Weaver's Week 2002-07-27

Weaver's Week Index

27th July 2002

Iain Weaver reviews the latest happenings in UK Game Show Land.

In the week when Earth Mother Davina collected an award for her charity work, this also happened:

- Whippersnappers And Their Predecessors

- The Great Egg Race

- Wanted: Tenants for Abandoned House, Elstree


Manchester 62 -v- Magdalen Oxford 97

The Manchester side appeared on the very first edition of UC, with Bambi talking about the first team to signal getting to answer the starter. The Magdalen side appeared 35 years later, with Thumper looking far less old than he does now.

The opening exchanges are rather one sided: Manchester incorrectly signals twice, Magdalen gets many of the bonuses and races to a three figure lead. Manchester is confused by two starters that twist and turn, rather than the straight questions that were more common back then.

When Manchester does signal correctly, they get three correct on the former names of cities, and then roars away, getting the next starter as well. Sadly, this is about as far as the revival goes, with Magdalen asserting themselves and pulling 125 clear by the second pictures.

Suddenly, Manchester pulls back, getting Shakespeare characters and London boroughs and chopping the gap to 55. That's as close as it gets, Magdalen winning 195-125. From a flying start, that's a surprisingly close finish. For the second week, no change to the top ten; for the third straight week, at least one from each completed set of bonuses was answered correctly.

Colin Andress (69) led for Magdalen, Tony Boyd (43) for Manchester. Magdalen got 16/33 bonuses and one mis-signal; Manchester 15/24 and two mis-signals.

The top ten:

345 Somerville 02

340 Keele 69

285 Open 85

275 Sidney Sussex Ca 77

260 Jesus Ox 86

255 Dundee 84

240 Imperial 96

240 Univ Ox 73

225 Trinity Ca 95

225 Imperial 01


There has been much talk amongst the scalded cats about having a minor celeb pop into (or over the wall of) the BB house. A fully clothed Keith Chegwin led the speculation, for no obvious reason other than we know he's not appearing on our sets. In the event, there was no minor celeb, but there should have been an appearance from Dr Heinz Woolf.

The final task was a Great Egg Race. Our final four had to blindfold themselves, go through an obstacle course, pick up an egg, then run back to the start line and put it in an eggcup. In eight minutes, our boffins managed nine eggs, giving a £250 shopping budget.

Then attention switched outside, to footage of the Great Egg And Spoon Race filmed earlier in the week. PJ, Sophie, Lee, and Spencer come back in running shorts, singlet, spoon, and egg. The group inside must bet money on who will win the race. Ha! Bet now! Bet now! Who will be top evicted egg carrier? Come to diary room! Betting end! "£50 on Sophie," says Kate; with the lass at 3/1, they'll finish with £400 if she wins. Lee drops his egg half way down the course, ruling him out. Spencer and PJ lunge for the line in a photo finish, but the photo shows that both lost their egg before the line. This leaves Sophie, who trailed in some time later, the only legitimate finisher, and the group is ecstatic. Very eerie to hear Marcus "The Voice" Bentley commentating on racing.

After the fun and frolics of the task, though, it feels as if there are no ideas left. Sunday's highlight is another round of hiding from Jade (at the top of the stairs, flat on the floor) and hide and seek (Alex fools the group by hiding under his mattress for a quarter hour.) The arrival of Monday's shopping is so gripping that Alex is back in bed as soon as it's unpacked.

It would be unfair to let the last week go past without mentioning the psychologists, who have entertained us for the last nine Sundays by stating the blindingly obvious. For all the talk of iconic hand gestures and subconscious facial expressions, the only time they're saying something unexpected is when they're plain wrong. Also Dermot's arms-crossed-at-the-wrists and held just above his head stance at the start of each episode of BBLB. The show's not the same without these little in-jokes.

BB sets the four a Something To Do Task - become seaside entertainers. Alex plays the accordion almost as well as Yakko Warner, a squeezie and a pullie. Jonny tries to do magic with balloons, but bursts most of his props and has to whip out his magic wand. Kate sets the plates spinning, while Jade practices ventriloquism. All four join forces for a barbershop quartet to finish.

The key to this task was that BB asked them to be seaside entertainers, meaning that they didn't actually need to meet any objective standard of entertainment. This was good news, when the only thing Kate set spinning was her head, and when Jonny's best bit of magic was making himself disappear at the end. Jade's voice throwing was not bad at all, while Alex's accordion playing was astonishingly good. The barbershop quartet really should have been cut.

As a reward, the garden is turned into a traditional beach stall. This may just be the biggest treat the contestants have had, all colour and ice cream.

Thursday night is dinner party night, and the remaining four are dressed up in dinner jackets and evening straps. They have to have polite conversation and discuss what they've learned in the house. Jade asks Alex, "What have I done to upset you." With less than 24 hours in the game, Alex doesn't have anything like enough time to answer that in full, so instead tells Jade the rules to his and Adele's game, Follow The Van.

In the outside world, it's remarkable how papers that were calling for Jade's head (in one case, quite literally) have now swung round to support her. July 12: "The most hated woman in Britain" July 15: "We love Jade." Two papers backed Jade in front page posts, another is quietly behind Alex, the others couldn't give a monkeys. Unlike previous years, there was absolutely no clue who would win, and whether Jade could pull off the biggest comeback since Manchester United in Barcelona. As late as 7pm Friday, when Earth Mother Davina was with Dermot, some flowers, and a half-drunk bottle of soft drink that vanished half way through the interview, anyone could end in any place.

Showtime, and EMD is in white! This has never happened before. First out, fourth place, wearing a strapless pink chiffon number, back from the brink, it's Jade. 1.4 million - 20% of the votes. During the post-march interview, Davina introduces clips that demolish the claims Jade has been two faced. Was this a strategic editing move by the BB producers? No; it was only the tabloid press that claimed Jade had been two faced, and the press is very good at saying one thing and doing another itself. Most of the other housemates are around, though Sandy has declined to turn up, and they can give reaction to claims in the interview - Adele is very good on screen.

After the FRIENDS break, 8 million votes have been cast. 2 million of them have gone to the last placed contestant. It's goodbye to the red leather jacket, the faded jeans. It's goodbye, Alex. The bookies' favourite for most of the series finishes third. This strikes me as the biggest surprise since he somehow managed to evade the chop eight weeks ago. The post-march interview is no interview, just a highlights reel of Alex. He prefers Adele over Kate, and, er, that's the journalistic content. But it's not this sad loser we're interested in, it's the winner. Who I shall name shortly.

The interview with Jonny shows just how deeply he was affected by Sandy's "I hate your guts" speech on the night before he left. It totally knocked the stuffing out of him. The interview with Kate is totally surreal - she's rather drunk, heavily excited, and giggles and mutters throughout.

The runner up took 2.25 million votes. The winner 3 million.

Our winner was always in with a shout, favourite on and off through the last few weeks. There's been no serious media campaign backing them, no major celebrity (with the possible exception of Lauren Laverne) has said to vote for their way. I think our winner has done it just by being themselves, by being honest, and by not seriously playing people off against each other.

This looks like the way to win BIG BROTHER. Be yourself, be honest, be real. The viewers can see through fakes and don't like backstabbers.

The winner of BB3 is Kate.


Missing Big Brother already? Even though we unveiled our first female winner not six lines ago? Watch last year's champ Brian Dowling on SM:TV (the former home of Antan Dec).

Watch 2000's winner Craig on his home decorating show on BBC1 in the autumn.

Watch Mel BB1 on CHAINED very soon.

Watch Anna BB1 on ANNA IN WONDERLAND on BBC Choice Friday, Monday, and Tuesday nights. It's not a game show but an investigative documentary. Of sorts.

Watch Sandy BB3 do his personal shopping at a store that sounds a lot like Belfridges' in central London. It's got to be better than anything featuring Eamonn Holmes...

And now, watch Narinder BB2 on a dating show. UNDERCOVER LOVERS sends four couples to live in a luxury location for a week. The couple must disguise their relationship during tasks. The least spotted couple win five grand. It'll be on satcab channel Trouble from September 2.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering which radio comedy will be the first to construct a sketch linking Jade's lack of geography with the perceived US foreign policy. My money's on DEAD RINGERS in mid August.


With the sports department offering gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Commonwealth Games, the pickings on the BBC this week are very slim indeed.

BIG BROTHER may have finished, but it's not forgotten. A review of the last week, including unseen footage from the last couple of days, on C4 at 2200 Sat. BBLB's review - Su 1900 E4, 2200 C4 - promises interactive picks of the best moments. And E4's cameras follow the winner with a minidoc at 1850 nightly from Monday.

Other than that, we have CHAINED back on E4 on Monday. UNDER OFFER moves to 1200 on ITV weekdays. LOST! on DHL begins the South American leg on Monday. The Men In White push FTO and COUNTDOWN off Monday; the Men In Coloured Pyjamas push them off Wednesday and Thursday. And, er, that's just about it.

In this slot next week, I expect to be reviewing ITV's new shows - Under Offer, WUDJA CUDJA, and THE MACHINE.

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