Show Discussion: Fastest Finger First

By | August 27, 2022

Bank Holiday Monday 4:30pm,
Tuesday-Friday 4pm,

Well this is a bit of a curio and no mistake. It’s not the first Who Wants to be a Millionaire? spin-off (there’s 50:50 and Hotseat) and it’s not the first show to act as a feeder show to its bigger brother (daily Money Drop winners in Spain could gamble their winnings to play on the big money weekly primetime show). However it’s fair to say we’re really baffled by the broadcast strategy for this – the winners of each episode each weekday this week will play on upcoming episodes of Millionaire with Jeremy Clarkson on Saturday nights but there’s a weird anti-synergy going on, nobody’s really going to give a toss where the players have come from in the following weeks, mainly because there’s no way for Clarkson to advertise it in show because by the time the first Millionaire ep goes out, the series of FFF has finished. All it’s really likely to do is piss off the Tipping Point audience, which it’s replacing for a week.

Strategy aside, we’ll have to see if as a show it can stand on its own merits. We liked Anita Rani as host of the underappreciated The Answer Trap on C4 so no real danger there. As we understand it, so may be wrong, people will “do” fastest finger first ordering questions to earn a spot in a hotseat to make their way up a points ladder (so it’s not just people staring at screens pushing buttons). The two people highest up the ladder will duel off in more fastest finger first questions (this bit does sound like people staring at screens pushing buttons) for the win and the right to sit in the Millionaire hotseat at some point during the upcoming Clarkson run.

It might be quite interesting, at least, to see if people who qualify through the show and have shown off basic quiz talent average bigger winnings than those who only have to answer one question on the night.

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

30 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Fastest Finger First

  1. Brekkie

    Baffled by this really but interesting to see how it goes. Will quiz shows where the prize is a place on another quiz show become a thing if it’s a hit?

    Only other format I can think that had that mechanism is 24 Hour Quiz, with the afternoon show to win a place on the evening show to win a place in the Quiz Pod.

      1. Whoknows

        Not exactly the same but Are You An Egghead kind of fits into this.

  2. Aaron Read

    I agree, the “anti-synergy” in how this is being played out makes one wonder if it could be a test best for a proper event type of thing next year. FFF in the afternoons and WWTBAM in the evenings. So if FFF bombs they can slowly drop it without too much of ‘brand damage’.

    But it will be interesting to see how the mechanics of this play out anyways.

    1. Brekkie

      That’s an hour of my life I’m not getting back. So dull and repetitive and as a viewer I gain nothing from a 30 second segment being fleshed out to an hour. Knowing the contestants also actually puts me off watching Millionaire rather than enticing me to tune in.

      Anita Rani though does a great job with what she has to do and there is quite a high number of questions across the hour but gut feeling is it is dead on arrival.

  3. Brekkie

    In a “winner stays on” format where the person at the end wins it is baffling for the first round to have them compete to be in the first when the later you enter the better.

    1. David

      I suppose there is an argument that you benefit by being used to being there and used to the controls the earlier you get there.

  4. David

    The Fastest Finger First round is the most boring part and is probably only there so that it has some kind of link to the big daddy show. The qualifying round is alright. The physical round, where they have to get on and off the chairs is nothing really and, like in Lightning, I can see it being dropped if this comes back. It’s alright but Rani has already presented a day time quiz in living memory so I can’t help thinking of that and then thinking this is not as good.

  5. Clive

    Yeah, that’s a bit of a shame. Was all ready to like it off the back of the very fun qualifiers, but the head to heads are just too long and too repetitive (although props for keeping it moving). Think it could’ve been alright if it ran half as long, though obviously no chance of that these days.
    Rather enjoyed Anita asking everyone if they wanted to be on Millionaire on the show where the only prize is being on Millionaire.

  6. Harry

    Well this was a fun fifteen minute show…

    …let down by the fact that they decided to air four episodes of it back to back.

    I wish there was some reward for holding on to the seat other than it being three rounds of not much followed by a fourth round of someone potentially parachuting in at the last minute. It just felt like there needed to be a stronger episode narrative, but oh well.

    Totally agree the scheduling is weird, if it was a lead in to WWTBAM or at least earlier the same day then I’d forgive it some but Friday’s winner could potentially be on the main show two weeks after their FFF episode, no-one is going to remember them at all. Also, how is the overlap show going to work when they run out of FFF winners? Six people might turn up and then not get to play…

  7. Brig Bother Post author

    I wonder if at any point the idea is to have the five daily FFF winners having to compete in an actual FFF on the weekly Millionaire show? That’d be a) quite funny and b) a bit crap.

    For me it wasn’t a *complete* bust – I was genuinely happy for Helen to win as she seemed to deserve to, and I did feel genuinely a bit sorry for Josh losing all his progress in the last round, so it’s not like I tried not to be invested. It’s just that, well, over an hour it’s just not much fun is it? The ladder climbing bits were the most entertaining (“SAFETY NET!”) even if the questions were for the most part super easy, the actual FFF element – up to seven of them in quick succession, four times a show! – quite hard work, which is a pity when that’s the focal point of the show.

    It fills sixty minutes and it has a lot of questions – job done in that regard. But I can’t see myself making a point out of watching it, and I’d be especially annoyed that Tipping Point with its frequent mini-moments of excitement was being taken off. What’s striking as after it finished I turned over to Moneybags and got more laughs and excitement within two minutes than I got with this.

  8. Brekkie

    Indeed the ladder climbing aspect is basically how I’d rework the final round of The Weakest Link instead of the dull penalty shoot out final.

  9. Tom H

    Horrendously boring, one of the most repetitive formats we’ve seen make it to air on any channel in recent years – and I imagine a nailed on certainty for Hall of Shame winner 2022.

    1. Henry R

      I’d say One and Six Zeroes should pip this to the top spot of Hall of Shame. But this show is awfully boring. As others have mentioned, we wont really remember the contestants, but there’s also no real jeopardy as there’s no actual money on the line either.

      Anita deserves better.

  10. Brig Bother Post author

    People have asked for a format rundown, so here it is:

    Five people begin. Two of them will take part in a Fastest Finger Duel. To determine who they are there’s a qualifying quiz – general knowledge questions are asked toss-up style, first on the buzzer gets a point and gets to continue taking questions unopposed until they a) get one wrong, in which case they lose all their points, or b) declare they’re using their “safety net”, which freezes their score but also freezes them out of buzzing in on subsequent questions. If the safety net is used, the question is thrown over to the other contestants, which may or may not grant them control of the game. If a question is answered wrong, or nobody buzzes in on a passed question, all buzzers are unlocked and another toss-up question is asked. At the end of about three minutes (the timing is a mystery, I expect an element of “as long as necessary to fill the time”) or if someone gets to 12 points, the highest score wins.

    Repeat to find the second challenger.

    The two challengers found, they will now compete in a best-of-seven Fastest Finger First Duel. The winner gets to stay on, the loser goes back to the qualifier’s pen.

    There’s three more rounds of this, with the ladder qualification game being used each time to select the challenger. Whoever wins the fourth and final FFF Duel is the show’s winner.

  11. John R

    I lasted until the first advert break…and was bored to tears by that point

    Which is a shame as I’m literally one of the biggest WWTBAM fans ever but this show just feels like something knocked up on the back of a fag packet over a few pints and they had to borrow the Millionaire studio to film it in as nothing else was available at the time

  12. Brekkie

    I know it’s only scheduled for a week but if the ratings are as bad as the response today have to wonder if it makes it to Friday, although I’m guessing the FFF winners will probably form the first two shows of the new run of Millionaire so they’ll need to find somewhere for it.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Oh they won’t bother pulling it, I’m sure it will do about a million just because people will stick with the channel.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      1.3m on Monday, 1m yesterday.

      Tipping Point which had been in repeats typically does 1.5-ish according to the last stats I’ve seen, although Best Ever Finals around 800k-900k.

  13. Whoknows

    It’s very terrible isn’t it? The whole thing kind of feels like an opportunity lost. A better format and this could have been a neat spin off that would have done ITV well given the set already exists which I’m sure would have made the whole affair much cheaper. It really could have done with it being a totally independent format and just having cash prizes rather than winning the place on Millionaire which would have felt compelling in the early 2000s but is the ultimate shrug of the shoulders these days.

    At very least the could have ended each Fastest Finger as soon as both contestants have locked in their answers (like the Chase) but instead they’re sat and you’re sat waiting for the music bed to end.

  14. Brig Bother Post author

    This has now finished and was largely extremely underwhelming.

    I’d like to say it won’t come back, but I suspect it will be tweaked and given another go, probably in a different slot (a weekday evening to tie in with the weekend’s Millionaire perhaps, if there is any joined up thinking going on), with a bit more ladder and a bit less FFF. It very much underperformed the slot… but it didn’t collapse completely.

    1. John R

      It didn’t add much to the main show in the end, other than Jeremy seemingly nicknaming it ‘Fastest Finger’ rather than ‘Fastest Finger First’ and the poor contestants despite having spent several hours on the Millionaire set filming it not actually knowing which way the exit was on the main show

      They’ve burnt through 3 of the 5 already (although the klaxon sounded literally as soon as the 3rd sat down!)

  15. Thomas Sales

    Cutting the show in half and playing it twice would create a set of ten Fastest Finger First contestants like they had in Tarrant’s day. But that would be too sensible, wouldn’t it?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I don’t think this will happen for various reasons. As soon as you reduce the prize to “a chance to do FFF on the main show” you have nothing.

      1. Brekkie

        Just be thankful it wasn’t a hit as they’d probably commission another spin-off to win a place on Fastest Finger First.

  16. Khairul

    Incredibly crap. Whoever rubber-stamped this programme, I’ll have some of what they’re having.


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