Show Discussion: The Wheel

By | November 27, 2020

Saturdays, 8:30pm,

Michael McIntyre can’t do his Big Show this year for COVID reasons, so they’ve come up with a new format for him, where three members of the public can win a huge amount of money with the help (or not) of seven celebrities.

One of three members of the public is randomly spun into the game and answer questions to build up a cash pot. Get a question wrong and they’re placed back in the pool. Whoever is in the hotseat the end of the show gets to win half the pot, the pot, or double the pot depending on if they answer the final question with the help of the best performing, most average, or worst performing celeb.

It certainly has quite the set. But does it have quite the format? Let us know what you think in the comments.

72 thoughts on “Show Discussion: The Wheel

  1. Philip

    Do we know which celebs are on tomorrow? The listings on the Official site don’t list the celebrity guests for each episodes?

    I’ve heard quite a few names for this series. There are 7 new celebrities each episode. So there are over 70 people involved.

  2. Mart with a Y not an I

    … One of three members of the public is randomly spun into the game and answer questions to build up a cash pot. Get a question wrong and they’re placed back in the pool…

    Hmmm. Me thinks that Mr McEntyre, that night in the bath, when dreaming up the format of The Wheel, was thinking rather too much of In It To Win It, as well…

  3. Aaron Read

    Also from what is seems with the whole “celebs” helping members of the public thing. Anyone getting slight partial flashbacks to Chris Tarrant’s It’s Not What You Know from the Flextech days of Challenge or not?

    1. Crimsonshade

      Only to the extent that I feel we now have proof that while It’s Not What You Know was a poor execution, the basic concept was sound.

  4. Henry R

    This would have worked better as a 30/45 minute show. It’s just too slow for me.

    It’s a strange thing. On the one hand it looks like you only need to answer 7/8 questions to win, which isn’t a lot for a quiz show, and on the other this show could go on forever if the celebs keep getting the questions wrong.

  5. Cliff

    It’s very good, if a bit repetitive. Nice to be reminded that Michael McIntyre is a good comedian, because I guess I’ve been a bit snobbish about his mainstream success and ignored him for the last decade or so.

    The big flaw is making the contestant selection random. There should definitely be an element of skill, otherwise it seems unfair.

  6. Greg

    Well I am not sure this will appeal to the members of the bar but I really enjoyed that. I didn’t have high hopes but it is the perfect Saturday night quiz. Full of energy and fun they have some well known faces such as Mel B, Jason Donovan, and Dermot O’Leary and a wide range of questions due to the speciality chosen by the celebrity. While this needs a person with a big personality to front it just wish it was somebody else which is my only real criticism

  7. Danny Kerner

    First new gameshow for a while to have a multi-layer studio setup. Would like to see a behind the scenes look at the studio.

    1. Whoknows

      Pretty sure, well certain, that the secondary wheel with the three players in is in a separate room. The main wheel will be flat on the studio floor.

      1. Mart With An Y Not An I

        With you on your first sentence.
        Not with you on the second sentence.
        If it was flat on the studio floor, where is the clearance to get the chair to rise up in the centre of the stage?

        The wheel has to be at least 8ft off the floor, to allow enough headroom to lead the contestants on/off the players chair, for it to rise up onto the main set.

        1. Stuart

          It’s a bit of clever editing. The supposed hole that the contestants come up is only a foot or two deep – if you watch they show steam coming out of it and no contestant and the next time you see it the new contestant is there in the steam and the chair only rises a small amount

          The contestant wheel is elsewhere and the shot of them seen through the floor is added on later

  8. Brig Bother Post author

    I thought it was quite irritatingly paced, not really fast enough for a quiz, not quite funny enough as an hour of Mcintyre And His Celebrity Friends, but I didn’t hate it – I really like the set (deffo want to sit in the wheel) and Paul Farrer’s music for it. I thought the questions were pretty thought provoking, in the main.

    The contestant wheel is surely a composite, those chairs on that wheel aren’t going to be able to raise, surely.

  9. Simon F

    What confused me a bit was a quote from Michael McIntyre during the final question: “If you get it wrong, despite all your bravery, you are off the wheel [b]and you may not return[/b] and of course you will win nothing”

    That almost makes me feel that if someone gets the final question wrong, one of the other contestants would get a go but then you would have an obvious time indicator if there is still 5-10 minutes left in the show.

    1. Simon F

      Meant to bold “you may not return” (to emphasise the strange turn of phrase) but think I got the HTML wrong

    2. Matt Clemson

      I was thinking that might be the case; it strikes me that it might also eliminate that partner, giving two options for the following contestant. – the fact that three celebrities are chosen does lend itself to that.

  10. Daniel Williams

    Of all the Saturday night bbc gameshows to come out in recent years this was one of the most entertaining.
    Miles better than catchpoint and the hit list, shows I still can’t fathom how they got more than one series.

    The format is there are 3 contestants and 7 celebrities. Each celebrity has been asked to bring in a specialist subject. Some celebrities brought obvious subjects like gok wan with fashion or suzie dent with words, while others brought less obvious subjects like dermot o leary with world war II

    The celebrities for the first episode were suzie dent, gok wan, Richard Arnold, Joey Essex, Jason Donovan and Mel B and dermot o leary (weirdest lineup for taskmaster)

    A wheel of 3 contestants are spun and one contestant is chosen. They are asked to pick a category from the celebs subjects. The celebrity that is the expert in the category they chose is lit up in gold, if the wheel lands on them, the money rises.
    They also choose a celebrity that they don’t think would be any good in answering questions from that category and they are lit up in red. If the wheel lands on them, the contestant is out for this round and may or may not come back.

    Once a question is answered correctly from a category , that category is off the board for all contestants. Some may view this as unfair but I think it fits the format. This is a very luck based format, the contestants are not always going to get the celeb expert, it’s 50 percent knowing the answers 50 percent luck.
    This technically means a contestant could win by only answering 2 questions correctly but I doubt that will happen at all or if often.

    The celebrities are also answering the questions which serves as some good format points.
    If the celeb gets a question wrong in their own subject, the next round they are in red, along with another celebrity that the contestant chooses.
    In the last category any celebrities that have not been spun in by the wheel are lit up in sliver, it doubles the standard £3000 to £6000 but it is not as high as the expert celeb. (question that just occurred to me while writing this, what happens if the celeb that is the expert of a category is also one that hasn’t been spun it yet, are they both silver and gold?)

    The person that has answered the final category question correctly goes through to the final round.
    Here’s why the shows been keeping track of the celeb answers.
    The celeb are ranked from best to worst. In the final round the contestant can choose from the celeb that has answered the most questions correctly, the celeb that has done average. (4th out of 7) or the worst ranked celeb.

    If they choose the best ranked celeb, the money gets halved, if they choose the middling celeb the money stays the same, if they choose the worst celeb their money gets doubled.

    The contestant and celeb they have chosen answer one final question. Get it right, they win the money. Get it wrong they lose.

    All in all this was a fun entertaining show. I will most probably tune in to future episodes and I hope this is the first of many series.

    1. Brekkie

      Catchpoint, The Hit List and First and Last are all way more enjoyable than this.

  11. C

    I think one of the reasons it worked is how it avoided having to explain every rule beforehand. It gives the audience some credit that they can pick it up.

    1. David B

      ^^^ This. It’s a rule loads of developers and producers keep forgetting about, even experienced ones. You only need to explain rules when tactics or circumstances require it. As there’s little tactics here, with it being quite luck-based, you can just explain the rules when the relevant events occur.

  12. Anthony Williams

    I didn’t have high hopes for this and it still managed to disappoint me. It’s not quizzy enough to be a quiz nor entertaining enough to be light entertainment.

    There are nowhere near enough questions for a 60 minute show and I don’t see the point of celebs being ‘experts’ but not actually having any expertise. Clearly the producers have briefed them not to be too strong in their advice – I’m fairly certain Gok knew the little black dress question.

    The endgame choice of prize doesn’t seem well thought out. Surely going for the higher amount is always the right choice given the celebs have no expertise (unless by pure luck).

  13. Brekkie

    It has a similar problem to Rolling In It really in that only the last question matters.

    Also a similar problem to 5 Gold Rings in that there is a good idea in there somewhere, but they’ll need a second series to fix the gameplay mechanism. Certainly need to abandon the idea of players switching in and out, pick up the pace and find a much better endgame which actually uses the shows central premise – The Wheel.

    The biggest problem though, and granted it’s episode one, was the rules felt a bit Numberwang. Other than £10k for the golden celeb the prize building wasn’t obvious to follow, as viewers we weren’t really in on why celebs were being put in the red for incorrect questions when we never saw them answer a question and the final was just nonsense in it’s explanation. An idea that works on paper but revealing the celebs ranking (the first time I think we were aware they answered all the questions) then suddenly ditching 4 of them and saying the person in last place could win you the most money just seemed weird.

    At the moment a celeb version (why on earth it needs celeb contestants on top of 7 celebrity guests) is planned to air Christmas Day – but based on it’s first outing it really would not be suitable for the slot. It’ll get it though as it’ll rate well tonight out of curiosity and schedules have to be locked this week.

  14. Luke

    Thought this was fundamentally fine. In general, I land in the same place I land with a lot of things at the moment – fundamentally solid, nothing especially wrong with it, a couple of elements that are quite impressive, but not compelling enough for me to make time for it. Particularly like the visuals, think the question difficulty is good and interesting, and as someone who’s generally neutral on Michael M, thought he did a good job.

    Agree with David B and others that the hosting and the way the rules are gradually introduced stops it getting too complicated for the viewer to follow, even though I think there is probably one rule too many. (I was thinking while watching, good luck to the poor person who ends up summarising the format in a comment.) And the visuals do a good job of supporting what’s going on.

    Others above have said that it could end up being more interesting if the celebs get a lot of questions wrong – I fear it could be the other way round, where the constant chopping and changing of contestants means it gets very tedious very quickly. I think if you gave me the opportunity to play backseat format developer, I’d probably just make it a single contestant and work from there, which would give you the opportunity to speed the game up a little and for both celebrities and viewers to get a bit more invested in the contestant winning. It’s better if you’re helping someone specific win money, rather than just *someone*.

    (One interesting wrinkle – a bit like when you get one question right on The Chase, I could make a compelling case in the final question for taking the low offer, and a compelling case for taking the middle offer, but is there much advantage in taking the middle one? Discuss.)

    1. Luke

      Gah. A compelling case for taking the high offer or the low offer, but not the middle one, even.

  15. Mart With An Y Not An I

    I really wanted to hate this programme – but it did sort of win me over, even though there are elements that could make it in recording riggable towards the production and against the contestants – I know Beyond Dispute were credited, but even so, at least In It To Win It tried to show the next contestant was a random choice via the coloured pingpong ball lotto draw machine.
    I hope it’s something as simple a drawing lots to decide who goes next, and the duration of the wheel spin is a random choice made before the recording starts.

    I do like the set, and would be interesting to see how high off the studio floor the main wheel set actually is. I don’t buy the contestant pit really is under the main stage, as McEntyre said that the ‘contestants can’t hear what’s going on’, so unless they are all wearing noice cancelling headphones, it’s clear they are out of the studio until they are next in the chair.

    But, the end game is weak – despite the rather interesting mechanic of double, level or half for the prize pot.

    Here’s how I would have done it. Prize fund £48,000
    All seven subjects are back in play. Contestant chooses 1 celeb to offer help for their question subject if needed. No other help is allowed during the final round.

    Contestant chooses the subject for first question, and the subjects asked in a clockwise direction. Straight forward answer, no mutiple choice questions. 1 question per subject.
    Wheel starts to spin and takes 60 seconds for one full revolution.
    To win, answer upto 7 questions in the 60 seconds to take home all or partal amount of the the prize pot.

    Each question answered correctly wins a digit of the prize fund going left to right.
    So Q1 – £4 / Q2 £48 / Q3 £480 / Q4 £4,800 Q5 £48,000. Incorrect answer (errs..umms passes.. dont knows) all constitute as a incorrect answer, and last won digit is removed from total and new question needs to be answered again to win it back.

    Player allowed two wrong answers to keep in the game, third incorrect answer, round over and player leaves with £0.

    It would add a pacey final round to the show, and (unless I missed it currenty) means there is the possbillity of the winning contestant actually winning nothing.

    1. Brekkie

      I think 7 questions in a minute with all celebs involved and under time pressure would be a much better finale, though not with your prize structure which would be too complex. Lowering the amount of questions/celebs for a lower prize could create a similar gamble element.

      Talking of gambling the prize seemed rather high for the BBC and for the sort of show it was really. Even at a tenth of the level the choices at the end would feel as significant.

      1. Danny Kerner

        Or each celebrity has a secret amount relating to the final pot and if you get that category correct you claim that amount. If you get it wrong they go red and is out of the game. So say there is a £50k pot, the seven amounts could be £2k, £8k, £15k, £5k, £3k £7k £10k. The values could be a factor relating to the Ranking of how well each celebrity does. The secret scoring system can then be a factor of how high each share value could be

        1. Harry

          I like this idea actually. I think a minute may be a little too short as it makes sense that the celebrities should still be able to offer a little help.

          How about the wheel starts on the edge of one of the seven celebrities and begins to (very) slowly rotate. You have as long as the wheel spends in front of that celebrity to answer the question for their amount with their help. Should the arrow reach the edge of their section and you haven’t given an answer yet the associated money is gone and you move onto the next celebrity. While it doesn’t have a set time for the whole final it does still utilise the idea that the wheel is turning between the helpers and gives it a sense of urgency.

  16. John R

    One of my issues was it took 7 minutes to get the first question up and running, I checked both In It To Win It and The Wall for comparison and they were off within 3 minutes (obviously this show has an extra 15 minutes to fill but get a question up on the screen for the viewers to be thinking about earlier please!)

    Also I had a great idea in my sleep if Mike ever gets poached by ITV, ‘Send to all Family Fortunes’…we text 100 of Holly Willoughby’s contacts and asked them…

    1. xoAlto

      Ref: Great Idea
      Surely the Beeb could already do a Pointless, Send to All [at] Midnight (Gameshow)!

  17. Paul

    Michael was likeable and riffed really well with the celebrities, but some of them really seemed as if they didn’t want to answer any of the questions (GOK!) and that upset some of the good vibes for me. Also took ages to get through the questions but was fun and with a bit of streamlining it would be good to see it as a fixture on Saturdays.

  18. Philip

    I’m just curious to see all the guests that they have in each episode and their “specialist subjects”. I always like to see who they get for these types of shows.

  19. TheLupineOne

    Was the music echoey for anyone else? Studio felt rather big and empty; one wonders if, despite Michael marketing it as a COVID-age replacement for his Big Show, he has one eye to the future and has built space in the studio for an audience should it return in happier times. As for Michael himself, his presenting style rankles as usual. A lot of spinning, but at least we get to hear a lot of Paul Farrer’s theme.

    1. Mart With An Y Not An I

      You raise a very good question. I assumed there was a very limited and socially distanced apart studio audience for this. If it was recorded in October (before Lockdown England ver 2.0) and itv studios Bovington is fairly large so there would be enough space for the audience.

      I heard a small amount of ambient clapping off camera at least twice, but that could just have been a couple of close family or friends of all the contestants in the show, and the production crew.
      The really loud clapping and laughing in the soundtrack was clearly from c:/thewheel/sfx/loudlaugh.mp3

      I did find it strange that Michael was not playing as much to towards the audience as you’d expect, and there was no technocrane swooping over the audience at the start or at the end of the show.
      I will give them credit for not getting a camera in shot at any time during the programme. Shooting in the round, and with a moving stage, I was watching out for at least one late cut showing us the area of the studio off the set.

  20. Alex McMillan

    In two minds, 60 minutes is a big proposition, and I feel like I’d prefer it with a different host, but also it would never work with a different host.

    Omid Djalili’s The Wheel, anyone?

  21. IamCTandyournot

    I’d never thought I’d say this but it makes me want to say bring back “Don’t scare the Hare”!

    Awful turgid format although the only positive is a potential maximum prize of £140,000!!

  22. Brett Linforth

    I’ve just watched the first episode and, at the risk of sounding repetitive and monotonous, I have to agree with those who have said it’s too little quiz to be a fully-fledged quiz show but not enough variety to qualify as a light-entertainment show. Michael McIntyre is, undoubtedly, great at the banter side of things (though that entirely depends on your opinion of him, and he is Marmite personified!) and it’s great that the rules are gradually introduced throughout the show instead of in one big lump at the start. The mix of celebrities will always be interesting from week to week. However, I think this may be a one-series wonder. It works as a vehicle for McIntyre but, in anyone else’s hands, it would be unwatchable. I have a feeling this could end up in both the Hall of Fame AND Hall of Shame!

  23. Brig Bother Post author

    The big question nobody has asked:

    An expert gets a question on their category wrong so automatically turns red. However, for whatever reason (perhaps they’re the last category on the wheel) they are the next category to be chosen. Do they stay red or do they become gold?

    Meanwhile the extended theme from The Wheel. Funky!

    1. Thomas Sales

      Melvin didn’t get the last question on the last category right and didn’t turn red as it was the final, so they will almost certainly become gold.

      1. James Turner

        Which we found out on tonight’s show, with the amusingly bad knowledge of some of the experts.

        Also, we found out what happens when people get the “final” question wrong. Lots of sympathy for Barrie, who had singlehandedly earned the whole pot.

        I think to some extent it made it a better show tonight, in that there felt like so much more jeopardy was involved.

        1. John R

          I emjoyed the episode tonight, I’ve never actually watched it on TV live until now but I didn’t reach for my remote at any point which is always a good sign – probably the strongest ‘celebrity’ line up so far, I do have a soft spot for Rev. Richard Coles!

          It was quite entertaining with the constant contestant switching particulary when Barrie rose back up from the ashes

          Also the bloody theme tune is now stuck in my head, bonus points to the director for cutting to a celebrity or Mike at the exact point ‘THE WHEEL!’ lyrics occur with them mouthing along

  24. Joey Clarke

    To be honest, that final round felt like a remake of In it to win it all over again as the other two contestants didn’t get to answer a question in the main game.
    Something we’ve seen happen before.
    Too many times to count.

  25. Brig Bother Post author

    I’m pretty sure in the first two eps McIntyre says that if you get the final question wrong, you’re not coming back, but last night he implied it was still one in three. Was there a rule change, and if so which was the original?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Tom Blakeson: “You’re not out if you get an endgame question wrong. You still have a 1 in 3 chance of returning.” So there we are.

      1. Crimsonshade

        Yeah, I noticed that too Brig. It does stink of a mid-production rule change which they forgot to edit – though it’s also perfectly possible that McIntyre just made a mistake, and they didn’t notice because it didn’t factor into that particular episode’s result.

      2. Beardy

        For a simple format, it is kind of watchable. However, does anyone know if the final question is the same regardless of whether the contestant chooses the half, full or double prize pot? Or does the question difficulty change with the prize pot value?

  26. Lee Turner

    It does beg the question though what if someone does really well like Barrie and gets the final question right. What would happen for the last 20 minutes of the show? Would it just be 20 mins of stretched out chat.

    1. Stuart

      They’d just edit the show to stretch everything out, the final question would still be at the end there’d just be more banter.

      The problem with last nights is that it was fairly obvious that the ending wasn’t going to be straightforward as they went to the final question with about 15 minutes left

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Intrigued to see how it does without Strictly to give it a bump, but we’ve watched all of them on Sunday with dinner and I can’t see that changing for the next five eps.

  27. Daniel Williams

    New format point revealed in the Christmas special.

    If the entire wheel of celeb experts gets a question right it adds a extra £5000 to the prize pot

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I did wonder if it was just for this episode, but then you remember there’s usually a Reality Type on The Wheel so it’s very possible it’s just not happened yet.

  28. Luke

    I may have shouted “THERE’S ANOTHER RULE? HOW IS THERE ANOTHER RULE” at the television. I’m very normal.

  29. Brig Bother Post author

    There you go, it happened twice on last night’s episode (it also happened on the final question but they didn’t draw attention to it).

  30. Philip

    So, The Wheel has been r enewed for a new series consisting of 16 episodes. Good for them. Wonder if there will be all new celebs or will we see some overlap?

    However, Everyone is writing that it is the final episode, but BBC has tonight’s episode is confirmed as 9/10 on their official site. So What do you think happened?
    I did notice that one of the articles mentioned David Walliams. Has everybody that appeared in the preview clip appeared?

  31. Harry

    So here’s something I haven’t seen before, The Sidemen (a British youtube group) have made a full episode of the Wheel on the actual set seemingly in co-operation with the BBC. The guests are the Sidemen, the host is a youtuber called StephenTries and the contestants are other friends of theirs. (apologies I don’t know how to embed a link)

    Commenting while I’m watching along but it also seems the theme tune has had a video game style remix on a few spins as well. Even if they’re not your cup of tea it’s a good watch.

    1. Danny Kerner

      It is possible the video game mix could be involved in S2 as hearing the same rendition for up to 18 times an episode can get a little stale so could be possible to might be a little preview as to what’s to come this year. There maybe other renditions too but you never know.

      The main thing i really want to know is how this collaboration came to be. Obviously this must of happened either as a testing session for all equipment or there were discussions for this to act as a press push for sparking interest for other countries to perhaps buy the format as already within the first 12hrs of it being pushed it has been seen by 1.7M people so at least half the world has seen it by now.

      1. Danny Kerner

        Also to add from my previous comment it does appear that xmas special £5K rule if everyone gets a question right is a standard rule as there was an example of this within this video.

  32. John R

    They’ve sneakily managed to add in an extra ‘Moneyspinner’ round (or at least I don’t remember such a round in the last series)

    Michael asks a question with multiple potential answers, such as ‘Star Signs with ‘A’ anywhere in their name) and the Wheel spins each of the 7 celebs into the ‘main’ position who must state an answer before they’re spun back out of the position (it makes a lot more sense visually than me trying to describe it!)

    £1,000 per correct answer, if all 7 celebs manage to answer they add £10,000 rather than £7,000

    Pretty good idea for an extra round just to mix things up a bit, remains to be seen if every Moneyspinner question only has 7 correct answers which obviously makes it more challenging if someone nicks your answer before it gets round to your go!

    1. Danny Kerner

      i been informed they targeted questions with 7 exact responses but they will sneak in more than 7 from time to time.

  33. John R

    If a expert gets their question wrong and is shut down for the next round does that also mean their category is out of play for the next round? It doesn’t seem to get mentioned and the category still appears for selection so presumably just an unwritten rule?

    Also turns out you can have hours of fun this Christmas with (Michael McIntrye’s) The Wheel Board Game although disappointingly it doesn’t seem to require batteries so it probably doesn’t hum ‘THE WHEEL!’ as it spins 🙁

    1. Brig Bother Post author


      No, not out of play, but the expert will be in red and they’ll be no gold player – this had come up before, and Tom Blakeson on Twitter suggested this when we asked before it happened.


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