Show Me the Money
Alice Beer (substitute)
Princess Productions for Channel 4, 6 September 1999 to 17 November 2000 (2 series)
Not, happily, a game show about the ups and downs of the life of Tom Cruise, Show Me The Money is a game show about the ups and downs of share prices. The Stocks and Shares Show for the new Millennium, if you must.
Every day, a team of three amateur share pundits attempt to invest their imaginary £100,000 in five companies they think will make them money. Each team comes on once a week and on their appearance they must sell their imaginary shares in one company in their portfolio then reinvesting that money in the shares of a new company live on air.
Remember: the price of stocks can go down as well as up (although your house will not be at risk) but if the value of the portfolio of the team ever dips below £90,000 when it's their turn to "Show Me The Money", at the start of the show that they're on then they get chucked off the show and replaced by a new team. It's a live show, so the prices are up to the minute. Whoever's portfolio is worth the most at the end of the series are declared the winners.
Presenter Louise Noel takes unflappability to new heights - it's difficult to believe this is live show given that it's all so slick. In addition, the punters have Tom Winnifrith to help them, a charming (if slightly too reserved for TV) share expert who goes through the choices with the various teams. In additions to their own prospects, the team have the services of a renowned city tipster to offer a tip to add to the possibilities. Finally, the chairman of a company will come on the show and give a sixty second pitch.
The show has lots of little nice touches. The style of the show is fairly informal, interesting and chatty in such a way that it can go into detail on the whys and wherefores of buying shares but at the same time be quite entertaining and it doesn't alienate the average person. The show successfully feels very live, sometimes the value of the team's portfolio can change in minutes. There's tonnes of graphs, statistics and pieces of trivia about the companies being discussed and this keeps everything moving along nicely.
Excellently you can also play on the Internet on the official site and win £10,000. Woo-hoo!
There's a nagging feeling that, because of the volatile nature of shares, the winners could potentially start in the last fortnight and win the whole series because another team have got chucked off (of course, the converse also applies). But for most part this is a gently entertaining show that's a welcome change from the usual daytime diet (apparently it's the Royal Television Society Daytime Show of the Year, something they feel the need to remind us of in the ad bumpers, in fact).
All we need now is for somebody to do a lunchtime show about dealing in paintings. It could be called Show Me The Monet. Ha. Aha ha. Ha. (In 2011, someone actually did. Well, it was teatime, but anyway, fees to the usual address, please...)
So many people were investing in shares because of the companies featured on the programme that they even had their own effect on the London Stock Market as share traders would increase the price of the featured shares. Details of the shares had to be withheld from TV listings magazines once this was realised.
"Tom, Show Me the Money"
In 2006, a rather older, fatter version of Tom Winnifrith went on to host an online-only format called Trading Places, heavily influenced by SMtM, on stockmarket-channel.tv. The West Ham cheerleading team, the Hammerettes, were regular guests in the studio, giving investment masterclasses in their Hammerettes gear - the aim being to raise the viewers' "portfolios" by "a couple of points", no doubt [What? - Ed].