Board of Excitement 16th – 22nd April 2011

By | April 17, 2011

Another quite boring week:

  • The Bother Series of Poker Game 8: Deepstack Doubler it’s all very exciting in the world of Pokerland at the moment, however what’s going on shouldn’t affect those of us playing in the UK – yet. You may find you need to update your software by downloading from if your current software will not update, and regrettably it looks like our one US contestant will not be able to join us for the forseeable. The discussion page for Game 8 is here. (8pm, Sunday, Full Tilt)
  • I’m going to the doctors to get a chest X Ray. Well technically she’s going to phone up the hospital and get me one which seems like quite a convoluted system really. (Wednesday)
  • The Million Pound Drop – Live! – Either series four or five, depending if the run of episodes at Christmas counts as a series or not. Anyway, it’s back for six weekends and Freddie Flintoff and partner are on the first one. That means that there’s every chance Flintoff will be competing with himself on A League of Their Own on Sky One from 9:30pm. (10pm Friday, 9pm Saturday, Channel 4)
  • Don’t Scare the Hare – Nowadays any show that has an obstacle in it is “a bit like Total Wipeout“. This one also has a talking animatronic hare and a lengthy gestation period. Angry frogs and laser beam carrots are promised, and at no point has Barry Davies been mentioned. (5:25pm, Saturday, BBC1)

And at some point I’ll stick up an iPad review of You Don’t Know Jack.

31 thoughts on “Board of Excitement 16th – 22nd April 2011

  1. David B

    Huge cock-up on Secret Fortune tonight.

    Question was: which of these nations has the SHORTEST coastline, England or Scotland?

    Apart from the mistaken grammar, the contestants chose Scotland and were deemed correct.

    The problem is: it isn’t. Mainland Scotland has a shorter coastline than Mainline England, but if you add all the islands into their relative countries then Scotland has by far the longer coast.

    It would be perverse to say that the Scottish isles are not actually in Scotland, surely?

    Coastlines are a hugely arbitrary thing to measure in any case, because it matters how closely you trace their boundaries, and how far up the various tributaries and creeks you go (technically, a coastline can be infinitely long – trufact!)

    1. Dan Peake

      The whole infinite length bounding a finite area has always bothered me!

      At least it was this way around – if it was the other then “SWINDLED” headlines would abound and the BBC would have to give the money out anyway.

    2. Gizensha

      Indeed – They’re fractals, as I recall. Britain’s coastline has a fractal dimension of 1.2, doesn’t it?

      (‘According to Mandlebrot, how many dimensions is Britain’s coastline?’ would be overly obscure for most quizes, wouldn’t it?)

    3. BigBen

      Looks like two cock ups in a single show actually – Or at least highly dubious questions. I found the Classic FM poll they were referring to. The order they gave was:


      The listeners were in fact asked to vote for their favourite PIECES, not composers, and on that measure Beethoven came 4th in the poll, Mozart 6th, Elgar 8th and Tchaikovsky 17th.

      The results they used seem to be based on the number of pieces each had in the top ten. Surely, though, there’s massive ambiguity as to what constitutes the most popular composer using these results though?

  2. Paul B

    This won’t be the first time a League guest has been on another side as well. Dara, Bish and Jack Whitehall have all been in similar situations, if memory serves. A couple of weeks ago Lee Mack wasn’t just on LOTO and Opinionated simultaneously, he was wearing the same shirt on both.

  3. Joe

    The lack of promotion for Don’t Scare the Hare and poor timeslot is quite telling. Maybe the Beeb are getting cold feet over it?

    Has it been established now if Merm Hart is going to be narrator or not?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Surely you of all people would know this?

      Since Hart us doing the voiceover for the advert, it’s a fair bet she’ll be doing the commentary here.

      1. Jennifer Turner

        Perkins never got back to me, but I’ll go with Hart as announcer and Perkins as hare. I now have all the reason I need to ignore the show completely.

    2. Travis P

      I don’t think there is a lack of promotion. BBC One aired the promo before Secret Fortune last night.

    3. Brig Bother Post author

      Actually Joe, I remember when this was bought up sometime ago you were quite cool on it then, and not much appears to have changed. What’s the story here, then?

      1. Joe

        I’m not aware because I don’t work for the Scotland division of Endemol UK. Endemol UK is quite big, I don’t know what’s going on with everything about every single show 🙂 !

    4. sphil

      well its role as the lead in to doctor who shows a fair amount of faith in the programme.

      also the running time of 35 minutes puts it squarely in a hole in the wall hole as opposed to a total wipeout space. the more this builds, the more strangely excited i get about it. i fancy this will be far more successful than sing if you can.

  4. Des Elmes

    Ever so slightly surprised this hasn’t been mentioned yet:

    In last night’s Lotto Draw That Really Only Needs One Presenter And Not Two, all the numbers drawn had 4’s in them: 4, 34, 40, 41, 44, 49, bonus 46.

    And guess what? It was the first time in 4 draws that the jackpot was won – and there were 4 winners, each receiving just over £4 million.

    FFS. 😯 😯 😯 😯

    1. NJ

      That’s what happens when the Freemasons control all TV I suppose.*

      *NJ is by no means claiming that the Freemasons control the lottery.

  5. Grim Fandango

    When even the game show blogs aren’t particularly concerned with even giving listings BBC1s current primetime talent show – you know you’ve got problems.

    Still, much like last series, I’m watching So You Think You Can Dance? for the extraordinary talent on display and the half decent choreography. They really are a talented bunch of people that I feel are being slightly let down by a half-hearted production.

    The set in particular feels very small and basic (another case of BBC TVC1 not being appropriate for the needs of a BBC1 show – Talkback had the sense to move ‘Over The Rainbow’ to Fountain). We’re four weeks in and voting has yet to begin. 3 eps of auditions (an increase from 1 last series, which felt just fine) was far too long and killed any buzz the launch of the 2nd series may have had. The first live episode was a ‘showcase special’, making the programme feel even more like a 1950s music hall throwback than it usually does.

    But yeah, the dancing is good (and for my money, far better than anything you get in ‘Got To Dance’)

    1. Weaver

      The problem for So You Think You Can Dance is that it’s the exact antithesis of Strictly Come Dancing – young, loose, fresh, artisticly challenging. It’s sneaking a very televisual art into mass-appeal primetime, even if the grannies don’t like it.

      There is lots of talent, both in the performers and the choreography – it might look a bit half-assed, but that’s the dancers making it look easy.

      I agree that the set is confining, particularly for the large group dances – it’s worth remembering that most of the work will be done solo or in pairs. The tradition in dance performances is for very basic and minimalist sets, because the focus is meant to be on the body. There’s rarely anything on the stage that isn’t used in performance.

      Three audition episodes was (at least) one too many, but I think the showcase is a good idea, it introduces the performers for those of us who didn’t follow the audition shows, and means the finalists can say they’ve done half-a-dozen dances on national television.

      My expectation is that the BBC1 voting audience will tend to go for a contemporary or jazz dancer, unless there’s someone of clearly greater quality in another style. However, as that describes about half the field, it’s Not A Decent Prediction.

      1. Grim Fandango

        Funnily enough I had the same conversation with someone about SYTYCD yesterday and we came to the same conclusions.

        Dance – when you take out the element of the celebrity learning curve – is still ‘niche’; particularly when some much emphasis is placed technique. They really don’t like gimmicky dancers on SYTYCD; people who go down a treat when they only have to perform twice to reach the final of Britain’s Got Talent.

        With the mixing of styles each week, SYTYCD massively favours dancers that can ‘do a bit of everything’, and the people that can do that are often those with the best technique and training. It’s why SYTYCD can feel like a club of professionals rather than the aspiring amateurs you get in ‘Got To Dance’.

        Still, I can’t work out why SYTYCD was/is such a hit in the US when they format is the same (so you’d assume it would suffer from the same issues). This could be a cultural thing. Maybe Americans don’t mind ‘watching professionals doing stuff well’ and maybe there is a more of a contemporary dance culture in the US.

        Even Joseph/Nancy which came off the back of high rating previous series only had 2 audition shows. I’ve always felt that the BBC is bad at audition shows for all the right reasons – they don’t feel comfortable doing the “let’s laugh at the deluded/mentally ill” business. So decide NOW of the back of a debut series with middling ratings that 3 audition shows was appropriate is baffling.

        And please, please, please BBC. Stop with the TV centre footage. It only makes sense to the audience as an ‘iconic’ location if the main ‘logo’ wall is in shot – Otherwise it just looks like the outside of a multi-storey car park.

        1. Travis P

          The reason the US version was a hit over there is because it was an original show. When it launched in 2005 the only other dance show airing was Dancing with the Stars. When SCTYCD? launched here in 2010, we already had.

          Strictly Come Dancing
          Dancing on Ice
          Strictly Dance Fever
          Strictly African Dancing
          Strictly Ice Dancing

          As proved with Strictly Dance Fever, the public would rather watch celebrities than civillians.

          1. Paul B

            Also Dance-X, Let’s Dance For _____ Relief and Got to Dance, not to mention Britain’s Got Talent (George Sampson, Flawless and Diversity had all made big waves on BGT before SYTYCD? hit the airwaves).

          2. David B

            Good point. What really got my goat was about 6 months ago when there was a “placed” story in the The Sun saying something like “Cat and Nigel aren’t coming back unless the BBC opens its cheque book and gives us a raise” and I just thought “Yeah, right, jog along.”

          3. Grim Fandango

            Would anyone working for the Beeb at the moment be so stupid to demand such a thing? I notice the winner’s prize is down to 50K from 100K – so obviously purse strings have been tightened.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      And that’s Sue Perkins doing the commentary. Now I have no bloody clue what’s going on. It looks like the Hare doesn’t have a voice at all.

      Well they like to keep you guessing.

        1. David B

          This is starting to look half decent, BUT it’s also been edited to within an inch of its life given the huge number of cutaways they’ve put in there.

          It feels like we’re watching edited highlights rather than in real time, which is rarely a good thing.

          1. Mart with an Y not an I

            As the trailers go “this year the easter bunny has some competition” – well, off the back of those clips, so does the audience viewing figures for Discovery Home & Leisure +1, with BBC One coming to join them…

            As a spoof of a light entertainment show, that clip would be quite funny. But it’s not. And I’m scared as the cuts at the Beeb become deeper, shows with a ‘one gag’ premise are going to become the norm.

            Also, to agree with David B, yes there are multiple cuts from both the director on the fly and in post – but also, worse, a very obviously edited pre-recorded sequence of the hare on the move.

        2. The Banker's Nephew

          Youtube commenters don’t seem to keen on it, just confused, but they’re not exactly the brightest bunch. It doesn’t take much to confuse them.

        3. Jennifer Turner

          Oh wow. This is going to go down as one of the BBC’s all-time stinkers. They might have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for that stupendously, show-destroyingly awful commentary.

  6. sphil

    only just picked this up, but the back dated series of who dares wins is finally airing this weekend


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