24 Hour Quiz
Shaun Williamson, Matt Brown (late night)
Endemol for ITV1 and ITV2, 16 February - 2 April 2004 (episodes on 35 days, 1 series)
24 facts about 24 Hour Quiz:
- It was hosted by Shaun Williamson, with Matt Brown taking late night shows.
- It aired on ITV for five weeks in spring 2004.
- Contestants lived in a small Quiz Pod around the clock.
- They faced questions from a disembodied voice for sixteen hours a day. These questions were not difficult.
- Money was paid for each correct answer, usually £1 per correct answer.
- If they wanted to sleep, or eat, or use the shower, that could cost them money.
- Some questions were for more than one quid.
- These were usually up when someone was eating or otherwise away from play.
- In spite of lasting all day, less than a quarter of the quizzing was shown live.
- Most of that was on digital sideline ITV2.
- Each day, someone could be removed from the pod.
- Hundreds of people queued at Endemol Towers each morning.
- Most of them never got past the front door, including everyone over 40.
- Fourteen made it onto ITV each lunchtime.
- They were whittled down to seven by a process we never understood.
- The seven became six based on quizzing and picking a team of three.
- The teams played off against the pod.
- Then each member of the winning team played off against each other.
- The winner played against the player from the pod who had performed least well in the two hours before transmission.
- There was something to do with Quiz Pod Passes that we never quite understood.
- The rules for this elimination and entry game changed almost every day.
- Amazingly, this didn't pull in the viewers.
- Originally scheduled for a seven week run, the show was pulled owing to poor viewing figures.
- The set looked great, though.
Contestant Michael Parkinson (no relation to Michael Parkinson), a stripper, was accused of aggressive and threatening behaviour - not that surprising after Endemol supplied him with alcohol and shut him in a room smaller than a Big Brother cell. He was allowed to keep his £13,346 winnings and came back for the champions final. In 2008, he re-emerged as a contestant on Duel.
UTV viewers didn't take kindly to having this programme replace the daily lifestyle half-hour within UTV Live (which had been relegated to lunchtime, specifically for this show). Within several days, viewer protest had led to a scheduler's U-turn.