Quiz TV



James Callow
Suzanne Cowie
Kirsty Duffy
Kieron Elliott
Paul Garner
Andy Jaye
Alex Knowles
Ronan McKenna
Yiannis Morgan
Beth Palmer
Jordan Paris
Russ Spencer
Carryl Varley
Anna Williamson


Chops the sheep


Digital satellite and cable TV, 14 June 2004 to 23 June 2006


Quiz TV is one of those fascinating channels that was (let's not beat about the bush here) plainly rubbish but you accidentally flick it on during the early evening only to find that you've forgotten about dinner, it is in fact two o' clock in the morning and you've done nothing but sit mesmerized for hours on end. It's hard to imagine now, but when this channel launched, it actually seemed like quite a novel idea. By the time of it's closure, it was no different from the other fifty million quiz channels later to fall from grace on Sky.

It worked in a very simple way. A puzzle comes up on screen. You are notified of the prize (usually about a tenner for really easy things, and multiples of fifty quid that rises throughout the evening for really difficult ones). If you want a crack you phone in at 60p a go. The computer randomly decides whether to keep you on or to ask you to try again (a la Brainteaser and Memory Bank and at points during the evening the computer randomly selects a person who hasn't been turned down (there's normally a clock, and the guarantee is that someone will get selected before the clock hits zero, but when there isn't a clock then someone could get selected at any time)) to go through to the studio. If they're correct, they win the cash on offer. If they're wrong, they don't and people can ring in again.

The games range from the stupidly easy (which word fits in the middle to make two different phrases? League: ? : Lamp) to the tough but fair (such as the legendarily difficult Add 'em All where viewers must add up every number featured on a shopping list, including digits, figures, numbers-in-words and roman numerals) to the really tediously unfair (which of these arrows hits the centre of the target exactly, and which ones are about half a pixel off?).

Winning a game entitles the winner to play the Jackpot machine for an additional £2,000. This is a simple game of luck, guessing which of two boards says "move up". The aim is to get to the top of the eight step ladder and a wrong guess ends it there.

What was most fascinating about Quiz TV is the live presenters' ability to fill several hours at a time with essentially nothing. We salute their ability to try and entice us to part with our sixty pences in as many different ways as possible. They make us get excited over what you could buy with £50. We get all the latest entertainment news and our hosts' fascinating opinions on it. When viewers get through to the studio, the average losing call is over in about twenty seconds (what's your name? Where are you from? What's your answer?) and there's little or no banter.

There is a bloke controlling a cute sheep puppet called Chops, though.

There are sound effects aplenty. Barely a minute goes by without the sound of a machine paying out coins, or a random siren. The effect that gets used most often is the audience disappointment one that gets played whenever a wrong answer is given.

We'd be fascinated to see how many viewers it gets, and how many calls it takes on an average evening. If only the station hadn't closed down in June 2006. Quiz TV essentially became a victim of it's own success. Several months later and the last calls were being taken on many a TV phone-in quiz. Well, I guess they call it sweet revenge.

Web links

Quiz TV website


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