Show Discussion: Lingo

By | December 31, 2020

Starts Friday, New Year’s Day at 4:35pm on ITV,
Continues weekdaily 3pm ITV

Over thirty years since it was last on UK screens, and not long after lots of long-running European versions have ended, Ben Shephard’s production company have tapped up Good Morning Britain host and comic Adil Ray to front a revival, seemingly based on the recent two-series-and-done Dutch version.

What does that mean? More emphasis on Word Mastermind and greatly downplayed bingo element, although ball drawing still happens (Edit: Nope). Whatsmore we’re looking at three teams being whittled down to one within the hour who will get to chance to win their bank, double it or lose it all in the final game.

We always quite liked Lingo, cheery fun. Whether I like 60 minutes of Lingo remains to be seen.

Watched it? Let us know what you think in the comments.

19 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Lingo

  1. Mark A

    The fact that I haven’t seen much advertising for this show online or on tv suggests that ITV have NO confidence in this whatsoever.

    Also, its a shame that they have pretty much dropped the “bingo” element for this version, since part of the fun was seeing if they would draw the one ball that would make a line.

    I hope it succeeds though. I have seen the Dutch version (and the Chuck Woolery GSN version that was based on it) and even in a different language I could still follow it – even if they did add too many gimmicks towards the end of it’s run.

  2. Tom Lancaster

    And there I was ready to shout “no red ball” at the TV. Does Bingo count as gambling nowadays?

  3. Alex McMillan

    It does miss the bingo a bit, doesn’t it? Still enjoying it, Lingo puzzles are a fun change from Countdown.

  4. Tom Lancaster

    I liked the end game and Adil Ray is an excellent host and has tried his best to introduce a few catchphrases. He doesn’t have the most exciting format to work with. This show works well in the socially distanced studio too .

    I’d have liked to have seen more of a timed round during the main game and more use of the six letter words. Also interesting how the contestants don’t really seem to have prepared word lists in advance, but that’s the same for most versions of the show.

  5. Simon F

    It’s not a bad version of Lingo but you have to wonder whether the complete removal of the ball-drawing element was by choice or necessity.


      cant be necessity.
      no doubt whoevers in charge of the new version has just watched a foreign version and just wanted to be lazy and just do words only

      without the bingo element it makes for a very tedius show

  6. CliveOfLegend

    Tolerable, if it was the first version of Lingo I’d ever seen I’d probably be alright with it. Does miss the bingo, though, and Adil Ray really didn’t convince as host. Rubbish music as well, breaking a bit of a winning streak for the format.

  7. Brig Bother Post author

    I thought this was OK given the complete reformatting and stood up better at an hour than I was anticipating, Adil was competent, would be much funnier if he told the losing contestants to ‘Lingoff’.

    Not sure about pausing after each correct word in the final, would prefer a high impact pace I think, although it’s nice there’s no gamble element and the game feels pretty winnable as well.

    How many 10, 11 and 12 letter words are there?

    1. David

      Quite a lot, if you go by Collins Scrabble Words:

      10 letters-37235
      11 letters-29027
      12 letters-21025

      Of course, the number of usable words is much lower…I doubt a word like this would work well:

      The show is OK- if you never heard of the original show. If you have, it’s a disappointment (the bingo aspect adds of unpredictability to the proceedings).

  8. Brekkie

    Was enjoyable enough but having been bought up on Countdown its a bit of a shock to find out there are words longer than 9 letters. Not being familiar with the original I don’t see where the bingo element would come in so I don’t think it missed it.

    Adil was a good host. And though refreshing not to have the gambling element I think the final round needed it.

  9. Gyroscopes

    I wanted to like this, having always enjoyed other versions. It really missed the bingo part I thought. as all that’s left it a game that would possibly fill a ‘mini-game’ round of a show like Pasapalabra. Ironic that one of the answers was ‘alphabetical’.

    It was incredibly dragged out and boring. I read people say said they found Winning Combination repetitive, well this was far worse. The same round over and over again. I don’t know many British personalities as I don’t watch things other than gameshows, but the guy they’ve found for this was very dull and uninspiring, who for some reason spoke everything like this. with big gaps and very slowly. Winning Combination was an average enough show that was made far more watchable by Omid’s great presenting and personality. They needed someone like that here.

    Wish I could find better things to say, but I don’t think I’ll be tuning in again!

  10. Brekkie

    Having read up and watched a bit of the original I think it is the right call to drop the bingo – would look awkward and completely unnecessary after each question, and if it were a new format I think would be slated for effectively giving a random output.

    This moved along at a nice enough pace considering it seems everything must be an hour long nowadays. Adil the opposite kind of host to Omid, letting the game be the star of the show.

    Overall though appreciate the variety of shows ITV are putting out at 3pm, and most of them have been quite watchable. Would be nice if 1000 Heartbeats got another chance now Vernon Kay is back on ITV’s reader.

  11. David

    Well watching ep 2 made me say some 4-letter words when they were playing some 4-letter words….

  12. Chris M. Dickson

    This was reasonably good low-octane fun, though far from appointment viewing. It felt a bit old-school and rules-y, but the essential core activity remains entertaining, and I don’t mind ditching the bingo because I’m watching the show for the wordplay. I rather like that there isn’t a gamble in the endgame; enough people leave with nothing as it is.

    For completeness’ sake, would this have been a Poll of the Year 2020 candidate, though I was lame and forgot to vote?

  13. John R

    Adil Ray has tweeted that Lingo is doing rather well in the slot, a 2m average in fact overtaking both Tenable and Winning Combination

    It will be interesting to see how those ratings hold up when the five letter word starting with C starts to fade away

  14. Tom Flynn

    I’ve been watching this during my week off and (as someone with no piror knowledge of Lingo formats) I found the show full enough as-is, the standard puzzles are basically entertaining and take no effort to write. I’m a bit sad we don’t see more aggressive play on the puzzles, I could often get them on the clue alone.

    The final is exciting enough, although I think spending time checking the answer on missed words is a bit mean. I liked Adil and do think you need someone fairly mild for this.

  15. Callum J

    Recommissioned for a second series, 60 episodes – seems to have done quite well. ITV are saying its the best gameshow launch in its slot since 2002.

  16. shelleysblues

    what can i say? well lets start with dull, uninspiring, tedious, who thought this was a good idea? it looks like it’s come straight from the 70’s, and adil ray does nothing to improve matters. on the whole i’d rather watch re-runs of countdown with the master presenter Richard Whiteley we will never see his like again


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