Weaver's Week 2002-06-15

Weaver's Week Index

15th June 2002

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

In the week when Captain Kirk kissed Anne Robinson on national television, most of this also happened:

- A workmanlike performance on UCR

- The jackpot goes on THE VAULT

- Nothing of interest on BIG BROTHER. And certainly no sex, Bill.


St Andrews 82 -v- Keele 69

Ah, the days when St Andrews wore their gowns to the contest, and actually scored more than 40 points a contest. Ah, the days when Keele had a suit and tie and a donkey jacket on the same team... and one of their number openly smoking on the panel.

The Saints start slowly, notching up two penalties for starters. Keele races away, but St Andrews' pulls back with an alarming knowledge of improvised survival techniques. By the music round, Keele's lead is stable at 50.

By the second picture round, Keele is pulling away. Heck, this is a one-man show: captain Aubrey Lawrence is running away with things, answering all the starters and getting all the bonuses. The only question is whether Keele will rack up the highest score of the series: 340-160 is the final score, so not quite.

This is a quiet, calm match - no histrionics, no flash, just hard work and a just reward.

Lawrence made 108 points, with Paul Brownsey scoring well in the closing minutes to end on 98. Andrew Preiss topped for St Andrews' with 55. StA 17/26 bonuses and 4 penalties, Keele 37/48 with just one error.

The top ten:

345 Somerville 02

340 Keele 69

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

Next week: Oriel Oxford 66 -v- Magdalen Oxford 98


Antan Dec's live entertainment show premiered last Saturday. Live is the watchword. So is entertainment, though quite where Gareth Gates comes into this is another question.

Our Geordie heroes appear on a cinema screen to tell one fortunate member of the audience that someone is at their home with £3000 cash. All the audience member has to do is go home before the end of the show and win the cash. They don't spell out *whose* house has the dosh, so half the audience leaves. For most of them, it's a BOAWJ.

The duo has kidnapped Jeremy Beadle, sometime CHAIN LETTERS host, and dumped him on Spitbank Fort, an island fort off the coast of Essex. His only company is a young lady, who is trying to get him to learn to sing the Japanese national anthem for a £5000 prize. This makes FORT BOYARD look tame in comparison. Tigers and snakes hold no fear compared with a week locked up with a man guilty of Heinous Crimes Against Entertainment. Highlights of the week are shown with a Geordie voiceover, and they have to complete their task live on Saturday night television (please do not swear.)

And there's a chance of winning a complete commercial break. The prize is most of the contents of the centre and surrounding breaks in one of five hour-long shows. If it's a car, the winner takes a car. If it's dog food, winner will take a single can of dog food, even if they don't have a dog.

Three contestants are pulled out of the audience to answer some 100%-style questions on commercials. Because of strict rules separating programmes and adverts, the only clips that can be shown are of foreign commercials. The screen behind the contestants drops down indications of the answers, an effect seen on YOU DON'T KNOW JACK in the US.

The winner is asked 90 seconds worth of questions, and wins one of 25 prizes featured in the breaks. Interesting to note that two of the questions had appeared on THE VAULT earlier. The winner can take the prizes he wins, or gamble those prizes against all 25 on one question.

Overall, this is a fab show. Antan Dec was the saviour of Saturday morning television for ITV, rescuing the network from many years of slow decline. After a promising Saturday teatime show last year didn't quite work, they've rethought and come up with a programme that combines the best bits of NOEL'S HOUSE PARTY and DON'T FORGET YOUR TOOTHBRUSH. So long as the format bears repetition, and I'm not totally convinced it will, ITV has suddenly got a very strong lineup.


This week, for absolutely no reason to do with the show, the cast is described in Beatles songs. They're also split into two groups by the task.

Side A, All John And Paul (£400 shopping, four hours hot water, laundry service)

Jonny, 29, Let It Pee

Lee, 22, I Wanna Be Your Man

Sandy, 43, Nowhere Man

Kate, 22, I'll Cry Instead

Sophie, 25, Another (Birthday) Girl

Side AA, Ringo Sings (£0 shopping, no hot water, outside cooker)

Alex, 23, Run For Your Life

PJ, 22, The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill

Spencer, 22, I'm Only Sleeping

Adele, 23, Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

Jade, 21, Little Child

Ha! Betting End! Further questions were asked over last week's eviction when it emerged that a betting sting could have taken place. When the lines opened, Alison was offered at 8/1 for eviction that week. Bookies reported a flood of bets at what are ludicrous odds - one could put down a hundred, make 2000 calls, and win £300. With the poll being decided by barely 1027 votes, it would only have taken one chancer to swing the vote.

The C4 website still displays an "official bookmaker" sponsorship.

2000 Publicity Blurb: "If there's sex in the house, we'll show it."

Shooting a ball through a basket should be easy enough, but not on this show. Sandy took advantage of confusion about the order of shooting to book his place on Side A. Jonny took the last place there by virtue of a shot that was clearly over the line. BBLB on Sunday completely ignored this blatant infringement.

Adele's protests that this should have been called void fell on deaf ears. Even more curiously, when the task is repeated on E4 fifteen minutes later, her accurate observation is removed from the soundtrack.

Bridget Need Not Apply: BB tells the AA side that they may not kill the chickens. Readers who are Ed Hall may insert their own comment here.

The extreme right-wing paper Daily Mail has proclaimed itself a BB free zone. Its hacks offered £11,000 to buy up Lynne, the woman evicted from the house two weeks ago. She said no.

Those nominations in full:

Jonny, Kate, Sophie: Alex, Sandy

Jade, PJ: Lee, Sophie

Adele, Alex, Spencer: Jonny, Lee

Sandy: Jonny, Kate

Lee: Jade, Jonny

Jonny and Lee are up for eviction. There are no nominations amongst side AA, but everyone from side A votes for one (in Sandy's case, two) of their roommates. Jonny is still leading the charge against Sandy; Jade and PJ are pairing off, at least for nominations, and find new girl Sophie more obnoxious than cheat Jonny. Lee knows who his rivals are, and Sandy's tactic seems to have paid off for this week.

"Mind The Gap": Sophie's 25th birthday on Sunday was marked by cakes and a party. She found it very depressing. Kate snogged Spencer to transfer a mouthful of booze; BB confiscated six cans. On Tuesday, Sophie washed Jade's hair with Jade's shampoo, which was also forfeit. BB's rule seems to be that nothing can cross the bars: if Sophie were to wash Jade's hair using her own shampoo, and let her hair dry naturally, BB could do nothing.

Ratings watch: BB has beaten both BBC and ITV news bulletins in the 10pm slot.

"Bored now": Sandy bows to the inevitable on Tuesday and decides to leave. There weren't enough tasks for him to do. Sandy said he had found one 'major weakness' in the house that might allow him to get out. He also talked about the possibility of escape over the roof. Lee also mentioned that he might leave, in the unlikely event he's not voted out Friday.

Revolting: The news generated open rebellion - Sandy opened a bottle of red wine, and openly gave glasses to side AA. With the line being broken, BB admitted defeat and gave the have-nots some lager. Spence brazenly woke side A the next day, and helped eat Sophie's pineapple cake. He gets a "strike" - a formal warning - from BB, as does Kate, who allows herself to be dragged to side AA.

Never Mind The Football: On Tuesday, BB set the girls a keepy-uppy challenge; for every uppy they keepeyed, they could watch one minute of the England -v- Nigeria match in the world cup. That match kicked off at 0730 Wednesday, and ended in a supremely tedious 0-0 draw.

E4 runs on a 20 minute delay. At 0751 Wednesday, viewers were treated to coverage of Sandy climbing over the wall, onto the roof, and vanishing into the secure zone beyond the BB house. That's Sandy scaling the wall, vaulting the wall, scampering across the roof, and vanishing down the other side. This would be The TV Moment Of 2002, even if England beats the USA 13-0 in the football final. A new housemate will replace Sandy on Sunday.

"Would Someone Please Bring History to the Diary Room": Viewers of C4's BB programme saw Jade and PJ snuggle under the sheets, and Lee and Sophie sharing a bed. They didn't see Sandy piddling in a bin (nor Alex's reaction), Sandy telling Kate how little he thought of her, or even the way Sandy let himself go for once. C4 viewers don't see any evidence Kate taking a bath after having a little too much to drink, alarming BB enough to call someone to the rescue.

Nor did they see Sandy and the others on side A give wine and snacks to those on side AA. Spencer and Kate weren't seen crossing to the flip side. This meant BB painted itself into a corner, not showing anyone breaking the rules enough to justify its reprimands.

We've also not seen anything that would justify the extra security netting over the house. It wasn't there when Sunita walked out the back door two weeks ago, but was clearly visible during The Great Escape. There have been persistent and credible reports that an intruder came within breathing distance of the contestants around day 10. These reports have not been confirmed at press time.

"My initial reaction was one of intense joy, but that's now been replaced by a vague feeling of inadequacy and gloom": We have our first overtly sexual acts: Jade giving a BBBJ on PJ is briefly fumbled into C4's 2200 highlight montage; Sophie giving a BBBJ on Lee is buried under the duvet.

Chickfight: Jade and Kate have a contretemps with the "fake" Sophie. This is the first split amongst that circle of friends, and suggests that she's being thrown with Lee towards Alex's circle. Maybe the loss of Sandy from that clique will make them more receptive to two new members.

Jade will not be nominating next week after discussing her nominations with Adele.

"It's not an experience which I can see catching on, but neither is it one which I regret": Tuesday's acts of passion leave PJ and Jade badly confused; he pretends nothing happens, she's all clingy around him. Lee and Sophie are canoodling in a manner that suggests oxygen is becoming an issue. The two undersheet activities combine for almost two column inches in the popular press; readers who know the popular press can insert their own joke here and save me the bother.

Reward Challenge: Big Scarf sets Island A a challenge: if they can lap the pool for four hours (as Sandy did) they will win a pool table for Island AA, and "some sunshine" for themselves. This is a dead good idea - it gives everyone something to do, and helps to avoid the crushing boredom that might yet drive Sophie and Lee out. Why not nick some competitive Reward Challenges - AA gets some decent grub if they win; A something money can't buy if they win, like messages from home.

Man Alive: Jonny is voted out, 84-16. In the post-match interview, he wants to be remembered as a flirt. Heck, he wants to be remembered.


Vaultwatch: What Is The Earth Mother Wearing? Pinstripe Suits! Far better than last week's eyepopper, but it's still not right. First contestant to have read the rules about minimum differences making a difference, and guessing 5555 as a combination. It gets him on Contestants' Row. Once again, authors turn out to be the downfall in the final. Once again, a home contestant scoops the jackpot on live television (please do not swear.)

Plonkerwatch: Antan Dec: Who is the oldest - Ant or Dec? Contestant: Which one's which?


Football continues all week, except for Wednesday and Thursday. The cricket continues till Monday, and BB is continually available on E4. The football means that schedules for Saturday may yet change.

Saturday on BBC1: Last in the series of THE WAITING GAME at 1725. Probably followed by FRIENDS LIKE THESE 1810, REMOTELY FUNNY at 1900 and INIT at 1935. On ITV: possibly BLANKETY BLANK at 1725, but probably footy. THE VAULT at 1830, ANTAN DEC at 1915 and FAMILY FORTUNES at 2015. ANTAN DEC is repeated at 1410 Sunday on ITV2, with BANGED UP WITH BEADLE on ITV2 during the week.

Because of the cricket, Sunday's BBLB moves to E4 at 1900, for a full hour. Including taped live coverage of the 42nd housemate entering. This must be the answer to something.

After BB on Sunday, there's BANZAI. Last week, Mr Shake Hands Man II shake hand of Lady Miss Thora Birch for 2 minutes 43. Can anyone ever beat this record? Bet now!

DIRTY MONEY continues all week.

WEAKEST LINK USA is scheduled for 1715 Mo-We on 2; live sport on Tu and We may overrun.

THE PEOPLE VERSUS may return at 0925 on Monday, Tuesday or Friday, but only if there's no football. WIPEOUT at noon on BBC1 is also subject to the whims of the socceratti. NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD returns for a couple of days at 1705 Wednesday.

The FEAR FACTOR finale ends 2000 Tuesday.

This week's X-FIRE mission is Cold Thaw.

UK Horizons repeats THE QUIZ SHOW SCANDAL 2200 Thursday. The channel's also repeating BARE NECESSITIES at 0915 weekdays.

COUNTDOWN moves into the quarter final stage on Thursday. If you've not won eight games, you're not invited. The case for a final series of 12 seeds, not eight, has never looked stronger.

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