Show Discussion: Holding Out For a Hero

By | September 11, 2011

7pm, ITV1

We’ll do Board of Excitement tomorrow, because tonight it’s the first episode of Gethin Jones fronted good causes quiz Holding Out For a Hero which you are free to discuss here.

In it three people surprise three other people who run good causes that they’re going to play a quiz for them to try and win them some money.

We went to the pilot recording of this all the way back at the beginning of March. It looks like it’s gone from being an anticipated 45 minute show to a 60 minute show, but it is the lead in to The X Factor this evening so it has the best opportunity.

84 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Holding Out For a Hero

      1. Joe

        I know. But ITV has plugged it a lot during the Red or Black breaks.

        Unfortunately, some of the Great British Public lap up these sob story game shows. Traditional game show viewers will hate the sob story elements just as we all hated them during Red or Black or The Colour of Money. BUT, this is scheduled just before The X Factor. It surely can’t fail in that slot?

        1. Brekkie

          But nobody watched Red or Black.

          I think it’ll be as successful as Born to Shine myself – and just like the £1m jackpot on Red or Black the twist here of playing for someone else is surely just to hide bigger weaknesses in the format.

          From the review too it sounds like it’ll be painfully slow too – so even if it was any good it would be yet another show killed be being stretched to an hour when 30 minutes would really do. Indeed apart from the revived Krypton Factor when was the last time ITV launched a game show or quiz show in a 30 minute slot.

  1. Sknowles3

    Endemol Joe should be concerned about the declining popularity of his own shows. I hear Million Pound Drop and BB got record low ratings the past two days 😉

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Oh no that’s not true, MPD rated barely a million when it was put out at 8pm a while back. Naturally it was predicted that the earlier time slot wouldn’t affect the numbers.

  2. CeleTheRef

    watched a rerun of Avanti Un Altro today.

    It a nutshell, a contestant answers questions to draw a cylinder from a carousel.
    The questions usually come in sets of four and answering correcly 3 times wins the cylinder.
    Cylinders can hold money from €1,000 to €120,000. After a draw, the contestant can freeze his total or to go for another question, with the risk of losing everything if he fails even once. The first contestant to freeze becomes the temporary champion and gets a nice seat with snacks and drinks. Following contestants have to beat that score to take over the seat. Some of the cylinders trigger an instant on-the-buzzer duel for the seat and one cylinder eliminates the challenger on the spot.

    At the end of the show, the highest scorer plays the final game to win €100,000 plus the money earned in the front game.

    In order to win, the contestant has 150 seconds to give the WRONG of two options, to 21 questions in a row. At every mistake or hesitation, the host goes back to question one. If the clock turns to zero, the contestant has an additional 100 seconds to win the base €100,000 but the prize goes down by €1,000 a second.

    there are many random “surprise” moments during the show that allow the contestants to redraw a cylinder or to double the value of a cylinder.

    I wish I can show you a video of it, but people at Mediaset don’t like when their programs hit Youtube

      1. Alex

        It can’t be THAT much to licence, surely?

        Then again, not many shows (quiz/game or otherwise) use licensed music, do they?

  3. Brig Bother Post author

    They’ve upped the consolation prize to three grand.

    They rather got in with it, which is nice, and dropped the pretence of making a documentary.

    Oh, they changed ‘Quit’ for ‘Pass’. Good.

  4. Joe

    This is alright so far. I like the background music. Also the sob story bit was only 3 mins.

  5. Brig Bother Post author

    This amazingly doesn’t feel too slow, although the choice to take a break when he was confident on an answer is a bit silly.

  6. Joe

    What are the different amounts on the giftcards? What’s the smallest £ and what’s the highest £ and what’s the average?

  7. Joe

    This show is perfect “granny television” (as we say in the industry).

    The older viewers will LOVE it. Nice, relatively slow paced episodes. No whooping from the crowds, sensible music, sob stories.

    Granny television on ITV = hit. This will be a hit.

    1. Brekkie

      You’re not after a transfer to 12 Yard are you Joe. Frankly “12 Yard Joe” doesn’t have as nice a ring as “Endemol Joe”. 😉

      I can’t stand the In it to Min It style vocal thought process – so I didn’t last with this.

  8. Alex

    This might be odd, but the presentation very slightly reminds me of The Colour Of Money without the awesome set.

    1. Joe

      Well, the show is made by people very closely involved with The Colour of Money. Perhaps TCOM was their inspiration 😉

    2. Chris M. Dickson

      I can see where you’re coming from. To me, it has a very Challenge feel to it – the set is just a bit Stake Out and the logo is just a bit Defectors.

      Very glad that the consolation prize is £3,000; £1,000 would feel very cheap these days.

      Can’t get too excited about this show, but I don’t think it obviously does too much wrong.

      Blimey! Brig is exactly correct again with his prediction of someone winning with £94k! How can this be?

        1. Chris M. Dickson


          Fans of round numbers will be pleased to note that exactly one tenth of a million quid was disbursed, in aggregate, to the three good causes tonight.

      1. Andy "Kesh" Sullivan

        Because he’s just that damn good! 😀

        Although the questions were fairly easy and there were only 15 of them, I still quite liked the show. I preferred it over Red Or Black, anyways.

  9. Joe

    Almost half an hour left for just one contestant.

    Do they have a bit after the three contestants play, or is that it?

  10. Brig Bother Post author

    Incidentally, this isn’t being shown on STV thise evening, they’r opting to show it Tuesday in the 71 Degrees North slot.

  11. Joe

    I thought it was okay. Not great, but not terrible either. It’s still a bit too slow-paced for me, 7 questions per player would’ve been better.

    BUT, I predict it’ll rate well. The ITV grannies will love it.

  12. Brig Bother Post author

    Well there we go. Not something I’ll be going out of my way to watch, but I think they’ve done a decent job with the materials given. But I think that’s quite 12 Yard generally.

  13. Simon

    An OK show. Questions could have been a bit more difficult.

    Was half expecting a final question that the winning contestant had to answer to win their prize money ala IITWI.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      As I said, the questions felt more difficult at the pilot, mainly 3-4 star difficulty. Probably 2-3 stars at broadcast.

      1. Joe

        I’m guessing they want to cater the show to an ITV audience so won’t have as many difficult questions compared to a quizshow on BBC1/BBC2/BBC4.

  14. Brig Bother Post author

    Given that they’ve changed ‘Quit’ for ‘Pass’ after my recording review, given it’s a 12 Yard show I’m surprised I don’t get a format devisor’s credit, frankly.

  15. Chris M. Dickson

    Some day there will be an episode of this where the first contestant draws £20k first time, triples it and answers correctly, then draws £19k (…or whatever’s second best?) second time, doubles it and answers correctly. That’ll be an hour-long show over and done with, in gameplay terms, in two questions.

    I exaggerate slightly – and the decision as to when to triple or double a question is reasonably interesting in EV calculation terms, though given the hash-up I made in this regard when we looked at TCOM I think I’ll not lead the discussion – but there doesn’t seem to be the progression and crescendo that one might expect in each player’s term.

    Perhaps there’s not all that much that can be done in just a five-question window, and perhaps it would be unnecessarily fiddly to (e.g.) introduce the pass tool with the first quexstion, the double tool with the second question and the triple tool with the third question, but it doesn’t feel right, somehow. Sure, not every show has to have INCREDIBLE JEOPARDY, and this one perhaps even less than most, but this feels all a little, well, aimless.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yes, pointed that out in the recording report – it feels rather un 12 Yard in that respect.

      I don’t know what the max is because there are duplicates and they don’t reveal what they are.

  16. Daniel H

    As you say, there are definitely elements of a disguised Colour Of Money there. (Monetary amounts in £1k increments from £1k to £20k; playing for a big target otherwise you don’t win what you accumulate etc). Again, I agree that it doesn’t actually feel like it drags that much even though you know in the back of your mind that there are only 15 questions in an hour.
    Still, nice to see the old Record Of The Year logo getting a new home…

  17. David B

    I didn’t see the start so let me get this straight if I can: a previous contestant is a stoke victim. You go in as the next player trying to beat their score so that you get 90-odd grand instead of them?

    Isn’t that a bit… uncomfortable? Although I think You Deserve It has a pretty similar mechanism if what I was told is correct.

    1. Simon

      Perhaps something like the winning person gets 100% of their money and the 2 contestants get a percentage of their winnings (say 50% and 25%) would have made it more feelgood (and got rid of the fact that you might have redundant questions in some shows)

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      It’s not quite like that, the people being played for all do good work for their communities – basically they’re charities. It’s like a less boring version of the National Lottery Awards they do every year.

      You Deserve It is a bit different in that you are playing for a person, so I gather, and you’re playing against the house each time.

  18. Greg

    I feel an enjoyable format is hiding somewhere in this show.

    Ticks for the set and the host, but i did have a few problems with the format, but these have been mentioned by Brig and others above.

    For me rather than pitting the contestents against eachother, 20 cash cards ranging from 1k-20k and 5 quit cards. Contestents answer questions and if they get one wrong, they leave with £3,000. If they pick a quit card, they can either quit and take what is in the hero fund or play for more, until another quit card is pulled or they fail on a question.

  19. Mark D

    It was OK, though my wife commented that she didn’t trust the electronic nature of the gift cards.

    It feels a bit flawed and the questions were easy but it killed an hour whilst waiting for The X Factor to start.

  20. Brig Bother Post author

    Only 2.8m for this last night, which actually surprises me a bit.

    I reckoned from the pilot it would be a low 3s sort of show, having seen the end product would have put it at 3.5m on a weeknight and 4.5m with The X Factor Factor. Interesting.

  21. Joe

    ITV doing Celebrity Chase on Saturday nights, according to Bradley Walsh.

    I hinted about this a few months ago. This was supposed to be lined up for the summer, before plans changed. I don’t think it’ll work.

    Also, disaster for Holding Out for a Hero. Not even the grannies tuned in. My gut instinct a few months ago was right, then. People HATE sob stories in game shows. All this ‘uplifting’ crap is so often putting. Just air a good game show, without all these sob stories. Another flop for 12yard, even bigger than the Colour of Money.

      1. Joe

        This is a classic case of ITV milking a successful TV show. These primetime shows will flop, it’ll tarnish the brand, and viewers will begin to switch off the daytime version. Just like what happened with The Weakest Link. Indeed, Pointless has been crushing The Chase recently anyway. As I suspected, Paul Sinha just isn’t up to the required standard and viewers are tuning over to BBC1.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I don’t think that’s fair, Pointless has always been beating The Chase, but both shows are seeing increases in their audience.

          1. Joe

            Before anyone calls me ‘Sir Hate-Chase-alot’, I don’t hate the show.

            But generally, the transition for quizzes from daytime to primetime doesn’t work. When’s the last time a quiz show was very successful at daytime and then became a big success at daytime, or vice versa.

            They should just concentrate on the daytime version, and try new things like ‘Control’ for primetime 😉

          2. Travis P

            To quote you: “When’s the last time a quiz show was very successful at daytime and then became a big success at daytime, or vice versa”

            Eh… Don’t you mean a successful daytime show then become a big success at primetime???

            Racking my brains. From daytime to primetime, we’ve had Weakest Link, Deal or No Deal, Bargain Hunt and Come Dine With Me. CDWM would be the latest format.

            For primetime to daytine, we’ve had Wheel of Fortune, Wipeout and Three/Four in a Bed.

            The People Versus fixed the question setting to make it general knowledge but The Bong Game sucked. Also it was losing to Weakest Link. ITV made piss poor attempts to bringing their two popular ITV shows to daytime and fell through the floor (Family Fortunes with Andy Collins and Catchphrase with Mark Curry).

            I won’t be surprised if the next daytime format to be popular in primetime will be Coach Trip. It would be easy for Channel 4 to have an hour edition of Celebrity Coach Trip each week but to save on the editing, tack two days of episodes together.

          3. Des Elmes

            Wheel of Fortune was effectively demoted to daytime once Millionaire became big. 😉

            Family Fortunes was in free-fall even before it moved to before 6pm – if I’m right in thinking, Les Dennis’s final episodes were scheduled all over the place.

            Catchphrase was in free-fall, too, as nobody liked the 2000 revamp or Nick Weir. 😉

            And to the “daytime to primetime” list, you can add Countdown – its one-off Celebrity series going out on Thursday evenings at 8 in the spring of 1998. 😉

        2. JC

          “Paul Sinha just isn’t up to the required standard and viewers are tuning over to BBC1.”

          Er what? Paul has only had one outing so far, give him time to settle into the role.

        3. Travis P

          Got proof that last Thursday the viewers on ITV1 were switching to BBC1 in the 5pm timeslot?

          I think it’s uncalled for to slag off Paul Sinha’s Chaser performance after ONE show. It’s also amazes me for you to slag him off when you admitted last week you didn’t even watch his debut show. You had to ask the people on here.

          There are reasons Pointless is “slightly” beating the chase. They’ve had an headstart with new episodes, whilst The Chase aired a months supply of repeats. Also BBC1 aired promos for Pointless throughout the week before it started on the network. However, ITV had so much publicty on Dead and Slack they resorted to air Chase promos on the Friday and Saturday before the new series. ITV used to air Chase promos two weeks prior to transmission.

          1. Kylie

            I wouldn’t say it was just ‘slightly’ ahead, thats like saying a show with 6.7m viewers is just slightly ahead of a show with 5m
            Look at Friday

            The Chase[incl HD]: 1.8m (13.3%)
            Pointless: 2.5m (17.7%)

          2. Travis P

            It’s still doing double than what Dinner Date was getting in July in the same timeslot with more ITV1 advertising compared to what The Chase had this month.

            I’m sure I read The Chase was getting around 1.2-1.3m for their repeats. So like Brig stated, both Pointless and The Chase are building their bums on seats.

          3. Score

            That is only one day’s ratings though, for all we know it could have been closer on the other days as the 5pm shows tend to fluctuate a bit.

        4. Travis P

          ITV are not milking The Chase. If they were then we would see like The Weakest Link and have it aired at 5pm all year. They milked Golden Balls more than The Chase IMO. The plan at the moment is to air 40 episodes of The Chase then take it off air until the new year.

        5. Paul Sinha

          Unlike everyone else on here Joe I have no idea who you are. But your continuing vendetta against my presence on the Chase is becoming increasingly wearisome. Last Thursday’s episode was my first recorded episode.Despite having done a lot of telly and radio , I was understandably nervous , not least when I had no idea about the answer to three out of my first four questions.After that , it would appear that I answered something in the region of 25 consecutive questions correctly , nearly knocked all 4 contestants out and won the final Chase with 34 seconds to spare.I’m not really sure what more I could have done , short of some juggling , a recital of Ginsberg’s “Howl” and a demonstration of how to perform an emergency tracheotomy. Like anyone who appears on telly , my persona will not be to all tastes though I would say at this early stage of the series that the persona has not really had time to find it’s feet. In terms of quizzing ,I would say that i had to do several auditions and rehearsals with Chase style questions , that I performed with great credit in both last years World and European championships , that there are only 4 regular British quizzers (Messrs Ashman , Gibson Honey and Bjortomt) that I have never beaten at a quiz grand prix . Basically ,I’m not here by fluke. So instead of making rash and unfounded statements , why don’t you just watch the series and then make your mind up ? Incidentally Joe , I am the first chaser to win his first recorded episode. Just saying.

          1. Barney Sausage

            Well said Paul – and well done on your debut. I think you’re fitting in just fine – and I wish you well in the future – though naturally, I am ALWAYS up for the contestants!!

          2. Andy "Kesh" Sullivan

            Agreed, Barney. I thought Paul did really well on his debut, turning what could have been a disaster on the first player into knocking 3 out and denying the team the money. To me, whether the players win or The Chaser wins is inconsequential, I’m just up for some good quizzing in the early evening.

            Also, to remind everyone, I’m still in the running to appear on Series 5, so whoever I meet (IF I get on, of course!), I’m sure it’ll be a great Chase. Incidentally, the 2 Chasers I would most like to go up against are Mark and Paul.

          3. Joe

            I apologise Paul Sinha. I do, apologise. I took it too far in that time.

            I am really frustrated that The Chase is being made into a primetime version. I have never said I hated the Chase, it’s a decent show. But why does everything that is successful at daytime have to be made for primetime too eventually?

            Travis: You mention Deal or No Deal being a primetime hit. I will be the first one to tell you that it wasn’t a primetime hit. I was always not in favour of it having primetime episodes.

            Travis (Point 2): I don’t think the show was bad, it was okay, I will admit that. But there surely must’ve been a lot of people thinking like me who didn’t want to watch yet another sob story game show, so didn’t even tune in the first place? Therefore my initial gut instincts were right, but having seen the show, it was decent and IF people had given it the chance, perhaps it would’ve done better. The Million Pound Drop, Pointless and to an extent The Chase prove that viewers will watch new game shows these days that involves no dancing/singing/celebs.

          4. Travis P

            I’ll give you credit for apologising to Paul. I know the Chasers read this website now and again. Remember what I said to you in the past, think before you post 😉

            I cannot give an judgement for Hero as I haven’t seen it yet. They had on in the hotel bar yesterday but I was sitting too far away to hear it.

            Jellybean did warn us that it’s not a show if somebody wants nothing but questions. I did see loads of green lights, so I gather either the contestants were brainy or the questions were too easy.

            I don’t know how Celebrity Chase will fare. Like Red or Black, ITV are trying something different for their Saturday night line up and since it will be slotted for 6pm. I would rather see that than watch the same 30 episodes of You’ve Been Framed on rotation. The problem will be getting the celebrities to take part. As we’ve seen on Celebrity Eggheads, they’re not well known names. I read on DS Phil and Holly weren’t impressed with the idea. I suspect it will be a short comission and I’m guessing it will air in the New Year. January-March, like the summer is when ITV slips into a pit for Saturday night ratings.

            I remember in 2006 there were plans for The Price is Right to air primetime episodes but that idea was shelved with the Christmas special airing on Saturday night at 5.30pm ish.

            To what you said about daytime shows have to be made for primetime too eventually. The Chase was aired as a pilot series in July 2009. Which would make it 18 months before the celebrity/primetime version airs. Compared to Weakest Link, first aired their BBC2 in August 2000 with the primetime version appearing on BBC1 in late October 2000.

            Will be interesting if ITV decides to produce the celebrity series with a studio audience. I know what is best for the show.

          5. Travis P

            EDIT: That’s 2 1/2 years for The Chase, not 18 months as originally stated.

    1. Travis P

      In It to Win It has the occasional sob story and it’s still going wrong. Simply, 12Yard is like Celador. They got loads of one hit wonders but have got an handful or sucessful shows. In It to Win It, Eggheads and Coach Trip have all been sucessful with other shows like Dirty Money, the garish Double Cross and TCOM have all flopped. While Celador had Millionaire, Paul McKenna and The Detctives.

      Not surprised by the ratings as I it would get no more than 3.5m. That said, having Hero in the slot for seven weeks would have The Cube being paid with The X Factor live results show.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I’m surprised by the idea that these are sob stories, surely sob stories are those about people who have had a bad time of it? These seem mainly stories of people who go out of their way to help others.

      2. Travis P

        EDIT: That should be strong and not wrong. Urgh, getting used to not using an iPod Touch keyboard.

  22. Travis P

    Couple more quotes from Joe

    “BUT, I predict it’ll rate well. The ITV grannies will love it.
    Yesterday again
    “This is going to be a big hit. I have that feeling in me”

    “Also, disaster for Holding Out for a Hero. Not even the grannies tuned in. My gut instinct a few months ago was right, then. People HATE sob stories in game shows.”

    Make up your own mind! What are you, Indecisive Joe. First you said six months the show was rubbish and they should’ve comissioned Control. Then yesterday you’re saying it will be a big hit. Come today, you put back on yout selfish, don’t think twice head by saying you was right all along.

    As I said last week, if Control was comissioned then it would get no more than 4 million and everybody on Digital Spy would say it’s simply a Chase rip-off from Endemol. The viewers are not interested with normal game shows for members of the public any more. The majority are more interested with celebrities and people who are either dancers, singers or want money from Alan Sugar.

  23. Weaver

    On a strict point of pedantry, the latest show to go from primetime to daytime and back again is Celebrity Masterchef, 5x45m in daytime, 90m of highlights in primetime.

    But to the substantive point, first-night bullets on Holding Out for a Hero:
    * Straight-up quiz, not too much boo-hooery. Emotion, but not sobbing.
    * “Gift cards” is language of donation, which fits. The circle looks messy when seen from the side.
    * A bit slow for my taste, but only a bit.
    * Some interesting tactical play opportunities for the thinking player; when is it right to double and treble?
    * The breaks in mid-question are annoying, but I don’t think they could go anywhere else, certainly not between the players.
    * ITV very gently fulfilling some PSB obligations, and in an entertaining way.
    * I originally had this down as “Decent show that no-one will watch”. I’m upgrading that to “Charming and amiable show that just enough people will watch.”

    1. Travis P

      I did question whether Celebrity Masterchef were repeats but turns out to be a new series. This could be another scheme for Danny Cohen shoving a popular show to daytime to make space in the primetime schedule.

      The problem I have that it’s yet another cookery show for the daytime schedule. I thought they were going in the right direction at one point with dramas like The Indian Doctor.

      1. Mart with an Y not an I

        But when Masterchef was stripped over the week on BBC Two at 6.30, it felt like it was a daytime show wandering around in the early peak schedules. So moving it back to daytime makes sense.

        I’ve read on another forum someone claiming the last series of ‘old’ new Masterchef (before they when fully BBC One primetime HD and switched to the Australian style aircraft hangar kitchen (and I would still love to know where that actually is. It looks like the Million Pound Drop studio at 3Mills..) had the budget of a regular daytime show but in a regular primetime slot.

  24. Brig Bother Post author

    Having been surprised at HOFaH’s numbers, I had completely forgot the thing I posted earlier in the thread that it isn’t shown in Scotland until tonight, which will probably bump it up to about 3.5m.

  25. Jonathan S

    Just been doing a lot of gameshow catching up. I’ll keep this brief.

    1. Paul Sinha is a fantastic addition to the team, his wit will surely shine through in more episodes to come. If you’re reading this Paul, I’m a big fan. (His stand-up at Edinburgh a few years ago was the funniest event I have ever been to) That said, he does come across as fierce as a bear. A Teddy bear.

    2. Holding Out for A Hero has scored a full house on everything I hate in a gameshow. Poor presenting by graduates from Kids TV. Check. Sob Stories. Check. Tedious talk it out and pretend you don’t know the answer. Check. Ridiculously slow pace. Check. It’s a full house, someone call Bob.


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