Wooh! This is Bother’s Bar v3.0’s OFFICIAL 500th post, so well done 12 Yard.
- OK – this is the show where three people don’t play for themselves, they play for other people and the charities that they have set up.
- The set – imagine a six pronged thing. Down the end of one of the prongs is the big screen. Down the two prongs next to the screen are lit up tunnels. Down the other three prongs are stages for the contestants to sit.
- In the middle is a round table from whence 25 different ‘gift cards’ spring up. These are electronically charged by an independent adjudicator. They range from £1k to £20k in £1k increments, and there are obviously duplicates (although no-one knows what they are).
- Our host is the lovely Gethin Jones. The warm up was Kevin Devine, whom older viewers might remember from That’s Life with Esther Rantzen. Which was a bit of a surprise.
- The first contestant comes out of the tunnel to meet Gethin in the middle. Questions of the “why are you here? Are you good at quizzes?” style are asked then a VT is played. The subjects of the VTs assume that they were being followed around by cameras for a documentary on good causes, then in the final shot the person who set them up reveals everything, that in fact they’re hoping to win some money for them in a quiz.
- Brave soul bought out on stage, lots of clapping. A quick chinwag, then the Hero is sent to one of the stages to have a sit down.
- Each Hero is guaranteed £1,000 whatever happens.
- The player will face five multiple choice questions, each one with three options. These questions are, on the whole, fairly difficult I thought, certainly very rarely lower than 3/5 on the difficulty scale.
- After they’ve decided on an answer, Gethin asks them to pick a gift card from the table. This is scanned in and the amount revealed on the screen. Chosen gift cards are not replaced for the next competitiors, which I think may cause an issue if the first players nick all the high value cards to themeselves.
- The player has some options. They can take the amount as is – in that case if the answer is right the money will be added to the Hero Fund, if the answer is wrong it will be taken away. But they have three ‘tools’ at their disposal which they can use once each – they can “double” to double the cash, “triple” (I think this should be “treble”, but that’s by the by) to triple it or they can “quit” (this would be much simpler if it was just “pass”) in which case the cash is drained away and no money will be won or lost.
- The object is to score as high as possible, because only the top amount will get paid out. As the other players will get to see the score to beat that means there’s a massive disadvantage to playing first and I largely suspect that most first players without a target to chase will not play it aggressively enough. There is already quite the sense that people would gamble more if they were playing for themeselves, but as they were playing for someone else…
- Scores can (and indeed will) go into minus figures. A player that finishes in minus figures still gets to keep £1,000 but obviously can’t win the show.
- Player one gets all their questions first, then they bring out player and Hero 2 and finally Player and Hero 3 for their go. Players, Heroes and supporters are shifted between stages and audience blocks between rounds.
- There is lots of confetti and ticker tape and fireworks when the winner is revealed.
- That is basically it. As a game it is, you know, fine. I think the question difficulty stops the show from being quite as exciting as it could possibly be (I think they were very lucky to have a “moment” towards the end of the show). As a production they’ve made some choices that I’m… surprised by.
- If you’re the sort of person who likes then to get on with it during quizzes, you’re out of luck – the first question won’t come up until five-ten minutes in. This being 12 Yard, there is lots of talking out the answers and painfully lengthy reveals.
- I was surprised that the Hero was going to be aware of everything. I was under the impression they would be surprised at the end of the show with the cheque. This, of course, is the money shot in philanthropy porn such as in The Secret Millionaire but this just isn’t the case here – they’re told about the whole thing on the VT, they come to the studio and then they spend all of it just hanging round watching in the background. There is none to little pleasant shock value really.
- It is as expected quite saccharine and yet as it stands I think it needs to go all out for it and appeal to old ladies or tone it down. Currently it operates on a middle ground I found a bit irritating, but this comes with the caveat that I’m a miserable bastard.
- I love The Geth. He’s young and fun, and Sell Me the Answer suggested he’s a pretty good quiz show host as well – very good with people and audiences. Regrettably in a more formal show such as this his engaging personality didn’t really get a chance to shine I don’t think. I think it’s a shame that he appeared to be having more fun off camera with the pick-ups than shown during the actual recording bits.
- It was a bit strangely un-12Yard that the mathematics of the game mean that you sometimes know if you’ve won or lost before the fifth question. In the show filmed tonight, the third player had an unassailable lead after four questions but still had to face the fifth one which was a bit of an anti-climax given the sums involved.
- The show rather interestingly had five advert breaks. This means it’s either going to be longer than an hour (good luck with that) or that ITV are about to adopt the US break system (good luck with that, and also God help us all). Edit: Three parts and 45 minutes are planned.
- Will it be a hit? I think older women will like it. I think it is too slow to appeal to a more mainstream audience (who may also not like the disconnect between the person answering the questions and the person receiving the money – people tend to like to watch a gamble but when playing on someone elses behalf everybody clammed up a bit). It’s not terrible, but it’s not killer. It failed the seat test, regrettably, but some people I overheard on the way out said they enjoyed it. Personally I think it’s got 3-3.5m written all over it, so make of that what you will.
- All the evidence suggests this is a different show to the Dick de Rijk show You Deserve It! that’s also floating around currently – conflating the two is a mistake I have made but despite the similar premises they appear to be different formats.
It is late and I might remember some more in the morning, so stay tuned.
Gethin Jones also suggested, after a member of the audience heckled after the show, that Sell Me The Answer has been picked up in The States.