Poll of the Year 2007

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What do polls make? Publicity! And yes, it's time once again to celebrate and commiserate the year gone by, and possibly get us in the papers, with the UKGameshows.com Poll of 2007, sponsored by Bother's Bar! Amazing.

This year we slightly altered the format, whereas before we allowed each of our voters three votes in any particular category (which they could all dedicate to one show if they felt that way inclined), this year we gave everyone a whopping five votes, although they could only dedicate a maximum of three in a given show per category. Our percentage shares don't take into account unused votes or discounted votes, so the realistic maximum will be just over 60%.

But enough of that, it's time to find out what our survey said. Your comments play a much bigger part this year, too.


Hall of Fame 2007

Let's begin with some choice quotes from our punters regarding gameshows in the year 2007:

"It was good year for gameshows!! Bring on 2008!!... Amazing shows in 2007 and to be honest, I don't know how it would get better."

Strong words indeed. And we would print more eulogies for 2007, except we didn't get any more.

Still, there were some diamonds in the rough and in total 35 different new formats were nominated. And in ascending order of carat, the top five as voted by you are:

5 Get 100

Reggie Yates' attempt to make maths hip wiv der kids (does "the youth" still speak like this? Editors please check.) polled 7.1% of the total vote. We've said in the past that if you want to find inventive and interesting gameshows these days, kids telly is the place to find them. In fact, the all new CBBC has done very well indeed this year, The Sorcerer's Apprentice finished joint eighth, Trapped joint tenth and Escape from Scorpion Island (it's people's favourite Reggie Yates again!) in joint twelth.

3= Are You Smarter Than a 10 Year Old?, Would I Lie to You? (2)

Both polling 8.9%. Some people have made a distinction in the votes between the Dick 'n' Dom and the Noel versions of Smarter, but we've lumped them together so there. One person voted for Angus' big BBC comeback "mainly for David Mitchell's rant about Mike Read." Another reader says "nice to see David Mitchell and Lee Mack on prime time BBC One, as they're always capable of being ace. I can't help but feel Saturday night is the worst possible slot for a comedy panel show, though, and I won't be surprised if it doesn't reappear." We shall see.

2 Who Dares Wins

To be honest probably the surprise hit of the year, without the hype surrounding it in other territories we have a pretty respectable list based quiz doing respectably well, earning 11.2% of the vote. It also helps that it was one of the faster paced quizzes this year in a year where there were few memorable ones.

1 Golden Balls

This year's big ITV hit (that we didn't think that much to when we saw the pilot but still) pulled in 12.4% of the total votes. Unfortunately nobody bothered to put down why they liked it, so we'll assume it's all for the gigantic Golden Bank which is one of the best pieces of gameshow set in ages.

Bubbling under: The Search, Britain's Got Talent, The Great Pretender, The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Hall of SHAME 2007

2007 in quotes:

"I think the main problem with this years gameshow offerings was blandness... Another dreadful, dreadful year. *sigh*... Again this year, it's far easier for me to fill in "worst new formats" than "best"... This could have been the best year for game shows in a long time. Instead, it was the worst... An exceptionally poor year for quiz shows... A dark year for the game show... If the gameshow year was a meat, 2007 would be the thinnest piece of streaky bacon you have ever seen."

We think you get the gist.

Plenty of rough with the diamonds then, in total 36 different shows were mentioned and the five most people regetted the morning after ARE...

5= Identity, Tycoon

Polling 5.2% each. "Identity is the worst gameshow I have ever seen - even duller than Cash Cab," is one of our favourite quotes from this year's readership we think. If we added up all the life we had wasted between Donny Osmond saying "IS! THAT! YOUR! IDENINY!" and the answer being revealed, we'd find out that actually we'd only have lost about two minutes because we gave up watching after a few episodes. Fresh from the "success" of Tycoon, ITV are suggesting they've got another business reality show lined up about salespeople. That's sure to be a big hit!

3= DanceX, Golden Balls

6.4% each. We can at understand why Dance X might have looked good on paper - it capitalises on the current dancing craze, and it's got Arlene and Bruno off of Strictly Come Dancing on it, but in fact nobody really cared as it turns out (and apparently neither do they in The States where Dance Wars, also starring Bruno Tonioli, has been a bit of a ratings disappointment).

Golden Balls is a show where nothing happens except people shout over each other. One contributor opines "I was massively disappointed by this. No real element of skill whatsoever, and unlike on DoND, which has the other contestants actively cheering on today's player, Golden Balls rewards people for being bastards, which is a horrible way to end a show. What a waste of Jasper Carrott." The fact the show is on both the best and worst lists is probably the best result for Endemol, because that means it has provoked a reaction (strokes beard).

2 People's Quiz

Forgetting that people who take quiz seriously really aren't the sort of people who make the reality talent contest genre go round it's The People's Quiz polling 10% of the vote. "'The People's Quiz' was a right balls up from the word go. From the set-up at the auditions to the sheer dubbing and suspect question adjudication in the final." "Everyone wants the next big new quiz but they more concerned with getting a big budget commission rather than making a good show."

1 For the Rest of Your Life

Endemol go two for two as Dick de Rijk is this year's runaway winner/loser of the worst format award with an astounding 17.5% of the vote. We saw the Bradley Walsh pilot, it was dull. But even the inclusion of some pretty computer graphics and close ups of Nicky Campbell saying "white lights" didn't change the fact that in trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice and producing a game of variable luck a la Deal or No Deal, the actual result was a rather insipid affair lacking the excitement and humour of Deal. And whilst Deal is a simple show they can play in an enormous amount of ways to pep it up during a dry spell, there seems to be only one thing you can do with FTROYL which is to fall asleep watching seemingly.

Bubbling under: Eurovision Dance Contest, Payday, Three Fat Brides, One Thin Dress, WAGs Boutique

The Golden Fiver

The year's most interesting award, you have the choice of any UK gameshow that made a new episode that went out in 2007. Cut through the hype, we wanted to know what you really enjoyed watching.

And told us you did - 57 shows were nominated for this year's Golden Fiver, and the shows you liked the most were these:

4= University Challenge, Who Dares Wins

The quiz votes being felt in force with 4.8% of the vote. This is actually higher than Uni Challenge finished last year. We would be a little bit surprised if Nick Knowles will still be on the list in 2008, but stranger things have happened.

2= Golden Balls, QI

It's Jasper Carrott again - he's made all three lists! Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is something we'll let you decide on. Both these shows scored 7.3%. QI is well up on its result last year where it was merely bubbling under. As one reader puts it: "Like a lovely cup of hot Vimto on a cold day. Aaaah. It's nice to see that it's attracting a particularly huge studio audience (as they seem to keep finding ways to show on camera), surely the largest number of bums on seats for a panel game." Well that's ITV's London Studios for you, back when ITV didn't know the meaning of the word 'small'.

1 Deal or No Deal

"'DOND' kinda fell on its arse this year didn't it." Well, perhaps "slipped" is the right word as with 9.1% of the vote it's well down on last year's figure (even taking into account the new voting scheme) but it still picked up enough votes to go top (although it was a bit touch and go with Stephen Fry at one point). 2007 was a big year for the show, a year of big excitement, big wins (the top prize finally going! Several six figure sums!), big losses (the viewer phone-in!). "'Deal or No Deal' may have its bad points but there aren't many shows of any type on TV that I don't want to miss an episode of." Well there we are.

That's two in a row for Noel and the gang. We think it will be difficult to top it a third time. As an incentive, if Deal or No Deal manages to top the Golden Fiver for a third consecutive year we'll be sending them TV's most exclusive and revered award: The UKGameshows.com Pen and Pencil Set. Now if that's not worth making good telly for, we don't know what is.

We don't just give them out to anybody you know.

Bubbling under: Have I Got News for You, PokerFace, The Apprentice, The Search, 1 vs 100, Countdown, Raven, Strictly Come Dancing

It's possibly just worth a few seconds to consider shows that earnt Golden Fiver placings last year but failed to make the cut this time round. The Apprentice is obviously down a few places finishing 8th on the list with 3.6%, The Weakest Link which tied in fifth with The Apprentice only managed 17th place this year. PokerFace finished in joint 6th, down two places on last year (quote: "'Poker Face' is only at the top of my 'golden' list (twice) because the final produced one of the few tense moments of the year, and merits its place considering the overall dearth of excitement."). Take It or Leave It, last year's joint third falls down to joint 34th, whilst 2006's Let Me Entertain You which finished second in last year's Golden Fiver won precisely zero votes with its 2007 incarnation. It's the riches to rags story of every reality producer's dream.

All that remains is for us to thank everyone who voted, and hope that 2008 provides some richer pickings. Early indications are fairly positive, but according to a lot of you it couldn't really be much worse could it?

See Also

Poll of the Year 2005
Poll of the Year 2006

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