24 Hour Quiz



Shaun Williamson, Matt Brown (late night)


Endemol UK Productions for ITV1/2, 16 February to 2 April 2004 (episodes on 35 days, 1 series)


24 facts about 24 Hour Quiz:

  1. It was hosted by Shaun Williamson, with Matt Brown taking late night shows.
  2. It aired on ITV for five weeks in spring 2004.
  3. Contestants lived in a small Quiz Pod around the clock.
  4. They faced questions from a disembodied voice for sixteen hours a day. These questions were not difficult.
  5. Money was paid for each correct answer, usually £1 per correct answer.
  6. If they wanted to sleep, or eat, or use the shower, that could cost them money.
  7. Some questions were for more than one quid.
  8. These were usually up when someone was eating or otherwise away from play.
  9. In spite of lasting all day, less than a quarter of the quizzing was shown live.
  10. Most of that was on digital sideline ITV2.
  11. Each day, someone could be removed from the pod.
  12. Hundreds of people queued at Endemol Towers each morning.
  13. Most of them never got past the front door, including everyone over 40.
  14. Fourteen made it onto ITV each lunchtime.
  15. They were whittled down to seven by a process we never understood.
  16. The seven became six based on quizzing and picking a team of three.
  17. The teams played off against the pod.
  18. Then each member of the winning team played off against each other.
  19. The winner played against the player from the pod who had performed least well in the two hours before transmission.
  20. There was something to do with Quiz Pod Passes that we never quite understood.
  21. The rules for this elimination and entry game changed almost every day.
  22. Amazingly, this didn't pull in the viewers.
  23. Originally scheduled for a seven week run, the show was pulled owing to poor viewing figures.
  24. The set looked great, though.


Richard Osman

Theme music

Paul Farrer and Rumble Music, credited for "original music".


Contestant Michael Parkinson (no relation to Michael Parkinson), a stripper, was accused of aggressive and threatening behaviour - not that surprising after Endemol supplied him with alcohol and shut him in a room smaller than a Big Brother cell. He was allowed to keep his £13,346 winnings and came back for the champions final. In 2008, he re-emerged as a contestant on Duel.

UTV viewers didn't take kindly to having this programme replace the daily lifestyle half-hour within UTV Live (which had been relegated to lunchtime, specifically for this show). Within several days, viewer protest had led to a scheduler's U-turn.

In an article for The Guardian on 26 October 2012, Richard Osman said of the show, "I attempted to marry the reality fireworks of Big Brother with the high-octane jeopardy of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. What I actually did was marry the mind-numbing tedium of a second-rate reality show, with the plodding boredom of a sub-standard pub quiz. Presented by Barry from EastEnders. It really didn't work. I did actually figure out how to fix it towards the end of its short run but by then it had already been encased in lead and dumped into the North Sea by ITV executives. If you listen very carefully on the Harwich to Stavanger ferry you can still hear it screaming. The only good news is that I don't get too much stick for it. Firstly because everyone knows how easy it is to make a bad gameshow, and secondly because I sit opposite the guy who came up with Don't Scare the Hare, so I'm not even the biggest loser on my desk."

Web links

Off the Telly Review

Bother's Bar Review


No shortage of booze in this late night episode.


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