Weaver's Week 2002-06-08

Weaver's Week Index

8th June 2002

Iain Weaver reviews the latest happenings in UK Game Show Land.

In the week when the servers of marcwallace.com were overloaded with fans seeking pictures of a Big Brother housemate, this also happened:

- Thumper Is Addled

- Top Top Ten

- Annoyance Of The Week


Keble Oxford 76 -v- Open 85

Keble's gives us an excuse to see a clip of the US original, COLLEGE BOWL. Open captain Barbara Thompson has gone on to win FIFTEEN TO ONE.

Interruption Of The Week: Thumper: What was "addled" in... David Wintle, Open: Parliament.

Last time they appeared, Open racked up a score above 400. After five starters, they have 105. Keble has only troubled the scorer to pick up a penalty. By the music round, Keble is making a fist of it, closing the gap from a peak of 140 to 45. The third quarter is roughly level pegging, Keble reduce the deficit to 30 on a criminally easy set of bonuses on constellations.

Think, boy: Thumper asks a question about the subject of a clerihew starting "A filmmaker against his will" then asks Thompson how she knew it was Cecil B De Mille. Clerihews rhyme.

Keble briefly comes within five points, but then Open takes control again. The final score is a 285-220 win for the Open. Wintle top scores with 84 for Open, Tony Elbra makes 80. Robert Charlesworth has 75 for Keble. Keble made 25/30 bonuses and two penalties; Open 31/41 and two penalties.

The top ten:

345 Somerville 02

285 Open 85

255 Dundee 84

240 Imperial 96

240 Univ Ox 73

225 Trinity Ca 95

225 Imperial 01

220 Keble Ox 76

205 Merton Ox 81

200 Lancaster 80

Next week: Keele 69 -v- St Andrews 83


A slightly cheesy theme (the same as THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, unless I'm very much mistaken) and a blue-and-orange set - very closely resembling the 5 NEWS studio - introduce 5's new show. Anthony Wilson, sometime host of REMOTE CONTROL and manager of Factory records, is our host. Charlotte Hudson, sometime sidekick of Nicky Campbell and Anne Robinson on WATCHDOG is the sidekick here.

The contestants are given a colour, and stand in things that look like the teleportation chambers from a cheap sci-fi show. They wear black jumpers with their colour down the side.

Each round has a top ten list; one point for the top answer, ten points for the last on the list. In the first round, contestants answer in turn, if their answer is not on the list, they're frozen out for the rest of the round. First three to 20 progress.

Second round is a solo run, blurt out as many of the top 10 within thirty seconds to score. Top two scores advance.

Third round is another solo run, this time trying to outscore your opponent in a head-to-head match without an error. This is rather exciting, really.

The show's winner gets a holiday of their dreams: the runner-up a cheap and tacky consolation prize.

Wilson is an avuncular host, looking rather like Jerry Springer when he hosted GREED on the channel last year, though sounding a little like Dale Winton in places. Hudson has the answers, and throws in pointless facts here and there. This is a format that has already been a successful party game, and now turns into an entertaining - if lightweight - telly show.


The cast described in three words...

Alex, 23, Obsessed With Hygiene

Jonny, 29, Charming Chap Really

Lee, 22, Just Say No

PJ, 22, Who Is He

Sandy, 43, Old Kilt Wearer

Spencer, 22, Has No Personality

Adele, 23, Fancied By Lee

Alison, 27, Larger Than Life

Jade, 21, The Birthday Girl

Kate, 22, Looks Can Deceive

The task: It's a general knowledge quiz, on politics, sport, or entertainment. The housemates pick entertainment, and proceed to get 8/10. This entitles them to £400 to spend on groceries for the coming week: had they got 6 or fewer, the rations would have been basic. The whole thing is over within 20 minutes, unlike previous year's tasks - they provided footage for most of the week. Very dull.

How To Annoy (1): Jonny leaves the drawer under his bed open, and Alex bangs into it. Mr Slightly Bruised Knee drones on for five minutes.

The new housemate: Sophie, 24, recruitment consultant, Marlow. Gotta Great Voice.

How To Annoy (2): After someone else swiped the duvet off his bed, Alex filches it back from a sleeping Kate. He doesn't say anything when the blonde one charges into the other dorm a few minutes later.

The housemates nominated for eviction are, in alphabetical order: Alex. And Alison. And Sandy.

"This means that two people got the same number of votes," says Alex. "I'm not worried for my job," said Peter Snow, dusting the cobwebs off the Swingometer.

Here's how we got there, remembering that Sophie plays no part in this week's evictions.

Adele: Alison, Kate

Alex: Jonny, Alison

Alison: Alex, Sandy

Jade: Jonny, Alex

Jonny: Sandy, Alex

Kate: Alex, Sandy

Lee: Jade, Kate

PJ: Alex, Sandy

Sandy: Jonny, Alison

Spencer: Alex, Alison

Alex is annoying people, Sandy is too isolated, Alison is being just a bit too loud, and Jonny is crude.

The nominations cast the developing groups in a stronger light: there's a bunch of keep-fit fanatics, led by Kate and Adele, and including Jade, Jonny, PJ, and (more loosely) Alison. Alex and Sandy are tight and looking down on the rest of the house, with Lee and Adele gravitating more towards that pair. Spencer is still a free agent, moving easily between both groups - he could be in for a long haul. Adele is already voting against Kate, a potential rival.

How To Annoy (3): Someone uses Alex's toothpaste. Mr Dirty Teeth goes on about it for fifteen minutes.

By midweek, bookies made Spencer a clear favourite, with Jonny second, Adele third. Jonny strikes me as very overpriced - he was very close to being back in the phone vote this week, and he's not had the wake-up call that this can bring.

How To Annoy (4): Alex refers to Jonny as "the prick" behind his back. But not to his face.

Lee reckons the public will love Alex and his model looks. Adele hints that if Alison goes, Kate will be next; this is how she voted for eviction.

How To Annoy (5): The forks and spoons are mixed up in the kitchen. Mr Cutlery Confusion goes on about it for almost an hour.

MLS: At Jade's birthday party, Lee and Alison were rolling on the floor. Fully clothed. The day before, Adele gave the birthday girl an early kiss. Tongues may have been involved. How much extra mileage will this give them?

By the end of the week, the couples were beginning to pair off. PJ and Jade were itemic, Kate and Spencer were making cooing noises, while Lee had stopped wooing Adele in favour of newbie Sophie.

How To Annoy (6): People have been juggling with the fruit. Mr Food Is For Eating, Not Playing With, goes on about it all night.

Phone A Plonker: C4's struggling breakfast show claimed an exclusive Friday, when interviewer Mr bin Laden spoke with Lee's girlfriend Carmen called, said she was dropping him, and that she was pregnant. However, BBLB traced Lee's girlfriend Carmel, who said that she was standing by her man and isn't with child. The good news is that this ER:ROR will have been seen by fewer people than are in the BB house.

How To Annoy (7): Kate is really annoyed with the condescending way Alex treats her, and tries to have a Nice Big Argument. He refuses, brushes her off, and leaves her sobbing on the bed with Ali and Jade, who shouts the odds at him. This could continue well into the night.

Ratings Watch: More people watched Wednesday's BBLB than the CHANNEL 4 NEWS on the grown-ups channel at the same time. Host Dermot O'Leary has not been tipped to take Michael Buerk's place as anchor of the BBC's News At TEN O'CLOCK.

The voting is close. The voting is very close. Davina gives percentages with moments to go. If we're to believe them, a 30,000 majority was overturned in less than a quarter of an hour. That said, the BBC took 500,000 calls for Eurovision in five minutes.

Sandy is miles behind, with 323,790 votes. Alex has 540,187 but Alison surges late to top with 541,214. Just 1027 votes in 1.5 million. That's close enough to call a Florida. Of course, it's all independently audited and above board, but it brings back the feeling that BB getting a bit too cocky for its own good.

Alex makes some snarky comment about somebody knowing the truth, and you can just see the horns poking above his cropped hairline. The girls spot that Mr Pointyhead has been shown in a good light on the nightly show - and they've not even seeing it. Ali's final minute lasts around 180 seconds, so she clearly has a job with British Rail lined up. Adele comes out of the interview as very two-faced, but it's clearly Alex and Sandy up next week. Possibly six or seven nominations each.

Unless there's a big change...


On Saturday's THE VAULT, Earth Mother Davina was wearing a pepto pink dress that didn't really suit her. It was a great show for lovers of dead air; two questions about authors were panel beaters, causing almost three minutes of dead air, and the home contestant couldn't answer a question asked earlier on the show. This is a show that has yet to exhaust its seam of variety without changing at all; every week brings different contestants, with their own strengths and weaknesses, and the chance that it'll all fall apart in the finale.

And it was a welcome back to one of the questions most beloved of evil question setters in the UK: Q: In which county is Leeds Castle? A: Kent.

Cariad@iaith! "Love Towards A Language" is the latest Constructed Reality Show, from Fflic and Welsh-language broadcaster S4C. Sixteen contestants are locked in a house in remote North Wales, and filmed during their stuttering attempts to learn Welsh. The participants are given six hours of lessons a day, and will take to the air in the autumn. Reports that Channel 4 have already started filming the English language version at Elstree Studios cannot be confirmed.

What Are The Greeks Wearing? Lawsuits! The man behind the most bizarre Eurovision entry of the year has threatened to sue after accusing producers of sabotaging his performance. He claims that bad sound mixing, not bad singing, was to blame. Though if he thinks SAGAPO was a winner in a two-horse race, he may be wrong. Unless the other horse was Denmark.

Correspondence Corner: I've had almost two letters from fans of Gareth Gates, objecting to coverage of the Pop Idle talent show at the start of the year. I'm informed, "its spelt POP IDOL," and that "Gareth is called Gareth NOT GATES." I could have sworn that Mr Gates' name was Gates. Even worse, "its Ant and Dec NOT Antan Dec." Do they not teach irony as part of the core curriculum these days? And could either gentleman carve out a career without the other? "Next time your gonna write something think before you write it!!!!!" Excellent advice to all.

You always know you've arrived when you're featured in the hallowed pages of The Beano. Such is the fate of Simon Cowell, whose appearance in Britain's best-loved news magazine centres on Gnasher and his band The Dinmakers. The PUP IDOL judge is now officially famous.


This year's fetish seems to be for live Saturday night shows. We've already seen THE VAULT, were the climax has to be live to avoid a nasty fine from the premium telephone number watchdog. This week's VAULT is at 1830, and it's followed at 1915 by ANTAN DEC'S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY. An entertainment show featuring studio surprises, the contents of a commercial break, and an appearance from Pop Idle loser Gareth "The Annoying One" Gates (and possibly the diminutive brunette he's been seen with lately.) Followed by FAMILY FORTUNES.

Over on the Beeb, Eamonn Holmes introduces REMOTELY FUNNY, in which contestants control D-list celebs for the day and get them to attempt challenges that are filmed by hidden cameras. This feels like a review that writes itself. Followed by IN IT TO WIN IT, where a correspondent informs me there's no need for a clock, there are twenty questions to people On The High Chairs and a jackpot of £100,000. It makes a lot more sense now, though it's still as dull as ditchwater.

BBC2 is showing the movie QUIZ SHOW at 0040 Sunday.

The football coverage continues, as does Big Brother. The only daytime shows are DIRTY MONEY (all week), FIFTEEN TO ONE and COUNTDOWN (to Wednesday), and WIPEOUT (Friday).

We've some celeb episodes of WEAKEST LINK USA in the 1715 slot: Monday has members of the Star Trek cast, Tuesday and Wednesday old television stars, and Thursday comedians. All episodes are subject to pre-emption by live tennis beforehand.

The FEAR FACTOR championship begins at 2000 Tuesday. This week's X-FIRE mission is Germ Alert.

To have Weaver's Week emailed to you on publication day (usually Saturday), receive our exclusive TV roundup of the game shows in the week ahead, and chat to other ukgameshows.com readers sign up to our Yahoo! Group.

Back to Weaver's Week Index

A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in