While I have been nursing my throbbing, swollen, pus filled tonsils back to health during my annual Winter blogging hiatus, I have characteristically managed to keep up with what I normally would have written about, had the lovely germs from Jack Frost allowed me to do so.
Rather than spam the site with a ridiculous amount of articles at once, therefore, I am taking the concise and genius steps of merging my thoughts together in one post so that it’s easier for those of you who tend to skip my articles (I know who you are!).
From glittery costumes and a very pregnant and non drugged up Kylie on The Chase to Homer Simpson beating up Peter Griffin, my viewing pains and pleasures have been as varied as the voices Emmerdale’s Belle Dingle is currently hearing. So let’s press on folks…the quicker I start, the quicker this will be over for all of us. Continue reading
What do you get if you mix Paddy from Emmerdale, Colin Firth and spotted dick, throw in a bit of Miley Cyrus, combine a group of dirty minded pensioners and add a prize of a year’s supply of baked beans? No, this isn’t the start of one of my world renowned hilarious jokes but a fair enough summary of Bradley Walsh’s new Sunday night show, Keep It In The Family.
With the terminally declining and infuriating mammoth-turned-baby-elephant contest that is The X Factor and the thoroughly enjoyable but sleepy Downton Abbey, ITV’s schedule needed something lively and exciting to chase off the impending Monday blues and Keep It In The Family does a good job of fitting the bill. Admittedly, I spent the first ten minutes of the show sitting with my mouth agape in horror and my brain plaguing me with the question: ‘What the hell are you feeding me with?’ There is simply no getting away from the undeniable fact that Keep it In The Family is a hamfest of epic proportions; but once you get your head around it and realise that it is supposed to be that way, you can go on to embrace the cheesiness of the show and really enjoy it.
We love a quiz show here in Britain. Whether it’s through our unending thirst for knowledge, our competitive desperation to out-know everyone else or just to pass an hour at bedtime (my marriage has never been more on fire than when the Mrs and I are tackling a trivia challenge or an arrow-word under the duvet), the thrill of answering general knowledge questions correctly gives us a little bit of a buzz.
The best place to compete in quizzes for the vast majority of the UK’s population is from the non judgemental comfort of our own living room armchairs. We pour scorn on the contestants on the various quiz shows who don’t know that the chemical symbol for Potassium isn’t as easy as it seems, who can’t tell the Kardashian sisters apart or worse, go for a lower offer on The Chase. Of course, we could do better every single time; ‘where do they get these people?’ we ask ourselves incredulously as we sip on our Ovaltine and tut at John Smith missing out on a perfectly easy Pointless answer.
Of course, for the contestants themselves, as highlighted in our interview with The Chase contestant Charlie Gardner, it’s a lot more tricky than it looks. But for us viewers, quiz shows are a thrilling mix of education, entertainment and competition that are a staple of our television schedules. With so many popular formats on our screen, our friends at Quiz Britain, a popular site which draws together everything remotely quizzing related, are running a poll to find out what our favourite quiz show of all time is. I spoke to Ian Woolley, the ‘Mastermind’ (see what I did there?) behind Quiz Britain, to find out more… Continue reading
When I was a wee tyke of a lad, and gangs of miscreants yelled ‘egghead’ at me on the playground, the connotations of their cries were largely negative. If only, as I sat mopping up my tears with the sleeve of my second-hand, fraying jumper, I knew that by 2014, it would have become cool to be known as an Egghead.
Nowadays, it’s a hard earned title, held by only the creme de la creme of the quizzing world. Those unfamiliar with the show Eggheads should know that it’s a quiz show airing on BBC2 which sees a team of amateur quizzing wannabes trying to outsmart an expert panel in all things general knowledge for a cash prize. And, in coming episodes, following a very public but successful audition on spin off show, Revenge Of The Egghead which saw her pit her wits against the frustratingly endearing CJ de Mooi, Lisa Thiel makes her debut as the newest Egghead. She was gracious (and blackmailed) enough to give PauseliveAction an exclusive interview about her debut on the hit show. So without further ado, let’s crack ‘er open and see what’s beneath the shell of the latest Egghead… Continue reading
The last time I saw Dragon’s Den was when I heard that James Caan was joining and I tuned in excitedly, expecting a Hollywood legend to be shooting applicants down in a true Mafia style. After that bitter disappointment, I haven’t caught much of the show since, and still can only associate it with too many close ups of the mechanics of an elevator and that irritating Levi Roots ‘Reggae Reggae Sauce’ song.
I happened to find myself sitting in front of an episode last night as I was too lazy to find anything more active to do in the hour that I was waiting for Downton Abbey to start. I was surprised by how enthralled I became, to the point that I became concerned that, due to no ad breaks on the Beeb, I would have no window of opportunity for a much needed toilet break before the start of Downton. It turns out watching people’s dreams bursting mercilessly into flames can be entertaining, in a macabre sort of way.
The first joy was that the legend that is Duncan Bannatyne (I don’t know if I have ever mentioned this in a post before, but I find that forename incredibly strong and rugged) was still on the panel, alongside Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Chrissie Watts from Eastenders and Paul Sinha from The Chase. Or, as it later transpired, two folk going by the names Kelly Hoppen MBE and Piers Linney. Continue reading
In my long running quest to expose every intimate avenue of ITV’s quizzing daytime hit The Chase, I’ve heard from two of its titans: the fearsome ‘Governess’ Anne Hegerty (see HERE) and the monstrous ‘Beast’ aka Mark Labbett (see HERE)
But what is it like to come up against a quizzing genius on a show watched by millions? I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting to one of the contestants from the most recently televised episode of the show in which comedian Paul Sinha, affectionately known as ‘The Sinnerman’ took down a team vying for £8000 with only five seconds remaining.
It was a close call, and Charlie Gardner, who had the unenviable ‘Seat 4’ position, has endured hell since her crushing defeat. “It’s been bleak. I’ve hardly eaten anything but spaghetti since,” she told me through hysterical sobs. “And it’s all down to Paul Sinha!” Continue reading
ITV debuted a reboot of classic gameshow Celebrity Squares last night, in which two contestants squared up (let’s see how many of these puns I can get in) to each other to win cash, by deciding whether a selection of celebrities (admittedly in some cases this term is used loosely) were answering questions correctly.
The show is lively, jazzy, bright and doesn’t take itself too seriously at all, but managed to achieve the difficult feat of falling into that hard to reach category between hammy family show and a genuinely witty comedy effort. The token gameshow aspects are there, with a lot of lighting, some strained scripted gags and a few catchphrases thrown in, and it is this side of the show which would make it a better addition to a weekend evening lineup than a Wednesday night.
That said, the show contained some genuinely funny material that allowed it to exceed the format of a generic (and cringeworthy) gameshow. The presenter , Warwick Davis, carries the show like a pro, with an endearing energy that is not too much, and some decent banter with his guests. Having to control nine celebrities fighting for airtime, whilst looking after two contestants and an audience can be no easy feat but the show is smooth and entertaining in the lightest possible way. Continue reading