Dilly Barlow (voice)
Hungry Bear Media for ITV, 23 February 2015 to present
Contestants answer questions while wearing an electronic heart-rate counter device. There are this-or-that general knowledge questions, anagrams, visual and mathematical puzzles, tests of memory and sequencing.
Rather than a traditional clock, players are timed by their own heart. 1000 beats will run down as they play the game - by errors and passes, or simply by being alive.
Adding to the tension, 1000 Heartbeats features a string quartet. They play live in the studio, at a tempo dictated by the player's heartbeat. A more tense player causes the tempo to rise, and the music speeds up, making the player more tense.
Vernon Kay is the host, his usual warmth and friendly banter keeps the programme ticking along. Questions are asked by the voice of Dilly Barlow, her enunciation is clear and precise and perhaps a little slow. This has bearing on the game, particularly in rounds where the player must hear a lot of information - and spend many beats - before being allowed to play.
The show offers increasing amounts of money for completing the rounds - £250 for the first, then £500, £1000, £2500, £5000, £10,000 and a top prize of £25,000. This money isn't won until the player completes the Cashout round, giving five correct true-false answers in a row.
An outstanding idea, elegant and subtle and with depth.
Paul Farrer wrote all the music. It's played live in the studio by a string quartet (Sarah Chapman, Catriona Parker, Hayley Pomfrett, Llinos Richards) and conducted by Farrer to match the player's heartbeat.
Paul Farrer. There's a "developed by" credit - Simon Adsett, Ed Daggett, Juliet Denison, Ed Egan, Emma Hammill.
The first game show in forever to carry a credit for "Heartrate Technology" (Hidalgo supply the equipment, if you want to play at home.)
Voted the Best New Show in this site's Poll of 2015
And if you want the ultimate experience when playing at home, Paul Farrer has uploaded his music themes. Just speed up or slow down the video to match the player.