Everyone's a Winner
BBC One, 23 September 2006
Noel Edmonds’s much anticipated return to BBC1 Saturday Night Primetime after seven years, and it was a bit naff.
Three contestants on the buzzer answer questions, sometimes tenuously, related to pictures of landmarks throughout the globe, linked via a “Powerful Satellite” zooming in on them (That would be Google Earth with added CGI seagulls and cars, then). Three questions per photo at one point per question. Solid structure, but rather un-engaging for a Saturday Night. Three rounds of this were played, one using people from the studio audience set up by friends and family, one using home viewers linked to via NTV technology (the quality of which has, it would seem, gone down over the past 7 years, we certainly don’t remember sound technicians brutally ramming ear-pieces into NTV victims’ ears in 1999), one using contestants in three locations throughout the country that have received lottery funding over the past year. Winners go on to the final round; losers win £100 per point.
While all of that was very un-BBC1-Saturdaynightish, it was at least solid. Though, if you go for something that basic it’s a bit hard for it not to be solid. Atoms, for example, are relatively hard to break. The final round, however, didn’t even have that going for it. The three finalists had three minutes to answer questions. A correct answer added £1,000 to the pot, an incorrect answer passed control to the next contestant. Player in control at the end of the three minutes won whatever was in the pot. Thankfully, one of the flaws in this game occurred on the show. The time ran out while the contestant, who clearly wasn’t going to get the right answer in time, was thinking about the answer, but before he was timed out.
What of the viewing public that weren’t near enough to any of the three cities to enter, and weren’t set up by our friends and family? Well, they had a chance to win too. £1,000 + the amount won by the six losing contestants in the first round, via a multiple choice phone in question.
While it was nice to see Noel back in Primetime BBC1, thank the Bearded One that this format was a one off. As for the title, yes, everyone was a winner. For values of ‘everyone’ that excludes almost everyone who doesn’t benefit from BT’s profit margin, since the rate of the phone-in didn’t seem high enough for the BBC to do anything but cover the costs of running it.
Two of the three home players, including the eventual winner, being rather drunk.