The Cooler



Donna Air


Iain Coyle


Channel X for Challenge TV, 1998


Reasonably funny gameshow which cost all of 20p to make, 15p of which went on Donna Air's appearance fees. Three teams tested their knowledge of life by answering questions and playing games based around the five core areas: food, entertainment, sport, sex and stuff. Think Loaded meets Telly Addicts and you're about there.

File:Cooler off1.jpgFridge. Cooler. Geddit?

Donna Air hosted along with the Quiz Wizard, played by Iain Coyle. The Quiz Wizard was great. He was funny in a sort of postmodern deadpan stylee - you need to watch it really but trust me, he was great.

In rounds 1 to 3, there'd be three first-on-the-buzzer questions worth ten points each and at the end of each round they played a game based around one of the contestant's main subjects (their details were "fed into a computer" apparently). These were simple and cheap. For example, an entertainment based game would have the Quiz Wizard making up a story about a supermodel having her breasts enlarged, he'd then put on a fake pair of breasts, jump up and down on a bouncer and the contestants would have to try and throw as many sweets down his fake cleavage as they could. Yerrrs...

File:Cooler off2.jpgThe contestants battle it out in a physical challenge

A food game may have involved them pretending you were at a Greek restaurant breaking plates but "Oh no! They're the manager's and he's coming back any minute..." so you had thirty seconds to put the smashed up plates together.

File:Cooler off3.jpgDonna Air and Quiz King

A stuff game might see the contestants using a vacuum cleaner to transfer cardboard cut-outs of Communist countries "over the Berlin Wall so they can be saved from nasty evil Communism and can instead live in the great world of Capitalism."

Do you get the idea? Good. Sadly, most of the games were fairly derivative and there only seemed to be a pool of about 15 in total. If you won one of your own games you won 30 points, if you won a game not specifically yours you only won 10 but you locked out the person who stood a chance of winning 30.

After the first three rounds, the person with the lowest score was out and had to go to the Quiz Wizard's Dungeon (i.e. get off our set).

After the break, the scores were reset for the next part of the show. Each contestant was under the pretence that they were against the clock, when in fact everybody got the same thing. Four questions worth 10 points each and three challenges worth 10 points each. These challenges would be things like 'throw these pizzas into the oven' and 'shave the balloon version of Jeremy Beadle', all the while Donna goes on about how time is running out and the Quiz Wizard says 'next time, the star of the show could be you!'

File:Cooler off4.jpgDonna Air and the Quiz King

And why were they getting these points? So they could have a headstart in 'The Kingdom of Prizes!' Altogether now:

Kingdom of Prizes, full of surprises,

Kingdom of Prizes, full of surprises,

Kingdom of Prizes, full of surprises,

Kingdom of Prizes, let's see what arises!

And whilst that was being sung, the Quiz Wizard was in a filmed piece pointing out the prizes, except it was badly synched so that he was never pointing to the prizes being described. The Kingdom of Prizes was a race in baby bouncers around the studio and the mystic giant cans of hairspray. The contestants started in a place depending on what they scored in the last round and they ran to the bouncers, put on their safety helmets ("because safety is paramount in The Kingdom of Prizes") and raced. And whoever won was 'The Cooler King/Queen'.

And the first time you watch it, you'll find yourself laughing uncontrollably for about five minutes after the show. Yes, it was that cheesy! And then you ask yourself why and you don't know.

File:Cooler off5.jpgTry modelling while sitting on a fridge holding booze.

Theme music

Dick Champion


File:Cooler coyle iain.jpgHave a guess what his name is. Go on, have a guess. You'll never get it.


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