Odd One In
Resident panellists: Peter Andre and Jason Manford
Zeppotron (an Endemol company) for ITV1, 17 July 2010 to 18 December 2011 (16 episodes in 2 series)
Bradley Walsh takes a break from Law and Order:UK and slips back into the comfortable slippers of being a cheesy comedian to host this offbeat update of Tell the Truth.
The staffing arrangements are a little strange, if we're honest, because instead of team captains there is the constant pairing of Jason Manford and Peter Andre who make up the resident team and two other celebrities arrive to challenge them.
To the game, and the idea is simple - pick which of the several people in front of you (the exact number varies from around 4 to 6) have a certain unusual claim to fame or ability: it could be that they're related to a famous person, they hold the world record for shucking oysters, they can fly a glider, or that right at that moment a dog is licking their foot behind a screen. The casting of the line-up is well done and there's usually two or three likely candidates you could plump for.
Unlike the line-up round on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, the 'suspects' are allowed to answer questions from the panellists. The fun of shows like this is mainly in the banter, and while this is certainly passable here it's most definitely on rails (being pre-watershed, unlike most panel games of the modern ilk) and therefore never really reaches the same heights as Buzzcocks or Would I Lie to You? Rather than the sparkling wit of Simon Amstell or David Mitchell, we're seeing Peter Andre ask a man whether he's ever married a pineapple. While Manford is obviously on hand to up the comedy quotient, he's not helped by the fact that the visiting celebs are of the "Our Friends from Corrie/GMTV/ITV Weather" axis rather than comedians, which again hampers the format.
The scoring mechanism is not perfect either. The teams are asked to make their selections aloud rather than in secret, meaning that - if you're in any doubt on a particular round - you just need to match the same selection as the other team and it's impossible for your score to be harmed. Indeed, once you're ahead of the game then you can guarantee a win through this method. Added to this, you have one choice out of six so quite often whole rounds will be ultimately pointless because both teams missed the correct person. Maybe, if this ever happens, the teams ought to have been given another go to pick up a bonus point or some other workaround to up the scoring.
There's a slightly strange tacked-on element at the end of the programme, where a "winning" member of the audience who got the most answers correct in the main game (presumably via an electronic voting system) comes onto the stage. They play a final game (such as: which of the guitarists shown in silhouette is really playing the music?) for a straightforward cash prize.
Overall, it's a reasonably good piece of entertainment, but it could have easily been a lot better if some of the celebrity choices weren't so "odd".
Jess Bailey and Graeme Perkins