Wright Around the World



Ian Wright


Alan Dedicoat (voiceover)


BBC One, 25 October 2003 to 8 January 2005 (18 episodes in 2 series)


Yet another Lottery Corp vehicle, complete with yet another tie-in with the Lottery Corp's products. Host Ian Wright has been around the country, and we see a five minute film of the man asking amazingly simple questions to people out shopping, or at their place of work, or somewhere else. Eventually, six people have given correct answers, and they are the players in the main show.

Winning Lines has the 49ers, because the number of possible selections in the Lottery Corp's most popular game is 49. Jet Set bases order of play on predicting whether the next number out was higher or lower than the previous. In It to Win It has a drawing machine like those used elsewhere. The Incredibly Rubbish Big Ticket was based on a specific Lottery Corp game, not that anyone wants to be reminded about that.

Wright Around has the Green Globes. They are four or twelve oversized Lottery Corp balls, dropped into a machine, which then mixes them up. Well, we're told that the balls are mixed up, but this process happens out of our sight, and for all we know the "green" effect is supplied by coloured lights beneath the machine.

The gameplay manages to be utterly trivial and gratuitously complex at the same time. Questions on the buzzers, person answering the question correctly gets to pick one of the twelve oversized balls. If it's one of the eight red balls, nothing happens, we play on. If it's one of the green balls, that player gets a second question; answer this second question correctly, the ball drops out of play, and they're through to the next phase. Answer it incorrectly, and the ball remains in play. It appears that some questions are edited out, in order that the show doesn't over-run horrendously. There's no danger of the crowd falling asleep during recording, as the applause is provided by the magic of Canned Crowd. There is every danger of the crew falling asleep at their posts, and during the pilot, they had to nip out for some strong coffee and fresh air after just seven minutes of recording.

In the finished transmission, the Lottery Corp will insert one of its commercials here. Back in the game, the remaining four suffer some torture, as they watch a video recording of some rubbish karaoke singers murdering a song. It's got to be a video, as the karaoke uses the same set as the players. During this clip, some pointless facts scroll along the bottom of the screen. It's as if The Chart Show had never been axed.

After this cruel and unusual punishment, the host asks some questions based on the pointless facts. Players giving a correct answer must pick two of the twelve globes, hoping they're both green. Picking that pair gives a bonus question, correctly answering that question gives progression to the final.

A further commercial from the Lottery Corp delays proceedings still further.

In the final, each player starts with two globes, there are 90 seconds on the clock, and all the answers are place names. Person with the more globes at the end of proceedings is the winner. In effect, this becomes a best of five shootout, one that shouldn't last beyond 30 seconds.

The show's credits play out without giving the provisional results from the Lottery Corp, certainly not how it's been done for recent years.

In summary, the game is smoke and mirrors - it looks complex, but that hides a simple format. Jet Set - from which this show has clearly drawn inspiration - looks appealing by comparison.


BBC Format Entertainment

Web links

Wikipedia entry

See also

National Lottery shows


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