Show Discussion: The 1% Club

By | April 8, 2022

Saturdays, 8:30 (ep 1), 9:30 (subsequent),

It’s one-half Test The Nation: The National IQ Test and one-half Everybody’s Equal, Lee Mack gives 100 people £1,000 each and challenges them to hold on to it by answering multiple choice logic questions that have been tested by a sample of the public. The questions get harder as the game progresses representing fewer of the sample that got the question right in testing. Getting a question wrong means forfeiting your money to the pot and elimination. Answering the final 1% question correctly wins a share of the pot. And there’s a bit towards the end of the game where you can take your money and run if you want.

It is the sort of thing we quite like – always enjoyed both of the elements it seems to be made from and I’m a big Lee Mack fan. Tainting it a bit are the stories we’ve heard about loooooooong recording sessions and the audience/contestants not being treated very well, frankly. It sounds like a second series has been commissioned before the first one has gone out, I understand, so let’s hope everyone is a bit better second time around.

That presumably won’t be coming out in the broadcast episodes though, let us know what you think of the finished product in the comments.

28 thoughts on “Show Discussion: The 1% Club

  1. Mark A

    Very much looking forward to this. As somebody who’s a fan of “Battle Royale” shows like Everybody’s Equal, this sounds like something that’s well up my alley!

  2. Brig Bother Post author

    I had never considered Everybody’s Equal to be a Battle Royale show, but it totally is. Nice one.

  3. Thomas Sales

    I must object to that 30% question. The question was “If you spell numbers out backwards, so that ONE becomes ENO, TWO becomes OWT etc, what is the next number that spells a common word?”. The given answer was TEN (NET), however XIS is valid according to my Scrabble dictionary, it’s the plural of xi, the fourteenth letter of the Greek alphabet.

    1. Simon F

      XIS isn’t a common word though (although it’s definitely one Scrabble players will know).

    2. Derek Armstrong

      May I suggest the word “common” to be the operative word in the word question?

  4. Cliff

    Another Saturday night winner for ITV. It’s a really good format with the perfect host. I assume it does the !mpossible thing of letting everyone back in the game if there are no surviving players at any point, otherwise Lee Mack needs to have a lot of Elgin Marbles material up his sleeve to fill the rest of the hour.

    Niggles: 30 seconds is at least five seconds too long for that clock to tick round on every question, and the time it takes to reveal who answered wrong is unnecessary because there’s no suspense, it’s just filler.

  5. CliveOfLegend

    More than watchable, that. Perfect vehicle for Lee, apart from the slightly awkward start you’d think he’d been hosting quizzes for years. Nothing to write home about in terms of gameplay and the music was dreadful, but I can think of much worse ways to pass an hour.

  6. Brekkie

    Best new quiz show in a long time – easy to follow, more engaging with logical questions than just general knowledge and a great host. Only minor fault is the floor isn’t easy to read, but that’s fixable. And based on tonights game I think the bailout option should be later (at 10%) and after that you shouldn’t be able to pay for a pass, but if a game unfolds differently that might not make so much sense.

    Ultimately though really enjoyed it- it’s Only Connect for an ITV audience. I will have to settle for being in the top 5% for now though.

  7. Brig Bother Post author

    Against all expectations I thought that was alllllrrright. I thought the questions were engaging. I really enjoyed Lee Mack’s audience work (does make me wonder what a straight up Lee Mack Whittle would be a bit like). It felt a bit rules-y, but somehow you could easily ignore those bits if you wanted. Those are the main things. Unfortunately there were quite a few things that niggled at me.

    Thirty seconds per question feels like an awful lot of dead air, even with Mack making a joke and repeating the question, and it’s regular. Not sure what you do about that to be honest.

    A lot of the reveals were pretty terrible – not of the answers – but the eliminations lacked any impact whatsoever – this needs to be much more like 1 vs 100, visually watching lights turn off. As it is lights going down then most of them coming back on again many seconds later is a bit crap. And it doesn’t really help that the 3D font they’ve used on the floor, along with the rings, makes the numbers virtually unreadable – and that’s on a 43 inch telly in HD.

    The display of people remaining is a bit apologetic isn’t it? You’ve got big screens in the walls, use them! The Prize Pot increase is similarly repetitive and boring, there has to be a more interesting way of showing it. Most of us can work out that if five people got it wrong it’s going to have gone up £5,000, and it slowly building loses all effect when you know it’s going to be just under £100k by a few grand anyway.

    It does feel suited to having a playalong app, but that’d only get used by 1% of the audience anyway probably so I don’t know.

    Otherwise yes, enjoyed it, I think it’s basically got something (even if what that something is is “Lee Mack”), don’t get how it takes so long to film but there we are. I expect “alternative legitimate answers” are likely to be the thing people are going to write in about – I thought they felt pretty watertight but I guarantee someone will spot something.

  8. Mark A

    Overall, it was pretty good. Felt like a cross between Everybody’s Equal and the “National IQ Tests” from Test the Nation.

    Lee Mack was great. Funny, but also supportive when he needed to be.

    My only major gripe was that the way the prize money worked seemed a bit difficult to follow for me. Then again it may just be me.

    Also, they do edit the 30 seconds at some points, but honestly you needed something more iconic like countdown or Jeopardy!’s think music to fill that dead air.

    Overall, a good show and I would definitely watch the next episode.

    1. Mark Chawner

      Yes, me too, I get lost on how the money builds up, especially as LM explains throughout the first few questions that the prize pot goes up by £1,000 per every person that got the question wrong. Just saw an episode where 19 got knocked out yet prize fund went up by just £8k. I don’t get it, personally.

  9. Chris M. Dickson

    I’d like to see a US version of this, which would necessarily be a little bit tighter.

    I’m going to hazard a guess that part of the reason why this might take a long time to record is that I can see a lot of questions being argued over, maybe even thrown out. Is XIS a common word? I think it would be extremely difficult to argue so, but it would be nearly as difficult for the defence to argue that a common word can even be defined. Similarly, for the Mars question, I think Lee Mack referred vocally to “what body parT, rather than what body partS”, and a player could say that that steered you to a singular answer.

    It was all right; I enjoyed it more than I expected to – I had a real worry about the questions based on the scuttlebutt, but I think the ones they used turned out OK, though not really more than that – and Lee Mack was more likeable than I thought he was going to be. If I were to play, I would take the £1,000 and run almost every time. (And if Lee Mack were to ask me what I planned to do with the money, I’d say “I’m going to kiss the bailiff goodbye!”)

  10. Brig Bother Post author

    Probably worth noting that we’re probably more predisposed to like This Sort Of Thing than Yer Average Punter, I haven’t read Digital Spy yet.

  11. Andrew Hain

    With the first episode in the bag, what is the complete format rundown?

  12. Chris M. Dickson

    I also very much regret the lack of proper opening, in what I’d consider one of the most ice-cold openings this side of Arte Johnson’s Knockout (a.k.a. Odd One Out).

    If I had talent, I would splice the first second and a half of that video over a certain notorious Dutch song from 1991 and call it an extremely obscure fanvid…

  13. Chris B

    I’m going to be the grumpy outlier here. I wish I liked this more. I love Lee Mack, I think the set up is sound, I was absolutely pre-disposed to like this. And I think its just kind of OK…

    I actually think it’s a total waste of Lee Mack. Would be interested to know if this was the first one they recorded, but he’s so lightening quick that without other comedians to react to and bounce off, his humour comes off a bit more flat as people sometimes are flat out not getting him (probably due to their nerves).

    I can see myself warming up to it, but if I hasn’t seen the reaction on here or already read about the apparent recommission I’d have though it was a one and done – and agree with Brig, the timeslot choice is a bit odd. Are they hoping it’ll be the ITV version of The Wheel – ie shiny floor show lead out lead by brilliant funnyman?

    That said, I would watch again so I guess I am a bit of a grump.

  14. Cliff

    I’ve realised a potential downfall of this series, which is: how many of those puzzles and riddles are there really? Is it going to become samey? Are we essentially going to keep getting the same questions, but with different words and pictures?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yes – wrote this on Twitter last night.

      “I think it’s quite interesting that people are talking up their fave questions/ones that tripped them up re: #The1PercentClub in a way you don’t normally see. I ponder if they’ll get a bit samey, or if watching more eps makes you better at it, as the run progresses.”

  15. Jon s

    Lee Mack is brilliant, but a bit wasted on this format.
    The format is ok, quite repetitive and deathly slow… why wait for 15 seconds to find out how many people are out?
    The repetitive money count up is also repetitive.
    If they can come up with good questions it should hold up ok, personally I think people might tire if the questions are all similar – by the end I was tiring.
    Guessing that was the biggest, best win, so be interesting to see what next weeks show looks like.

    It’s already commissioned for series 2.

    3.4m and 24% – if it holds that level ITV should be pleased.

  16. Tom F

    A weird one. Less than the sum of its parts, but the parts all good enough that you end up with something very watchable.

    Agree that the set, reveals, HUD and music are all lacking. This really reminds me of how aesthetically good UK 1vs100 was.

    I also think some of the questions and explanations were clumsily worded. Idiotest, for example, can get away with more goodwill than it would if there was £90k at stake.

  17. Andrew Hain

    I know that I can always count on “Kesh” whose real first name is my namesake to give me the complete format rundown after the first episode has aired. I ask because doesn’t immediately post the rundown until they post about it on Weaver’s Week.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      100 people are spotted £1,000 and try to hold onto it by answering logic based questions on their keypads, starting with a question 90% of the sampled population got right, then 80%, 70, 60, 50, 45, 40,35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5%. Getting a question wrong means elimination and forfeiting your £1,000 into the prize pot for the final question. After the 60% question, players can at anytime forfeit their £1,000 into the jackpot for a “pass” onto the next question. After the 35% question, anyone who hasn’t lost or spent their money can choose to take their £1,000 and run, but have to choose to do so there and then.

      Anyone who is still in the game after the 5% question has a choice – take an equal share of £10,000, or risk it on the 1% Question for a share of the entire prize pot split with everyone else who plays and gets it right. If you hadn’t used your money up to this point you take it home regardless, but you can’t pass it if you choose to go ahead.

  18. Brig Bother Post author

    I would have gone all the way last night.

    There should probably be something where the audience can play for a share of £10,000 (say) if the final contestants elect not for the final question.

  19. Brig Bother Post author

    First episode of this consolidated to 3.9m, if it does anything like that in the later slot (and the suggestion is it did pretty well out of Britain’s Got Talent) they’ll be extremely pleased.

  20. Magnus Torkelsen

    Think I might be in the minority looking at the comments but in the majority looking at the ratings (potentially boosted by BGT but still) – I really liked this.

    Is it because I like Lee Mack? And I like big prizes? Maybe. The format seems complicated at first but that VT explains it really well. Had a bit of an issue with Lee Mack saying players could still win £100,000 even when people had taken their £1,000: potentially a format complication we didn’t hear about at first?

    I did hear about the shambolic production. Of course, getting the independent adjudicator to read through each and every response would take time, but the filming was dire. Hopefully lessons can be learnt next series.

    Regardless, one of the most impressive things? People who had seen the episode the night before were putting the questions to others (the largest number with no ‘n’s between 1 and 1,000,000 was a favourite). It’s entered the public consciousness, and not many shows do that these days – last time I heard that happening was during the Millionaire heyday. 9/10.

  21. John R

    Apparently with the small help of a World Cup lead in or two ITV have made quite a shrewd move and the current repeats of Series 1 of the 1% club are in some cases rating higher than their original outings (again football but still!)

    Also I read a contestant post for the Series 2 recordings somewhere recently and sadly it seems the monster 7 hour recording session is still a “thing”

    1. jon

      last nights repeat of the 1% Club only managed 1.8m, so maybe not that shrewd a move when it doesn’t have a huge lead in.


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