Watching Telly: Deal or No Deal (2023)

By | July 4, 2023

I’d have loved to have seen this live myself and it’s filming in Salford all this week and some of next, but I can’t. Happily there are people who can be my eyes and ears, and today we have the lovely John Round who went to this afternoon’s first session and has told us all about it.

  • Been a while since I’ve done this! But that’s the reality of everything getting shot in London, so when something new and Salford based turns up I’ll try and jump on it. (See what I did there…)
  • I ended up spending the day with a very nice gentleman who I got chatting to in the queue who it turns out has been to pretty much every TV audience for every TV show ever!
  • Expecting a radical change of design perhaps based on our international friends? Think again, although the Dream Factory is now a sort of mash up of the classic, Tron, The Chase and perhaps even Blockbusters (yeah I have no idea how this will look on TV but obviously it’s got lots of fancy lights that can change between Blue and Red), also the boxes whilst looking somewhat familiar seemed to have had a slight makeover inspired by a set designer who had obviously received far too many Ferrero Rocher over Christmas.
  • Audience capacity quite intimate a bit like the original Dream Factory setup, perhaps 200 maximum? (Probably a good thing as there was by no means a crazy Gladiator style queue waiting to get in, in fact I would be surprised if anyone had got turned away in the end)
  • Any long term fans of the show should know who was going to be on warm up duties, of course it was the one and only Mark Olver! He’s always good value and seemed right back at home resuming his 3,000 odd show streak
  • Stephen Mulhern was also basically exactly as you would expect Stephen Mulhern to be, he just wanted the contestants to try and win as much money as possible but made sure they took their time before deciding to say ‘Deal’ or ‘No Deal’, was also more than happy to take some selfies with several audience super fans so that was nice
  • The contestants are all strangers and only met up the night before, but they remain constant between the episodes and a newbie is introduced to replace the previous player – so essentially it’s just like the old days and it seems as if the selected player genuinely doesn’t know they’re going to be the player for the day until they are chosen.
  • Before the game kicks off on camera there’s the usual box of boxes wheeled out and allocated via balls in a bag business, the same IA from Channel 4 is present to oversee proceedings
  • Stephen does the intro bits and then a player is selected who makes their way to the table and attempts not to crash into the chair whilst doing so
  • So far, so good…this is just classic DOND with a lick of paint and a presenter with significantly less facial hair!
  • Oh…they won’t be winning a quarter of a million quid then…the top prize has been slashed to £100,000 and as a result the red side of the board has been brutally altered, £1,000 – £2,000 – £3,000 – £4,000 – £5,000 – £7,500 – £10,000 – £25,000 – £50,000 – £75,000 – £100,000
  • I guess that answers the question of which slot this is intended for.
  • We learn a bit about the contestant, their family or mate in the audience is strategically shuffled around to be behind them and we have a little chat with them, then Stephen takes care of the usual housekeeping and we’re off!
  • Usual 5 box opening before the dreaded call from The Banker, who made several audience members jump when he decided to ring!
  • Although there is no ‘guess the offer’ and/or ‘offer button’ revival
  • The Banker and Stephen have a bit of banter, the audience could hear him to a certain extent which I think they were trying to turn down a bit as the recording day went on.
  • Eventually an offer is presented to the contestant who deliberates for a bit then Stephen poses the question, again pretty much business as usual.
  • Next round is 3 boxes, they shove a cut to the ad break in around here.
  • Bla bla bla, you know how the rest of DOND works…
  • Well until you get to 3 box and The Banker decides to telephone with an offer! At first I thought this was just a one off but it seems this is a permanent fixture so make of that what you will!
  • The game eventually gets wrapped up, Box 23 nowhere to be seen and Stephen invites us to tune in again ‘tomorrow’.
  • We got to see 2 games being recorded, the first was a bit of a drag but they seemed to have fine tuned things a bit by the second and we got out of the studio by around 6pm.
  • Overall I ended up leaving having enjoyed proceedings but feeling somewhat ‘meh’ about the reduced money format as it naturally affects the offers somewhat (hard to write too much else without spoiling games), it felt a bit like how The £1m Drop turned into The £100k Drop.
  • They’re filming a lot more so with the bonus clues above surely it’s destined for the daytime slot although perhaps a few primetime celebrity specials will appear.

Thanks John. Really dislike the lack of quarter million, The outsize box lends a certain gravity to the offers throughout the show which I think this may well end up lacking and the big boxes are too evenly spaced out for interesting texture, also “who is going to be our one-tenth millionaire?” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it does it? It all feels a bit “daily Netherlands”.

I can live with the three-box offer, although I think it downplays the genius of the 5-to-2 round which was a properly hard decision and moment of tension the original provided. I am relatively happy with the otherwise played straightness of proceedings as neither the button or Box 23 were any good.

I’m not jumping for joy, but we’ll see how it comes across on television. Thanks!

9 thoughts on “Watching Telly: Deal or No Deal (2023)

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    To save Shiny KP Dave writing his comment out again:

    “Really interesting that they went with a £100k board. It just shows how radical the 2005 board was for British TV (the daytime record went on episode 3 and was from an end-of-series prize to begin with).

    The drop-off notably comes in very different places to the Edmonds-era board, effectively a Power 4 and then a gap before a very stable top right, rather than a detached top prize and reasonable stability below it.

    Starting stats, assuming an unchanged blue side: mean £12,916.66 (Edmonds £25,712.12), FD £4,733.66 (£9,215.40) or 36.6% of the mean (35.5%). So despite the fact that there’s 40% of the top prize but about 50% of the total money, the FD/mean ratio (a measure of board stability) is barely higher.

    Instinctively I feel like this lowering of stakes might at least prevent early deals, I was expecting plenty of them between the 2023 economic environment and a host who won’t ever take heel turns like Edmonds did but now I don’t. (A permanent 3-box offer is also a solid addition that may help that, the option of playing into the late game is stronger with the extra out in that endgame and no 60% implosion shot on one-box games.) But I feel like it’s going to be dismissed as cheap, even if the alternative would have produced a succession of early deals that people would also have complained about on Threads or Bluesky.”

  2. Danny Kerner

    That money ladder is sure tight. More gambles Will likely occur since the top right is a lot tighter but bottom right if all in play will make the bankers offer harder to estimate

  3. Brig Bother Post author

    I think £2-5k is where Deal goes to die and the board’s set-up so most offers are going to be in that range.

    I just think even if they kept all the boxes the same and pushed the top box to £125k you’d allow for a more interesting board with more interesting offer potential for having that bigger jump at the end without adding too much to the budget. If you can’t afford to do it properly then don’t do it, the audience is not going to appreciate it.

  4. Brekkie

    The original UK version pitched the jackpot so perfectly – high enough you could get deals where it’s worth dealing, low enough where you didn’t have the ridiculous situaiton as in the US of six figure offers being routine.

    I think the average deal in the original was around £16k – feels like we’re looking at less than half of that now which may see more people just play on. Always annoyed me when people thought the game was about opening the box, not winning the most money.

    Is it the same banker?

  5. John R

    A few sneaky pictures of the set now seem to have been LEAKED today so hopefully that’ll put some context to me trying to explain that in a written format!

    As for the banker, all I could deduce was it certainly wasn’t bloody Ant and Dec on the other end

    1. Simon F

      Went to filming this morning. Not much to add to the details already on here but a few random thoughts…

      Board will take getting used to. A permanent 3 box offer certainly might change decision making process.

      Stephen Mulhern was fine (considering it was only his 2nd day hosting and the show is probably different to any game show he had done before).. My audience experience has been limited in the past to a lot of DOND shows and one Pointless taping so I’m sure autocue is probably the norm but it was a bit weird to see it today after never seeing Noel never use one.

      I’ll still be tuning in to watch it (probably on catch up but that was the case in the C4 era too)

      2 episodes took just over 4.5 hours to film today (with about 25 mins break between episodez).

      No Mark Olver sadly today (would have been interesting to see if his warm up routine would have changed after 8 years).

  6. Alex Blundy

    Love the look of the set yet there’s something a little bit… off. I think its the £100k jackpot. Keeping it at £250k would have been perfectly affordable.

  7. Alex Blundy

    ITV have confirmed a launch – Monday 20th November @ 4pm.

    Thought it’d be going at 5pm.


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