Voiceover: Mitch Johnson
Twofour for five, 28 May - 22 June 2007 (20 episodes in 1 series)
Colin Murray hosts the show that asks that age old question, can you determine how much people earn by the manner they answer general knowledge questions?
Eight contestants line up on a stage that looks very much like its a huge precipice, except it isn't it's just a very shiny black floor. They are introduced with "Hi, my name's X and (insert interesting fact here)." In round one, Murray asks each contestant a general knowledge question. If they're correct, they earn some money - they pick another contestant and one day of their wage is put into their "Payday Account", the idea is you try and pick the highest wage earner so you get the most money. You can also pick yourself, so there is a little bit of strategy and bluff involved, but the contestants very rarely get a chance to find out how they're doing.
Between rounds there's come host/contestant banter, and Murray reveals some of the jobs in play today.
Round two is on the buzzer and against a notional clock. It's quite difficult to determine if Murray's pizzicato style delivery of questions is just him or part of the format. We've also noticed that a lot of the questions refer to consumer brands and slogans in a way that isn't out of place on a US show but is a bit odd coming from a UK channel. If we were betting men, which we are as it turns out, we'd say this was a show with a keen eye on making the US market. The show even has a rather extraneous US style announcer in Mitch Johnson! Anyway, at the end of this round the person with the most money in their Payday Account is revealed with their face flashing up on the screens behind them, and they must eliminate a competitor from the game. Again there's a bit of strategy here, do you knock out who you think is a high, middle or low earner? There are pros and cons for each, partly through position, partly because it could effect the amount you can take home.
The final round is again against the clock and whoever has the most money goes through to the big final.
In the big final, the salaries of the seven contestants still on stage are put up on screen. The finalist obviously knows their own salary, so that is filled in. The finallist must try and determine who else is on what. Once names are put to salaries, Murray gives the finalist the opprtunity to walk away with the money in their Payday Account, or they can play on. If they play on, the computer reveals if the finalist has successfully matched a contestant to the salary. If thay have, they win 2x the Payday Account. They can go on, each time adding the base amount to their prize. If they've matched all six other contestants to all six salaries correctly, they walk away with the top salary on the stage which will be in excess of £40,000. But if they play on and they have no more correct answers then they lose the lot, Take It or Leave It style.
Murray is affable enough as host, and actually more likable than we thought he would be. That is a rather difficult endgame though, and we'd be surprised if it ever actually got won. It's not quite clear if the non-finalist contestants get to keep what's in their Accounts or not, but we suspect not.
"Your Payday Account is closed..."