Show Discussion: Moneybags

By | August 14, 2022

Series 2: Weekdays, C4

We’re just going to bump our original post from 7th November 2021 for series 2. Series two opens with a week of celebrity episodes and a playalong app. It has a new timeslot, it’s up against three weeks of repeats of Pointless and The Chase we understand. We also gather that contestants are eligible all week even after winning which might make the endgame a bit gamblier. Hopefully it’ll move the ratings needle this time round!

Series 1: Weekdays, C4,

With Channel 4 apparently declining to renew the much loved, if little actually watched, The Answer Trap, they’re making another bid for the 3pm timeslot with a show from Youngest Media, ex-Endemol people who helped devise The Million Pound Drop, Pointless et al. Frequently as annoying as Endemol were around the late 2000s, we do kind of miss the swagger that at least kept us engaged.

Certainly there’s little safe about this show – it’s the first time loose-ish cannon Craig Charles has hosted a quiz, there will £1m in play every week (which sounds like an emboldening of a point, but given all the players are there all week, doesn’t seem unfair) and it involves big physical props – a conveyor belt with lots of large bags going down it, each with answers the contestants may or may not want to grab. And a lovely minty green studio. It’ll probably be random-esque point shuffling nonsense, but in a world where nobody watches Channel 4 in the afternoons it’s nice to see an attempt at a bold statement. Of course, £1m in play each week is very different from £1m being given away each week, so it will be interesting to see how much actually gets won.

Interestingly, this first series will be up against the new series of Lingo, the first of which turned out to be surprisingly hot. Unsure what C4 will be hoping from this, at least as much as Countdown I expect.

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

64 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Moneybags

  1. Brekkie

    I guess technically about £500-£600k is “in play” each week on The Chase, but on average you probably get one team take away around £20k each week. £125k a day on Tenable as well.

    I doubt we’ll get close to Deal or No Deal levels again in daytime where around £16-17k a day was given away on average, but then again C4 aren’t getting anywhere near close to the ratings that used to justify that too. I don’t think they will either unless they give well received show a chance to pick up on their ratings – for shows to break through now in daytime they need to convince people to change their routine, and 4-6 weeks isn’t long enough for that to happen.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I’d suggest the big difference with The Chase and Tenable is that they haven’t ever banged on about the possible amounts of cash in play. This already has, it’s built the rod for its own back.

  2. Brig Bother Post author

    Fun fact: Craig Charles also hosting 6 Music between 1 and 4, so it’ll be Craig on Craig smackdown action at 3pm.

  3. Brekkie

    This is promising but far too many steals in play. It’s not as interesting a gameshow device as producers think and overusing them makes them even less effective.

  4. Cliff

    Original gameplay, potentially huge winnings, a natural host and some interesting, left-field questions. Not bad at all.

  5. Brekkie

    Quite enjoyed that. Felt like the first new gameshow in daytime for ages with quite big money up for grabs. Flowed along quite nicely and very easy to follow.

  6. Andrew Hain

    Now that a full episode has aired, what is the complete format rundown? I ask because I’m not sure if it means that the maximum amount of money that can be won on each episode is £1,000,000.

    1. Andrew Sullivan

      I’ve seen bits of the opening episode, but not enough to give a full format run-down. I have it recorded, so I’ll give it a full watch-through at my earliest convenience.

      The basic gist I’ve got is that players are picked from a pool at the back of the studio. A question comes up on a screen, then a number of bags move down a conveyor belt, one at a time, with an answer written on its label. If the answer fits the question, the bag has a sum of money under the label and possibly a bonus, such as being able to steal an opponent’s largest bag. If the answer doesn’t fit the question, then it has a red X under the label and possibly a penalty, such as giving AWAY their largest bag or even going bankrupt.

      For the final round, the contestant who won the most amount of money over the show gets to play for it. The contestant faces 4 questions, each with 2 bags, one correct and one wrong. The contestant must pick the bag with the correct answer to progress. 1 bag gives them 10% of their overall winnings, 2 bags gives 20%, 3 bags gives 50%, and all 4 bags gives the full amount.

      As I say, I’ll give a full run-down as soon as I’m able (unless anyone else feels like providing a rundown of their own in the meantime), because there was some movement of contestants as well. I think grabbing a correct bag when you’re further down the belt allows you to move to the head of the conveyor belt, to give you first dibs on the next correct bag that comes down the belt.

    2. Danny Kerner

      Believe me, when it is first printed I thought there was a £1M bag available but no across a week of shows a £1M worth of bags is brought along the conveyor belt. At some point during the week, there could be a 6 figure jackpot up for grabs if the big 5 value bags come out during the same show and isn’t struck by a bankrupt or left alone.

      The Format
      The show works by selecting 2 random people each round and there are 5 correct bags randomly released during different category questions. The 1st person that is selected is in poll position so can grab first if they feel the bag is correct, they roughly have 3 secs to react before it passes the barrier whilst the 2nd is in the hold and either can pass also or can grab it. If both people pass, it is up to Craig to reveal the bag and the potential effect that is attached to it. This is then out of play for the rest of that week of shows. The player that isn’t in the poll spot then swaps with them to become the prime grabber. After 5 correct bags have come down the belt the highest valued player goes through to the triple header. If there is a tie in values the person in the poll position goes through. This is repeated two more times until 3 players have gone through to the triple header.

      Triple Header
      3 random bags will come out to decide the order of play. 1st gets poll 2nd the middle position & 3rd the hold. Same rules apply however this time if you grab no bags position stays the same. Correct bags move you up the line but wrong bags move you down the line. Highest player goes through to the final after 5 correct bags have come down the line.


      There will be up to 4 questions asked in this round with a gambling aspect in play. 1 bag gives 10% their jackpot,. 2 for 25%, 3 for 50% & 4 the whole jackpot. The player must grab a bag in round one for either 10% or a bankrupt. Questions 2,3 & 4 can be skipped however this means you walk away at that level, therefore if you get 2 bags and pass on Q3 you leave with 25% of the fund. You do not play the rest of the questions.

      At the end of every show, Craig will remind the contestants and viewers of how much value of bags are left in play for the rest of the shows that week.

      1. Simon F

        Also if a player picks up a bag in first round that isn’t correct, they are frozen out of the next question (ie they don’t get a chance to pick up a bag for the next question.

      2. Andrew Hain

        If that means that £1,000,000 is up for grabs all week, does that mean that the theoretical maximum each show is £200,000?

        1. Danny Kerner

          Not really as there are only one of the biggest amounts whereas there are up to 7 of the smaller amounts.

        2. Brekkie

          It was slightly over that today, so will therefore fall slightly short at some point in the week. I think a perfect game is unlikely but £55k was played for today when the maximum value bag of the day was £50k and that wasn’t won, so a reasonable amount up for grabs without two of the biggest bags in play.

          The money is split across 100 bags across the week (with an undefined number of empty bags too). Would be interesting to see a list of how it’s split – I guess if anyones really bothered they could keep track over the week. I assume the minimum amount is £1000, whilst the steals generally seem to have a money amount attached as well.

          We of course have to take it on good faith that the pairings are truly random – part of me would like to see the random selection on screen, but part of me knows it’s often edited out for good reason. I assume todays winner won’t return for the rest of the week – not sure if replacement contestants are added but as they need six for each show and start the week with ten they could just have all six play on Friday. Whether the show benefits from that strategy remains to be seen – I get why they do it, especially with covid in mind, but personally would prefer six new contestants each day as with other shows keeping the same contestants all week can soon make it feel like you’re repeatedly watching the same episode.

          1. David L

            Since I happened to freeze frame it…

            1 x £100,000
            6 x £50,000
            7 x £25,000
            9 x £15,000
            10 x £10,000
            11 x £5,000
            12 x £4,000
            14 x £3,000
            15 x £2,000
            15 x £1,000

  7. Greg

    There was quite a bit to like here.

    First of all Craig Charles feels like a good choice. His banter is natural not forced. There seems on the surface to be a lot of money in play each day, but could result in some big money shows and some low amount shows over the week. The days where the lower amounts are in play will be most interesting gameplay wise. If you do get a big amount early on that kind of sets you up for a win later in the show. I guess all the steals and bankrupts are to avoid an unobtainable lead.

    I can see myself watching this again for sure

  8. Cliff

    It’s the first time I’ve seen those pandemic-era perspex screens look like they’re an integral part of the set and gameplay.

    1. Brekkie

      Yes – I was thinking that. Avoids a scrap to grab the bags so ensures it is fair. Just a bit awkward when they switch from the hole to the pole, but not as bad as the musical chairs on Sitting on a Fortune.

  9. Whoknows

    I’ve got a lot of time for this and it’s a lot more entertaining than a number of recent primetime show, including C4’s attempts (and I count future show Just One Question in this which will inevitably be awful). Craig Charles is a great host and I’m surprised he hasn’t done much in the quiz space before actually.

  10. Brig Bother Post author

    I felt a lot of Bank Job DNA in this in terms of the set-up and the amount of money stealing and that happening, but while the thwarted accumulation was annoying on The Bank Job, here as a random chaotic penalty/prize event I find it works a lot better and a lot of that is to do with the high risk true/false style of the questions employed, which I thought were excellently pitched in the main (I was watching it with fam over dinner and I found myself outwardly proclaiming “oooh” and screwing my face up at many of the options), and the fact that if something bad happens to you it’s largely your fault for letting the opportunity go past.

    Dug the ‘do-do-do dododododoodo’ music on the conveyor belt, although I can’t remember much else the show’s music.

    The Final should have been called Unexpected Item In The Bagging Area.

    I liked we got an up-to-the-minute count of how much money was left to pass through the chute at the end of the episode.

    Basically it’s really nice to have a show that’s gone big on the props, it will forever be referred to by “that show with the conveyor belt and the bags” by people who can’t quite remember the show’s name.

    This feels like an afternoon-off treat, like Tenable and Impossible did when they started. It probably represents Channel 4’s best chance to escape the mire at 3pm it’s had, the question is will it get word of mouth?

    1. Andrew Hain

      Can you please tell me the money distribution so that I could have a better idea of what the top prize for each episode might be.

      1. Simon F

        100 bags

        1 x £100k
        6 x £50k
        7 x £25k
        9 x £15k
        10 x £10k
        11 x £5k
        12 x £4k
        14 x £3k
        15 x £2k
        15 x £1k

  11. Simon F

    I really like this. It will go into the category of daytime shows I will watch when I get home after work.

    I like that the final game has a Millionaire-type mechanic where you can see the question and choose not to take the gamble on it.

  12. Brig Bother Post author

    Although points off for Craig not shouting “get ready to grab your bags!” and not ending on a rhyming couplet.

  13. David

    The distribution is:

    1x 100K
    6x 50K
    7x 25K
    9x 15k
    10x 10k
    11x 5k
    12x 4k
    14x 3k
    15x 2k
    15x 1k

    So the theoretical maximum on offer on one show is £665,000 ( 1x100k, 6x50k, 7x25k, 6x15k), the minimum win is £25,000 (15x1k, 5x2k).

    Obviously no one can get all 20 moneybags in a single show since there aren’t enough steals in the triple-header round to get the 10 moneybags taken by the two opponents– If someone got all 5 in their round and nothing else the maximum would be £300,000 (1x100k and 4x50k) and minimum would be 5k (5x1k). And we don’t know how many steals are available.

    So with the 10%/20%/50%/100% in the endgame, some lucky distributions that day, and a player with the guts to go all the way, you could see a six-figure sum won.

    Though I’ll put the over/under for top money winner getting at £65,000 (they take £130,000 to the endgame, know the first three answers, then passes on the last one).

    Biggest amount in play at an endgame? I’ll put the O/U at £225,000.

    The average actual win through the series? O/U £12,500 (they’ll be a few big wins of 50k plus, but that’ll be balanced out by a few zeros…)

  14. Henry R

    300k for episode 1

    Hoping the good word of mouth helps it across the rest of the week

      1. John R

        I love how excited he gets

        “ONE THOUSAND POUNDS…AND A STEAL!!!!!!!!!!11111″…other contestant has £0 in their bank

        Also an interesting point, I can’t think of any other shows off the top of my head where the previous winning/final player(s) stay behind to watch the show after their episode!

  15. David L

    My first thought when I heard the concept was a whole row of answers coming down the conveyor belt one after the other and contestants having multiple bags in front of them instead of stopping after each one, and I can’t help but feel like it might be an improvement to work that in somehow, but my only real complaint is that the single bags every time get quite repetitive after a while.

    1. jon steadman

      Couldn’t agree more… quite repetetive and gets quickly loses it’s charm of me.
      The idea of multiple bags feels more exciting.

      Also the chance of winning £100,000 is so, so, so small.
      Bring back Deal or No Deal

  16. Brekkie

    Thanks for the distribution info – missed it yesterday as C4 still recording to time rather than the EPG so my recording missed the very beginning.

    Todays show must have had the biggest money played for in a final round since Deal or No Deal – The Chase has never got close to that in a daytime episode, and rarely does in the celebrity or Beat the Chasers episodes either.

    Two shows in though and I hope it works out for them – and even if it doesn’t I hope they give it a second chance. As nice a format as The Answer Trap was this is significantly better.

  17. Oliver

    This is pretty good, the best of the recent 4 new shows. Decent concept well executed with a good host.

    Not totally feeling the set, which feels a little cramped, and while I like the concept, it struggles a bit to fill out the hour.

  18. Chris M. Dickson

    I’ll join in with the Craig Charles appreciation, the presentation is zingy and I like the variety of questions. Those three factors alone are enough to put this comfortably in the top half of its cohort.

    The format feels unnecessarily slow and fiddly, with a lot of fairly low-value chat in among the questions. Do people who watch quizzes but don’t like playing along like this chat? In fact, does anybody like this?

    Is the show editing out bags that all the contestants correctly reject? Part of me would like to see more of that for the sake of purity, and because wrong answers can be at least as much fun as right ones, if the whole procedure were handled with a little more pace. Does the show end each half-round with a winning bag sent along the belt, or do they ever leave players uncertain as to whether there’ll be one more correct answer or not in the half-round and send things down the belt anyway?

    I like the movement of players as a motif, but it’s not done as neatly as it might be. What the set needs is a little hump and a little dip between each pair of positions, so that the player moving towards pole might walk over the hump, signifying “going up”, and the player moving away from pole might walk down the dip, signifying “going down”, and the two can walk to their positions at the same time without getting in each other’s way. I don’t know if there’s an aspect of social distancing stopping this at the moment.

    While this is far from being the first or worst offender, I’m not wild about the trend of players building up big banks and then competing to win a fraction of it, or all of it – that feels like a bit of a bait-and-switch. (If it’s a situation where a player can win their bank, half their bank or twice their bank, that’s cool.) To be fair, this show doesn’t claim that an individual player can win a particular large-number sum, just that a million pounds is in play per week, and is admirably transparent about the sums in play. Nevertheless, there will be episodes where players play for 10%, 20%, 50% or 100% of £1,000, and I think Craig Charles should be as likely as (almost?) anyone to have some fun with that. As a general point, I miss shows where contestants win sums in the basic game and the endgame is to see whether they can multiply, or add a hefty bonus to, the sum they’ve won.

    1. David B

      The end game is clearly the weakest bit of an otherwise strong show. I wish there was some more logic applied to why certain bags had special powers – are they chosen by the producers at certain intervals, or are X% of the bags ‘steals’? The number of ‘steals’ feels slightly too high to seem fair, at times.

  19. Brig Bother Post author

    280k ep 1, 289k ep 2 I’m informed.

    This is going to reach a tipping point and explode (online reaction seems pretty positive, largely self-selecting sample etc etc), or it’s going to go nowhere, don’t think there’s a middle ground. If it does go nowhere, really not sure what C4 can do post-Countdown.

    2nd ep up almost by the same amount Lingo down (in a much happier place around a mill), interestingly.

  20. Brekkie

    Do the previous winners get another chance or just gave to sit around all week?

    Hopefully it keeps climbing and does enough for a second series. I think the format works well enough myself but an opportunity to fine tune things can only help.

    1. Gerard Rocks

      As the winner of the first show to be transmitted (though not the first to be recorded) I can confirm that, whether they win or lose, previous finalists do not get the chance to participate again in subsequent shows during the week but just sit at the back enjoying the fun and supporting the other contestants. We were, of course, informed of that in advance but I did have mixed feelings about “peaking” too soon and not having any opportunity to play in any more shows during the week.

      One thing which did surprise me, though, was that the sound crew continued to clip microphones and soundpacks before every show onto those of us who were past finalists and were never going to be called down to play again. I wondered if Craig might occasionally turn to us e.g. to comment on other contestants’ game play but, sadly, that never happened so it did seem to be a bit of a waste of time mic-ing us up.

      1. Matt Clemson

        I recognised you! Was wondering if you might comment on here again after you did for !mpossible (Weren’t you on the opening week of that as well?)

        It’s interesting to note about the mic’ing, I wonder if it’s to give them a little leeway to rearrange shows within a week if necessary, if they’re a bit careful they could manage doing so with just a few reshoots of Craig and some light cutting.

        1. Gerard Rocks

          That’s remarkably observant of you Matt. I was indeed on series 1 of Impossible, in which an initial cohort of 30 of us had wonderful – if rather tiring – week in studio. We could potentially stay for 15 shows and have two shots at the £10,000 question and (unlike its latest series) there were extra contestants on standby to replace us as and when we left the show. Great fun was had by all!

          1. Chris M. Dickson

            Apparently something of a regular over the years on the run-through circuit. Good for you! (No, I’m not being sarcastic. Would be interesting about the formats of run-throughs that got no further – though perhaps assume a statute of limitations of a few years in case the formats are still theoretically being shipped around.)

        1. Gerard Rocks

          Not quite John. They recorded three shows each day so my “week”, the second block to be recorded, involved spending two nights in a Manchester hotel and recording one show on day 1, three on day 2 and one on day 3.

          1. John R

            Crikey, that sucks a bit then especially in your case where you essentially spent Day 2 and Day 3 just being a member of the ‘audience’!

  21. Brekkie

    A shame the winners didn’t get a second chance, even if just in the last two head to heads of the week.

  22. Brig Bother Post author

    Moneybags numbers Wk1: 0.28/0.28/0.25/0.29/0.32.

    Worth noting a general uplift for everything on Friday, but this is an upward trend albeit a weak one. Will it reach a tipping point?

    1. jon steadman

      That doesn’t look good for a second run, but to be fair I’m not sure it warrants one.
      Good that C4 haven’t given up on daytime quiz, just need to find a good one.

  23. Brig Bother Post author

    I’ve been informed that wk3’s numbers have been 0.3m all week. Pity. Really not sure how to solve C4’s afternoon problem tbh.

    1. Crimsonshade

      THIS. It seems like the entire soundscape has been slightly altered for no real reason – even the theme tune’s beat is a little bit different if you listen close enough, with changes to the timing of some notes (this is particularly noticeable going into and out of breaks where the three note sting is played slightly slower now). I was going to reserve judgement until next week to see if it’s Just A Celeb Thing, but I’m not a fan.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I couldn’t put my finger on why it was that I reckoned this first ep felt like it lacked a bit of energy, I do wonder if something like this might be something to do with it. Certainly it felt like it had been edited slightly differently, slightly less freewheeling, slightly more abrupt, slightly less fun. Possibly the celebs slightly less into it than civilians? It feels like it’s lost a bit of its first series swagger, but maybe that’s unfair to judge on one episode (it’s just a pity that’s what people are going to give it).

        It’s still a fun quiz and I still found myself shouting “oh noooo” when someone picked up an obviously wrong answer.

        I think the changes to the final, going from 10% to 20% to 5% to 20% is likely to be the correct decision to encourage people to gamble a bit more, but it’s a shame it didn’t start out like that because it looks a bit cheap now. Fortunately nobody watched the first series etc.


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