he did decide that enough was enough – and it would be one of those situations where resting the show for a few years would be a better option than appointing a new host straight away.

      When it comes to discussions about who would make a good UC host in the future, I assume a certain Richard and a certain Victoria are frequently mentioned… 😉

      1. Thomas Sales

        What the contributor may have meant is that Paxman’s been presenting University Challenge for longer than Bamber, which is only correct if you ignore Bamber’s one-off 1992 celebrity edition. I can’t believe that they’d leave a series ‘hanging’ like that – surely the public would be a little more sympathetic given the circumstances.

  4. Malcolm Owen

    While not Stool Pigeon specific…
    If anyone’s been watching the South Korean massive-escape-room-with-celebrities show The Great Escape, they’re on Season 3.
    Episode 9’s first part of the Bread Factory escape had an unexpected bonus, as surprisingly they slipped into The Genius for a moment with the on-screen graphics, using the imagery, musical style, and voiceover explanation to go over how the mechanics of a card game go.
    It was a very neat addition to the show, a great surprise!

    1. Matt Clemson

      I need to catch up – I fell off early in season 2 – but I’ve been astounded at the production values they’ve had across the series, the setpiece encounter in the first escape of that season was genuinely mind-boggling.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I need to catch up as well, I only got partway through series one for no discernable reason but I did quite enjoy it so thanks for the heads-up.

  5. Malcolm Owen

    A TL:DR – Season 2 introduces potential failures of escapes (time pressures or being caught/“killed” etc). There escapes in subsequent seasons also call back to earlier versions (recurring characters, stories, items).


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