Hey Tracey



Joel Dommett


Donna Preston as 'Tracey'


Dr Pluto for ITV2, 17 June 2019 to 16 December 2020 (14 episodes in 2 series)


The ITV press office sent over a press release. It said,

Celebrities play to win cash for members of the public… with some unpredictable consequences.
In real life if you don’t know the answer to a question you can ask Siri or Alexa. In this show, unfortunately you’re stuck with Tracey. If our celebrities don’t know the answer to Joel's unusual questions, they can say "Hey Tracey!" and enlist the help of his very own virtual assistant.
But forget your high-end Silicon Valley artificial intelligence – Tracey was thrown together by some sixth formers in the late 90's as part of their technology coursework… and she can usually be found tucking into a pie or painting her nails.
Each time our celebs summon her help, Tracey can connect them with someone in the real world that might be able to help. Less phone-a-friend, more like comedy cold calling. And that means everyone from dog groomers to massage parlours, piano tuners to equine dentists, roadside burger vans to reptile houses.

Gameplay was simple; teams of three celebrities attempted to find answers to questions for which they could call Tracey, who would give them a choice of three firms who they could ask. A correct answer wins the celebrities the next question and the contestant a small prize (for example a dog bed or a year's supply of beef and tomato pot noodle); a wrong answer throws play over to the other team. After four uses of Tracey, the player whose turn it is is asked one more question for £2,500.

The second series was lengthened to an hour and used Tracey six times before the last question. Play passed back and forth irrespective of rightness of answer. Each question was assigned a cash prize in addition to prizes (£250, £250, £750, £750, £1,500 and £1,500) which was won by whoever won the £2,500; playing for their pot was whoever had the most money at the end.

Key moments

Dommett's contempt for the "normal people" the celebrities were trying to win money for. We all once were one…

Any occasion where the firms put the phone down or otherwise insulted either the caller or Joel, or better still when Tracey was rude to one of the celebrities. The former seemed to happen more often in the second series, possibly because it was recorded as one of the first shows back after the COVID-19 lockdown, and thus agents' fuses may have been shorter. This also explained the lack of studio audience in that series.

London Hughes not being able to think of a single female British rapper, despite being a regular panellist on Don't Hate the Playaz with Lady Leshurr.


James Abadi and Sam Pollard


Inspired Hey Alexander, one of the games on Richard Osman's House of Games.

Over the course of its broadcast, the show offered as prizes a night in a haunted pub, snail and garlic flavour crisps, three massive bags of gravel, and vegan condoms, among other things. The last of these came with what could politely be described as a 10pm ITV2 prize description (and no we are not repeating it!).

According to a piece on Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television, Pollard came up with the idea for the show after hearing his kids playing with Siri.

Web links

Wikipedia entry

British Comedy Guide entry

See also



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