Perfect Recall



Terry Wogan


RDF Television for Channel 4, 25 August 2008 to 19 November 2010 (150 episodes in 5 series)


Terry Wogan hosts a quiz where memory skills can be just as important as general knowledge.

Terry Wogan on his "perfect" podium.

In the first round, four contestants answer 20 general knowledge questions on the buzzer. As each single word answer is revealed, it is added to an on-screen word bank, which is not visible to the contestants, but is provided for the audiences benefit, and remains on-screen throughout each round. Each correct answer is worth one point, and the player with the fewest points after the 20 questions have been asked is eliminated.

The second and third rounds play out much the same as the first round. However in each of these rounds, the 20 answers are exactly the same as the first round, but the questions are different, and also, so we are told, slightly more challenging. Due to the fact the answers are the same, the contestants are able to draw on both their general knowledge, and also their memory skills to help them answer the questions. Like the first round, the player with the lowest score is eliminated at the end of each round.

Once the first three rounds have whittled the four contestants down to one finalist, we reach the final round. Here, the remaining contestant has 60 seconds to answer as many of the 20 questions as they can. Due to the time limit, the questions are a little easier, and are worded quite short, however as before, the 20 answers remain the same. Before the round begins, the contestant must predict how many correct answers they think they will get. The lowest amount they can predict is 11 correct answers, which would win them £1,000. The scale then rises quite steadily up to £10,000 for 17 correct answers. From here, it rises sharply from £25,000 for 18 correct answers, to £50,000 for 19 correct answers, and finally up to £100,000 for getting all 20 answers correct. Once the 60 seconds have elapsed, if the contestant successfully meets their predicted target, they take the amount of money corresponding to that number of answers home with them. However if they exceed their predicted target, they do not win the money associated with that number of correct answers. If they fail to meet their predicted target, they leave with nothing, apart from a 'Perfect Recall' trophy - if Wogan walks over to the contestant carrying said trophy, it generally means that the latter has not been successful.

On the whole, Perfect Recall isn’t too bad. The memory aspect adds an interesting slant to what would otherwise be a fairly unremarkable question and answer format. Similarly, the contestant having to predict the number of correct answers they will get in the final round also adds some extra interest to the proceedings. Terry Wogan is a consummate host as always, and keeps things moving along at a good pace too. All told, it’s an entertaining enough way to wile away half an hour.

Terry Wogan's one finger to rule all.

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