Play DJ




Amy Garcia
Emma Lee
Nigel Mitchell
Mark Ryes
Ruth Frances
Tim Dixon
Greg Scott
Yiolanda Koppel


Kirsty Duffy (guest, 1 programme)


Two Way TV for ITV Play, 11 December 2005 - 5 March 2007


Imagine a television programme where the daily production budget doesn't even run to a packet of Tic Tacs, where the screen is bombarded with many a disturbing message from fans of presenters (anyone who watched Ruth Frances's stints on this show will know what I'm talking about), a show where the cost of playing the entire game is actually 20 times the amount you pay when you make just one entry in a premium-rate phone-in quiz and where you hear Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol time after time after time...I'm sorry, I've watched far too much Play DJ than I should have done.

Anyway, broadcast from a Broom Cupboard-esque studio using 3 webcams (I kid you not), Play DJ was the ultra-cheap and ultra-depressing in participation television. You only had to watch five minutes of the thing to see that two people were playing the games the whole time. These games were naturally derived from ITV Playalong, which was simply the text-based quizzes and word puzzles that were run during ITV Play's downtime. Izit, Buzzwords, Quiz Time and Crack The Code made up the pack, along with an assortment of Mini-Quizzes and bonus prize games such as Money Multiplier, Mini Bingo and Letter Cash. The presenters would often play songs when they had run out of things to say...which was nice.

But despite this (and the presence of Greg Scott), it didn't stop Play DJ from remaining such a pitiful show. There was also a text chat bar for viewers which (like we've already made clear) was uncomfortable viewing - messages like You've got a gorgeous smile, babe. Keep smiling for all your fans were greeted warmly by presenters on air - who seemed to keep any disquiet about being bombarded with such disturbing texts away from the cameras...sorry, webcams.

Thankfully, Play DJ came to an end due to the suspension and subesquent closedown of ITV Play. The final programme on Monday 5th March 2007 (although we didn't know it at the time) was presented by Emma Lee and somehow, they had managed to revamp their studio. Well, they painted the wall blue, got a new shelf and a few extra bits onto the set and erm, that was it. To the credit of Emma, she signed off with a sense of finality declaring: We might be back again someday, but we don't know what's going on yet. The day's other programmes: The Zone, Glitterball Extra and The Debbie King Show signed off more or less as they would have done with any other show. A nation hardly noticed the fairwell, but then again, who noticed Play DJ in the first place?

Key moments

The dominance of the entire show held by such devoted players like Caitlynsdad, Cuddlebunny and Cheeky G (who now runs a Play DJ fansite on MySpace)

The numerous technical breakdowns and late starts that forced the show off air to be replaced by Playalong, which was the same as Play DJ, except there was no live presentation! Incidentally, unlike any of the ITV Play shows, Playalong lasted from the opening to the closing of the channel.


Believe it or not, eight months after the show signed off (with a 'See you tomorrow' endcap), Play DJ won the AFDESI International Television award for Best Mobile Interactive TV Application.

The show's gallery producers (as namechecked by the hosts so many times) were Neil, Natalie and Andrew Radio Rendle (Nigel Mitchell's best mate).

Play DJ spun-off into a late night show called Play DJ Late, funnily enough.

The programme was moved around in the schedules a lot (and was on the air for much of the day's schedule as well!). It started in a simple 6-8pm slot on weekdays before it began broadcasting on weekends for 4 hours, between 10am and 2pm. Eventually, weekdays on Play DJ lasted a whopping 8 hours! (5 hours between 3pm + 5=8pm and 3 hours between 10pm + 11pm). The daytime shows at the weekends were even worse! They lasted for 10 hours between 10am and 8pm! (add the total for the late show and you've got 13 hours of Play DJ!). The final show was broadcast in it's old 6-8pm slot.


And for your edification, here's what you could have expected from the award-winning Play DJ.....why?

Web links

Unofficial MySpace site

Wikipedia entry


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