Weaver's Week 2002-06-01

Weaver's Week Index

1st June 2002

Iain Weaver reviews the latest happenings in UK Game Show Land.

In the week when The Vault opened for £300 grand to a phone caller, this also happened:

- Waltz, darling?

- The million pound cha cha cha

- Ay-baltic-ca-rhumba!


Chris Evans was first. Chris Tarrant has been responsible for most. But now the Sixth Television Millionaire, and second from this show, will be crowned, in the Survivor Million Pound Live Final. Jonny Gibb, a detective from Edinburgh; versus Susannah Moffat, a teacher from Wimbledon.

Big Scarf (who is not wearing a tie) recaps the 37 days. How Suze failed to clear the hurdle on the opening assault course, ditched Lee to go with John and Jonny, led the team to victory in the memory and swimming challenges. Jonny beat the tiebreak in the Grub Up challenge, Suze spent 17 hours on a log, but Jonny is the world champion at 24 hours 6 minutes. After Bridget beat Helen in a play-off to give South the majority, that island's supremacy was assured. Last week, Suze voted to keep her bestest buddy, Jonny.

In the commercial break, the Pop Idle judges are advertising pizza. Ah, Pop Idle. The Hit Constructed Reality Show That Everyone Watched...

Jonny's speech is a direct appeal to the emotions of each jurist, praising their qualities, showing what a good judge of character he is and how he can play to the audience. Suze talks more about herself, how she was without side. Advantage Jonny.

Helen asks Suze about money and Jonny about his tactics. Poor questions, I feel; slight advantage to Suze.

Alistair asks Suze if she regrets anything she said; she pleads amnesia. Jonny about the "unbreakable alliance" with John - he would have taken John through. Advantage Jonny.

Drew asks about their qualities: trust, determination and invention, says Suze; honesty, friendliness and caring, according to Jonny. Level.

Dave wonders if Jonny would leave the police. He would. Suze would pay her loans, secure her future, and do some work for charity. I can't give advantage to Suze on her cliched answer.

Bridget muses what would happen if the prize were the honour. Jonny would still be there. Suze claims she's been honest with post-merger Columbus tribe. Doesn't answer the question about South Island tribe, where she broke her word with Lee. Slightly to Jonny.

John bowls full tosses to both finalists. Even.

The two finalists are asked to make a 15 second plea to the nation. Suze points out that a cop won last year...

Then it's the News At Ten. Oh Eight, and we're all off to watch Big Brother.

Ratings for the first hour: 6.2m / 28%. For the second show: 6.4m / 34% - easily the biggest score of the night. BB has been averaging 4m / 20%, slightly up on the opening week last year.

Big Shirts correctly points out that everyone's been very nice to each other this time round. No one wanted to come across as badly as some of the people from last year. Bridget has been invited to present a cheque to a local charity, so long as she turned up in her bikini. Er, no thanks. Barnaby wrote in the Shakespeare, "Shaft and prepare to be shafted," a clear reference to Robert Kilroy Shaft. The Other Four are on a balcony above proceedings with the finalists and jury on the studio floor. Not only is Big Collars not wearing a tie, but there isn't a single tie on anyone's neck. This must be deliberate.

The Phone Vote Of Importance (Or Complete Indifference, Depending On Circumstances) is in. 1.5 million votes, and it's not exactly close. The result: Susannah 11%, Jonny 89%. She deserved better than that, surely.

The voting from the island is done by Big Shirt pulling the votes out of the urn, *then* showing the clip. This is better than last year, where the island clip was shown first and the moment when Charlotte won the million was off screen!

John votes for "please, please, go to a hairdresser." Jonny. He won't. Bridget goes for Jonny. "One of the most genuine blokes I've met in a very long time." Dave could have the Vote Of Truth. Get on with it, Big Delays!


We have a winner, who steps forward, hugs Suze and his family, and finally meets Big Hammers. He hands Jonny a mallet to smash into the cash containing a million pounds cash.

The other three votes went to Jonny, as well. Another 7-0 drubbing, and he deserves it.

In summary: this is how the show should be run. Intelligently, with as little formality and as much imagination as possible. Mark Nicholas has been an inspired choice of host, and this will be a very strong contender for Most Improved Show Of The Year.

There's no call for contestants on a Survivor III, as there was at this stage last year.

Big Journey will now be heading off up the M40 to front Channel 4's coverage of the test match at Edgbaston. Suze will continue to threaten her kids with detention or being skinned like that alligator.

Jonny will be known as the survivor.


St Hilda's Oxford 65 -v- Dundee 84

The ladies of Hilda's became major celebrities in the Great British Television Quiz Pamphlet of the day, appearing on the Christmas Special and in the press. Dundee only got their chance after being eliminated on an erroneous question the previous year.

When Hilda's get a starter right, they get the full set of bonuses. This isn't true for Dundee, but the Scots get more starters. The result is a vibrant game, swinging both ways. Thumper is very lenient, allowing a blatant confer by Dundee on the music question. He's struck out regular students for less.

Question of the week: How much are chemical elements worth when spelled out in SCRABBLE? The teams combine to go 0/4.

Dundee, though inaccurate, is taking more questions and hence racking up the higher score. This is especially pronounced in the closing minutes, as the side races to a 255-125 win. Peter Burt top scores with 79, just ahead of David Smith's 77. Hilda's lead is Julia Briggs' 49. Dundee took 24/45 bonuses and three penalties; Hilda's an amazing 16/18 but three penalties - two in the last minute.

The top ten:

345 Somerville 02

255 Dundee 84

240 Imperial 96

240 Univ Ox 73

225 Trinity Ca 95

225 Imperial 01

205 Merton Ox 81

200 Lancaster 80

180 Bradford 80

175 New Ox 65


If you want a blow-by-blow account of what happened in the BB house, look elsewhere. The complete recap of who said what to whom would take far too much space.

Who are these people? The gentlemen...

Alex, 23, model, Essex

Jonny, 29, firefighter, Co Durham

Lee, 21, fitness instructor, Leicester

PJ, 22, trainee solicitor, Birmingham

Sandy, 43, personal shopper, Fife

Spencer, 22, shop assistant, Cambridgeshire

And the ladies...

Adele, 23, PA / DJ, Southport

Alison, 27, cinema team leader, Birmingham

Jade, 28, dental nurse, Bermondsey

Kate, 22, computers, Kent

Lynne, 36, student, Aberdeen

Sunita, 25, barrister, Brixton

Big Brother is back, and it seems to have lost something in the move. Part of the charm of BB has been the incongruity of having the epicentre of the media universe next to a pair of gasometers in East London. The council forced the old BB house to be demolished, and the new structure went up at Ealing Studios where they filmed the Carry On films. That's a proper, professional film set, famous for more than having people living in the back garden for nine weeks of the year.

If year one was "what on earth is this," last year was "blimey, this could be rather good," this year is feeling like "flip, we're good, just ask us." There's a slight arrogance that's been absent the past two years. It feels more polished than last year, less amateurish, less fun.

The house is a design nightmare, all gaudy oranges and reds with a concentric circle motif. Colour #ff8800 never looked so out of place. The kitchen drawers clash so they can't be opened at the same time, and the sofas are L shape monstrosities.

Technical glitches prevent sound from being heard during the gents' grand entrance, then decided not to show a sponsor's credit going into the break. Jade went into the diary room about 2245 Friday, and couldn't hear BB. The rest of the house could. Worse, the lock on the door was broken, and Jade had trouble getting out. Dr Cockup is in the house.

Quiz: Which former housemate said this week: "Appearing on television might sound like a dream come true, but for me it was a nightmare"

Fact: Details of the contestants were leaked to the national press on the Wednesday before entry. Fact: Jade raised this subject on Friday evening, then the E4MNMSilencer (TM) swung into action. Was BB trying to protect the identity of a hard-working journalist? Or a mole within the organisation? Fact: Jade was talking about some shoplifting she'd done some years ago, and out came the old E4MNMSilencer (TM). Fact: Jade talks a lot. Fact: Jade was favourite for eviction right through the week.

Bored now. By Sunday, the press had started to run pieces about how old hat this had become.

Bonding: Lee gets to shave lines into the eyebrows of Jonny, Kate, Adele, Jade and Sunita. After partying late into Friday night, it looks like these are forming a decent bloc for voting. Spencer, Sandy, Alex and Alison are forming a looser alliance based on their more quiet natures; Spencer shaved his head the next evening.

GS Revival: Day two, and Spencer leads a game of MALLETT'S MALLET. Day three, and Alex leads a game of GIVE US A CLUE. Day four, and a game of THINK TANK is kept off the E4 feeds on the grounds of taste. Day five, and BB allows the team to gloss over the dining area chairs. They were emulsified, and E4 viewers were treated to a fascinating* pilot of AS LIQUID OIL-BASED COLOURANT SOLIDIFIES, in no way based on C5's top rating WHEN WET PAINT DRIES.

Father Figures: A seventeen year old girl from Kent was told that her father was Sandy when he popped up on national television. The fortysomething "Dr" Fox lookalike had told the housemates that he had a child, but lost touch with her. The kid said she was "so distraught" she didn't know what to do, so she picked up the phone to a national daily tabloid. Odd, that.

Monday: The Daily Mirror (or whatever it's called this week) declares itself the Official Anti Big Brother Paper. Tuesday: The Mirror (or whatever) has a front page photo of one of the housemates in a bikini.

This week's edition of the New Statesman periodical features a long and rambling piece by one of last year's housemates who is now known only as "her who dropped her towel." If you want to read the article, bring a pot of coffee. A really big and really strong pot of coffee.

Mystery of the week: A poster to usenet suggests that on Thursday night, "Sandy started to talk about 'that person who came to see us', then stopped and said they were not allowed to discuss it. Spencer asked if he meant the producer. Sandy again said they weren't allowed to discuss it."

Right Back Where We Started From: Just after 8 on Wednesday evening, Sunita confirmed she would be leaving Chez Big Brother. She cited concerns about her job as a barrister, and her family, amongst reasons for leaving. She left through the garden gate during Thursday's BBLB transmission.

Houseproud: Alex rants about who finished the sugar on a cake for Lee's birthday and lads piddling on the floor and the dust under the rug and ... (ctd e4)

The first eviction was a reverse sting. Viewers were asked to nominate their least favourite housemate by calling the premium rate number. The housemates then heard the two with the most votes, and removed one. That's a lot of votes, and a lot of income, and still in the first week.

The housemates didn't know that someone would be going. Given a free choice, it looked like Sandy would be first out: he'd not bonded well with anyone else, and is the only one to be early to bed, early to rise. But it all came down to the viewer vote.

The viewer voted 1.2 million times, making roughly £175,000 for the eye. That makes up for the £300,000 that Earth Mother Davina (wearing black and with hair dyed copper) gave away for the Monkey on Saturday.

Jade and Lynne were the two nominated. Then Davina sprung that the housemates would decide who to ditch. Three minutes ... starting ... now. After the immense shock, the decision is surprisingly easy - no one has a kind word to say for the evictee. Jade is in tears, Lynne is holding her. Kate goes to the diary room. They've chosen to evict Lynne.

Nightmare of the week: The quote was given by ... Narinder (9th last year) during publicity for her dating show that I've completely forgotten the title of.


Oh My God, What Are The Greeks Wearing: The Eurovision Song Contest 2002 was won by Latvia, ahead of Malta, hosts Estonia and the UK. Spain's Operation Triumpfo - intended to produce a winner by merging Big Brother and Pop Idle - failed because they found a great set of singers, but didn't find a good song. Last year's hosts Denmark finished dead last.

Mega-dale: Last week, I mused about how there were 1024 megabytes in a gigabyte. An alert reader informs me that the SI units have been redefined so that a megabyte is a million (10^6) bytes, with the slightly larger mebibyte - the old megabyte - defined as 2^20 bytes. Gigabytes (10^9) and gibibytes (2^30) are also defined. Operating systems still report disk sizes in gibibytes, but manufacturers sell them in gigabytes. Correct answers could be 1000, 1024, or 953.67 (roughly). This is what I can technically refer to as a minefield.


General note: we have national holidays on Monday and Tuesday, and football coverage most other days. The upshot of this is that the BBC and ITV lunchtime game shows can be considered off for the week. No FTO on Monday, Countdown shifts to 1605, Weakest Link from Wed, and Never Had it So Good seems to have (er) had it.

Saturday's lineup includes Friends Like These at 1730, Waiting at 1825, and Init at 1925. The Vault at 2010 on ITV.

Once more around the Survivor final from 1255 Sunday on ITV2. I've not seen the ITV2-exclusive parts, including the post-match press conference.

There's a Banzai Jubilee Special at 2305 Su on 4. The team have made a set of commercials for a daily tabloid newspaper, and are giving pithy comments on the football on C4 NEWS.

A new series of Masterteam begins on Radio 4 at 1330 Mo, repeated 2300 Sa. Jeremy Hardy joins the ISIHAC regulars five hours later (or 1200 next Su.)

Don't forget TOPRANKO! C5 1900 Mo.

This week's Fear Factor is at 2000 Tu.

All the Big Brother coverage: C4 Live: Sa 2200-2235 Su 0010-0115 E4 Live: Sa 0600-1530 Su 2305-1600 Mo 0000-1900 Other weekdays from about 2300-1900. C4 (all one hour): Su 1230, 2200 Mo 0105 (30 minutes) Weekdays 2200 and early next morning. BBLB on E4: Su-Th 1900 and about 2230. Su is prepeated on C4 at 1335. Friday: BBLB on C4 at 1830, Eviction 2030-2100 and 2200-2235.

To have Weaver's Week emailed to you on publication day (usually Saturday), receive our exclusive TV roundup of the game shows in the week ahead, and chat to other ukgameshows.com readers sign up to our Yahoo! Group.

Back to Weaver's Week Index

A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in