The Switch


Sanjeev Bhaskar


Possessed for ITV, 25 November to 20 December 2019 (20 episodes in 1 series)


The one where you don't want to be left with the wrong answer.

Four players take part in The Switch. The start is Easy Money: gentle questions against the clock. There's a loose link to all of the answers, and the player is told the link - "answers begin with C", "answers rhyme with 'dog'", "answers contain compass points". 45 seconds of questions, with £100 for each correct answer.

Next comes the Category Board. Three specific topics are shown, and three questions are asked. Whoever gives a right answer has two choices. They can either freeze one of the topics, and force it to be played. Or they can swap out one of the topics, the replacement is again chosen at random.

Finally, we get to the Switch round. We begin with the first category from the Category Board. The main question has four possible answers, one of which is wrong.

The players face more questions on the buzzer, whoever gives a right answer to the buzzer question has first choice of the answers to the main question, and everyone else then plays for the remaining options.

Who's picked the wrong answer to the Switch question? Sanjeev Bhaskar plays the revelation with just enough fuss to make us care, because we need to care. The player "switched out" isn't allowed to buzz in on the next question, and has to use whichever answer is left by the others. And whoever's "switched out" after the final category is out of the game entirely.

Repeat all of this for a second round - Easy Money at £200 per answer, another Category Board, three more Switch questions, whoever's "switched out" is gone. And repeat for a third round, with £300 for each Easy Money answer, and very little buzzer action in the Switch rounds. Whoever's left is our daily winner; they'll usually have around £3000 in the bank.

The final riffs off the Category Board round. Three more categories are shown, and our winner has up to three chances to switch out a category.

Once the board is set, our player tries to answer one question correctly in each category, with just 45 seconds of quizzing time to use. Complete one circuit for half the prize fund, two circuits for the full fund, and three laps to double it. But should our player run out of time, they'll leave with nothing. No player returns to the next show, each episode stands alone.

The best player won't always win The Switch, but failure is always down to someone doing better when it matters. You might ace the Easy Money rounds, build up £4000 in the bank, but if you get the control question wrong, you risk being switched out at the end.

While the basic quiz was sound, the presentation was not up to standard. The show looked cheap, all we ever see is a desk and some contestants, and some not particularly pretty graphics. The theme tune and music was also criticised as unmemorable, and the canned crowd didn't impress anyone.

Sanjeev Bhaskar has a lot of questions to ask, and has to explain a lot of rules during the show. He was calm, pleasant, friendly, and didn't tell as many puns as some hosts. There were few out-and-out jokes, and all this disappointed viewers who only know him from comedy show The Kumars at Number 42.

Ultimately, it's these little things that did for The Switch. It was a good quiz with a little banter, but it replaced Tenable in the 3pm slot, which is a good quiz with an awesome set and a lot of banter. And that wasn't enough: after a month, The Switch was switched off.


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