Ready or Not



Paddy McGuinness (narrator)


Segment hosts include: London Hughes, Matthew Crosby, Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, Laura Jackson, Pete Donaldson, Matt Ralph, Tom Allen, and Crumpet the Talking Dog


Remedy Productions for BBC One, 31 March to 26 May 2018 (6 episodes in 1 series)


The BBC press office told us:

The Ready or Not hosts will surprise unsuspecting members of the public - absolutely anywhere. Whether that means popping up through the middle of a table in a crowded restaurant to quiz unsuspecting diners, challenging a rider at the top of London’s Orbit slide to give a list of answers before they hit the bottom; turning a shopping centre lift into a glamorous mini game show set; or making visitors to an art gallery complete ridiculous challenges through their audio headset. There’s even Crumpet, the talking dog, ready to strike up a conversation with startled shoppers before hitting them with a series of tricky questions.
In every game contestants can win cash or a selection of prizes. And at the end of the show, one lucky contestant will play in the big money game for the top prize of £1000.

The final show is a mish-mash, a melange of other little programmes made into one show. Each segment is sharply edited, and runs to about four minutes. None of the segments would work as full-length programmes, but - as we've seen with In for a Penny - short segments can be a hit on their own merits.

What were the mini-games?

Sam and Mark's Elevator Game - Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes are in a lift. An unsuspecting member of the public gets in the lift. Mark (or Sam) will nip out and run to a floor with a generous prize. Sam (or Mark) will ask the player a general knowledge question. Get it wrong and they're out the lift. Get it right, and they can pick a floor. When the lift door opens, if they see the prize they win it, otherwise the game goes on and Sam asks another question...

Shouting Down a Huge Slide - London Hughes takes people to the top of a big slide. As they descend, they're to shout answers in a category, cash for each right answer.

Ready or Not The furry star of the show.

Crumpet the Talking Dog - A talking dog asks trivia questions, and gives away money for right answers.

Matthew Crosby Surprises People - Matthew Crosby pops out of the scenery and asks his players questions. The better player can win cash, if they can get items in a hat on their head. The most absurd set-up: you are in a market, being asked questions by a man in a vegetable stall, while some stranger chucks peppers at you.

Question Mark - Matt Ralph runs round the streets of a town, asking trivia questions. A tenner to anyone who gives the right answer.

Ready or Not Subtlety is not his middle name.

Quiz Me Quick - Laura Jackson stops people on the beachfront, and asks them questions. Four right answers wins £100.

The Gallery Headset - You know those earpieces you can hire at the big galleries? The ones that explain the exhibits and gee you through in a decent time? Pete Donaldson has hijacked the transmission, and asks people to do silly and sillier things, with the promise of cash and prizes.

Don't Panic - The big money finale. Tom Allen asks players to identify some things at great speed, and sort three answers to win over a grand. And try not to panic.

There's a good balance between segments - the frantic Question Mark, the absurd Crumpet, and the tense Don't Panic all give light and shade in the show. It's clearly aimed at family viewers, with CBBC stars and visual comedy for the children, while having enough trivia heft to keep parents watching. Paddy McGuinness explains the rules, and cracks jokes in the narration.

Indeed, it was only when we compiled the synopsis that we thought, "hmm, all of these are trivia quizzes dressed up."

Web links

BBC programme page

See also

Weaver's Week review


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