The next Millionaire, Link, Deal or no Deal?

Monday, June 25, 2007 by

With the news that Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is going to be scrapped, plus Deal or No Deal having recently celebrated its 500th show, I accidentally tuned into ITV’s new daytime quiz show Goldenballs and found myself watching what may well be the next big quiz show.

Maintaining the tradition of bringing back entertainers who’ve been off our screens for a while, Jasper Carrott is the man at the helm. I didn’t check to see if this is because Goldenballs is a Celador production or not, but he does seem to be a pretty good choice. Far better certainly, than Les Dennis on that five quiz show shown earlier in the year. 

Goldenballs isn’t really anything new, relying as it does on contestants bluffing and double bluffing each other, but it’s an absorbing show when you get into it. Perhaps its biggest problem is that it’s not very self-evident what’s actually going on, and it took at least 10 minutes or so to get my head round the mechanics of the thing. 

The final round too, is a bit of a disappointment, relying as it does on a very straight interpretation of the prisoner’s dilemma. In this instance the final two players can elect to share the prize money 50-50 or one can try and take the lot by electing “steal” when the other player has elected to “share”. Of course neither player gets anything if both elect to “steal”. 

But, wouldn’t it be great if one contestant told the other, they were going to elect to “steal” but would offer them a third of the prize fund if they selected “share” as their option? You sense the programme makers wouldn’t let them do this though. Mind you, if Deal or No Deal has shown us anything, it’s that allowing flexibility within what were once rigidly adhered to formats is a great way of extending the shelf life of a game show.

Anyway, I am tentatively predicting good things for Goldenballs.


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