100% Traitor

By | February 4, 2024

Ahhhh! We were desperate to find a video of this a year previously when the first series of The Traitors came out, so we’re thrilled an episode of 2004’s Traitor hosted by ex-Sunday Sport editor Tony Livesey has turned up, the BBC’s first attempt at the Werewolf-style game which ran for a sort of pilot run of five-episodes back in the days when the BBC were happy to try all sorts of things out in the 6pm slot. Evidently didn’t get anywhere, little did anyone know almost twenty-years later…

4 thoughts on “100% Traitor

  1. Tom F

    Didn’t get anywhere – but it lived on in my head for all of 20 years! Delighted that someone found it.

  2. Brig Bother Post author

    I do think the last quarter of an hour or so is legitimately tense, especially given the fairly low amount of cash on the line (although saying that £5k for BBC2 is a Very Decent Wedge and would be so even today), and I very much enjoyed Livesey sarcasming his way through the proceedings. The look of it is *very* early 2000s-tech in a way I can’t decide is quite cool or not. I’ve never loved the idea of giving clues to an identity, it smacks of a third-party determining whether a Traitor could and should win or not depending on how good the clue is.

    I can’t remember how padded the show was if they found the Traitors early – I don’t remember it having “recruitment” and in theory the game could be done after two accusations, but I do remember the possibility of one Traitor throwing the other under a bus to get all the money was being floated even then.

  3. Juner

    Really enjoyed this!

    Love giving the traitors fake facts as a way to actually provoke conversation and give citizens anything to work off – plus it makes contestant intros a natural process and the pacing is breezy because of it.

    Definitely think the second clue is a bit heavy handed, maybe a second round of fun facts might be fairer. Also kinda interesting that the host was also playing blind and could put the spotlight on contestants.

    It’s funny how much of the accusations/defence language still feels the same between then and now in The Traitors – I guess at the end of the day it’s still werewolf and there’s only so much you can say.

  4. Steve Williams

    I know a lot of people have got excited about this, though it’s perhaps not too much that a surprise that in twenty years of game shows the idea of finding a cheat turns up quite a lot, there was The Enemy Within at the same time as well. But it’s nice to be reminded of BBC2’s 6pm slot in the early noughties which was a right brantub at the time, this was actually broadcast before The Simpsons ended on BBC2, but for the last year or so they had the rights (they found out they’d lost the rights in 2002, but kept showing it until May 2004) they were really rationing it to keep it on screen for longer and to try and find a replacement ready to go for when it ended. But it meant that every other show in that slot got slagged off for not being The Simpsons.

    There were lots of quizzes in that slot, like this plus also the Treasure Hunt revival, Beg Borrow Or Steal, Three’s A Crowd with Winkers, which I always quite enjoyed, The Cram, re-edits of Spy off BBC3 (which I’d love to see again) and probably a few more as well that have long since been forgotten. A bit like ITV’s 5pm slot after they lose Home and Away, probably. And none of them lasted long enough to be a full-time Simpsons replacement, and at one point they were stripping Animal Hospital repeats there, until Eggheads was first tried out there and did well enough to stay there for about a decade, and when that ran its course it was followed by House of Games of course.

    One thing shows like this remind me of is that on Saturday nights the big shows like House Party had ended and BBC1 were relying on a lot of low budget shows like Friends Like These, Dog Eat Dog and The Waiting Game, and it felt like the era of the Saturday night spectacular was over and that it would now be home to rather modest productions like this where people would say how “clever” and “psychological” the formats were, to massive audience apathy. And then The X Factor started shouting about how many viewers it was getting and throwing the kitchen sink at it, and these shows were blown off the screen and Saturday nights were spectacular again.

    The other general point I suppose is that Tony Livesey is still broadcasting today and is on 5 Live five days a week doing proper news and is really adept at it, which is perhaps a surprise given his background on the Sunday Sport. But he’s clearly put in the hours to go “legit”, and a good broadcaster he is too.


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