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So Millionaire is back, and with a wash and brush up, fast but not funky, time pressure added to reinvigorate the once prestigious TV quiz of quizzes, the success of Slumdog Millionaire the apparent reason to stick with it and Chris Tarrant for the new look. We have time pressure for early questions to stop 'showy' contestants 'dragging out' their 15 minutes of fame by umming and arring and to also speed through the boring bit. You now have a switch option to dump a tricky question and you also have you three phones a friend option listed on screen. Most of them seem to be men.
At its height the show was fabulous and so franchised around the world, Afghanistan the latest to take the show in its traditional form, although one million Afghan shackles is a mere £13 grand, just enough cash to keep you in private US security guards for the month in Kabul to protect your booty! The young host's sings a song at the start of every show on the virtues of winning such a sum in a poor country. Of the foreign versions the cruelest has to be the Russian one, the moody and often vodka fuelled TV Moscow audience known to give the wrong answer for the 'asks the audience' option. They, too, have different rules and the Norwegians even incorporated the 12 hot seat guests in the first five questions.
For 1,000,000 Afghani (£13,000)
Who holds the world 100m record for running barefoot on ice?
a) Nico Surings
b) Vincent Pilkington
c) Tom Waes
d) Michael Santali
Tarrant, of course is the perfect host for the British show and has made a few quid out of it, but as we have found with the Pakistan cricket team, money and greed over integrity and honesty wins every time, television notorious for not being all it seems. When the posh lady won the first million pound jackpot in the late 1990s it all seemed too neat. Some quick Googling by a diligent broadsheet journalist revealed uncomfortable connections between Judith Keppel and the shows producers' and the questions she was asked to win the prize; the fact she was connected to royalty and didn't need the money making it even more confusing why she was on. Most contestants on the show up until that point had been balding white middle aged mortgage payers, only on to pay off their debts, one of the first quiz shows not to specifically pick contestants based on how cute and annoyingly outgoing they were. Keppel stood out like a sore thumb at a rubber tool convention.
Full name Judith Cynthia Aline Keppel, she was 'friends' with Jasper Carrot, the brummie comedian part director of Celador who made the show, and Judith's husband writing jokes for the brummie comedian in a professional capacity. Judith's million pound question was: 'Which king was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine? But, rather coincidentally, Judith had recently visited the very-and obscure- grave of Eleanor and got the question correct, something she could have rather innocently bought up at a dinner party with her husbands friends, even Tarrant shocked she went for it risking the whole half-a-million. I don't believe she was in on any possible fix but the excellent film 'Quiz Show', starring Ralph Fiennes documents the very same scenario from the earlier American version of the format from the 1950s, the $64,000 Dollar Question', as equally big back then, the production team feeding him the answers to maximize the audience.
The Millionaire controversy was stoked because the BBC were showing the final episode of their long running if rather tedious comedy 'One Foot in the Ground' that night, victor Meldrew's infamous death expected to draw a huge audience on the same night the million would be won. But Keppel's run was carried through to clash with the sitcom and so claims of fix ringing out across the spectrum. Although ITV were cleared after an investigation her connections to the television industry did not sit well.
A: Henry I
B: Henry II
C: Richard I
D: Henry V
Judith correctly answered B.
The other huge controversy was that of Charles and Diana Ingram, again posh types from military stock, the couples cunning plan to slip a plant into the audience so to cough once for answer A and two for answer B etc coming to grief when a smart production assistant tumbled the ruse, spotting 19 different coughs at strategic times. The real mystery was Tecwen Whittock, the man with the frog in his throat, but never actually convicted with the Ingram as fraudsters, some believing Celador were in on the act for yet another publicity stunt to maximize ever increasing advertising revenues. Whittock had been 'cough free' on other ITV quiz shows appearances previously and so his excuse of a dry throat condition kicked out of court. The issue for me is how did the Ingram's get to know this guy before they won through to the final chair and so be able to organize these stings weeks before? As a joke, Benylin Cough Syrup paid good money to have an advert spot during the recorded broadcast.
To get on the show in the early days it quickly became an expensive exercise, many professional players ringing up the premium line over and over again until they secured the next call back stage by getting the question right. You can now enter the show via the internet, phone, text and the website, or through audition, which I have know idea about, but it still costs a £1 or more. Like with those fantasy football games, the more teams and phone calls you make the more chance of getting on the list and winning through. In the old days an average of £91 pounds of calls was calculated that would guarantee you a studio seat to go for the hot seat.
To demonstrate how contrived TV is I was intrigued to learn that Dragons Den star Leroy Roots, he of the Reggae Reggae Sauce success, had not only won a Mobbo Award in 1999 for his obvious music skills but never actually applied to go on Dragons Den to pitch money for his sauce. He was a typical laidback Caribbean bloke that was quite happy to flog just enough of his grandmother's recipe on the local market to break even and no ambition to make a million from it, which he has. But it turns out he was effectively headhunted for the show by a persistent BBC production assistant, who thought his sauce, look and musical background would work well on the show, perhaps even suggesting the guitar serenade. How many more entrepreneurs are all they seem? My point here is that Millionaire, although set up to accept random contestants through the phone and internet entry, doesn't want too many ogres in the hot seat and the new series feels like it has gone back to more traditional cheesy quiz candidates, lots of shiny teeth and bright colored clothes. Are those same production assistants going out to find more televisual characters to sit in the chair to boost the ratings and so advertising revenue?
A friend of mine worked at the call-centre that helped pick the contestants for the show by taking the original premium line calls. A tip he game me - if I was to try and enter - was to speak clearly and use your best phone voice, this the first clue to how good the contestant will look on TV, the phone method too ambiguous and not great for attracting sexy contestants, which the show at least wants one or two of. Secondly, for some unknown reason, there was a distinct lack of ethnic minority and female contestants on the show in the old days, meaning it was stuffed full with those boring white aged men looking to pay off the mortgage and not going for the 16 grand so not really appealing to the audience for them to get behind. Most viewers wanted them to stuff up the question and lose their house they got that bored of them. The show was never reprimanded for its failure to include minorities and women over the years but it is noticeable that the new series is much younger and female and has had some ethnic and foreign nationals on every week so far. I would hate to think the producers were somehow blocking people getting on the show and so action had to be taken to make it more representative.
This game show hosted by Chris Tarrant has become a worldwide success and many of the catch phrases and features of the programme have entered in to popular culture, our everyday language and have been referenced in countless other television programmes.
After a brief qualification round a contestant is chosen who then get to take part in the main game. Basically there are then 15 questions between them having nothing and one million pounds. As the prize fund increases the more difficult the questions become which are always multiple choice with four possible answers. To aid the player they are given three lifelines, they can ask the studio audience and then see the collective result to give them a better idea of what to say and they can use a fifty fifty in which two of the four possible answers which are incorrect are eliminated. Finally they can phone a friend who hopefully will be able to help them. It is a very simple format and a contestant can take their money at any point even if they have seen the next question.
The first winner of a million pounds was Judith Keppel who is now of course a regular on the BBC's Eggheads. The show was at the centre of a scandal when Major Charles Ingram won the jackpot but it was discovered later that an elaborate system of coughing had been used by him, his wife and another man to cheat and so he was disqualified and ended up with a suspended jail sentence.
When the show was first broadcast it was compulsive viewing for me and I loved it but I hardly watch it now as the novelty has worn off in the same way that some other quiz shows have. I know that it always built the tension and was used to great effect but it really used to annoy me that Chris would really make the contestant start to doubt the answer they had given and it was so long and drawn out and I just wanted him to get on with the next question. They do this on other programmes as well when something major is about to happen and then they go to a commercial break like for example before they reveal if a given answer is correct or not but I suppose it is done to create atmosphere rather than frustrate people.
When 'who wants to be a millionaire' first came to our screens back in 1998, I must admit I was a huge fan. Not only was it on at peak time on our tv screens, but it was presented by Chris Tarrant who is a guy I like. I also like quizzes too, and even better if I get given a few clues along the way. This show did all this and more.
The basis of the show is to have a contestant in front of a tv audience. Originally they would have to answer 15 questions, with each question worth money. When the programme first started back in 1998, the prize money started at £100, and worked its way upto £1,000,000 - hence the name. Since 2007 - the show is pretty well much the same, just now they start off at £500 in the kitty and work their way up to the top prize. So now there are only 12 questions to answer.
In order to help the contestants reach their targets, they are given lifelines. These include asking the audience, 50/50 and finally phone a friend. They are also given safety branches were once they reach, they can't lose everything. The present format is when they reach question 2
(£1,000) and question 7 (£50,000). Often contestants use these as stepping stones to move on to higher winnings.
Over the years 'Who wants to be a millionaire' have offered celebrities places on the show, to raise money for charity. I remember in particular people like Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan, George Michael etc. The list is quite long so I won't elaborate further.
There have also been occasions were there has been controversy. On one occasion a contestant (Major Ingram) who reached 1 million pounds, was accused of cheating. It was alleged that he had somebody in the audience, making noises telling him what the answers were. 'Following a trial at Southwark Crown Court lasting seven weeks, Major Ingram, his wife Diana and Tecwen Whittock were convicted of "procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception" on 7 April 2003. He still denies this actually happened.
So would I recommend this show to you. Well the answer is probably. If you haven't seen it before, it can be quite interesting but like most shows, they can run their time.I personally feel that after 12 years this show has done just that. If it is on, I'll watch it, but it is no longer something I'll switch the tv on for.I'm not sure what the viewing figures are now, but I'd be surprised if they are half what they were in its hay day.
When Who Wants to be a Millionaire first aired it was extremely popular and had everyone talking about it! However the concept of the show has quickly become repetitive and once the first person won a million pounds I have rarely watched the show.
The show is now shown in many countries and begins with 10 contestants who are asked to put four items into chronilogical order with the fastest finger winning a chance to join Chris Tarrant for a chance to play the game! The contestant then tries to answer 15 questions in order to become a millionaire. The first few questions are always simple with 99% reaching the £1000 although they do get increasingly harder as the amount of money to be won goes up. I have only ever seen a couple of people who walk away with nothing. To be honest you have to be a bit stupid to.
The contestant also has three lifelines; a 50:50, ask the audience and phone a friend. The contestant can use these lifelines when they get stuck but they can only use them each once! The contestant has to time these right and ensure they can trust in the answer they get back as this has backfired on many occasions!
The show seems to be a good concept for a quiz show on paper but due to its long drawn out process which Chris does nothing to help it quickly gets boring after you have watched it a few times. Although they have tried to spice things up with Celebrity and charity versions of the show this does not really make it any better. I think they could maybe try to introduce new ideas to try to make the show different every time.
OK to watch a few times but really does get boring!
Who Wants to be a Millionaire is a TV programme hosted by Chris Tarrant that has been on for many years now where contestants that appear on the show have the chance to win £1,000,000 by answering 15 questions correctly with the help of three lifelines: Phone a friend, Ask the audience and 50:50.
Basically when the show starts you have 10 potential contestants vying to get into the hotseat to win the big money by playing something called fastest finger first. They have to put 4 things in order, for example when famous people were born starting with the earliest. Whoever correctly answers this and in the quickest time joins Chris up front to win a million.
The first few questions are normally pretty easy and every question is of course multiple choice with 3 wrong answers and 1 correct answer. You need to answer 5 questions to go home with some money which is safe and that amount is £1000. Once at that level the money starts to rise a fair bit to £2000, £4,000, £8,000, £16,000, £32,000, £64,000 right up to a million on the 15th question. The next point where your money is safe is £32,000 and then you can't get less than that.
As you answer questions the contestant will get stuck somewhere along the line almost inevitably and when they do they they can choose to ask the audience where the audience vote on what they think the answer is, and the phone a friend where they phone a friend who is on their list to try and see if they know it, and then there is 50: 50 where the computer eliminates 2 wrong answers.
If I'm honest I used to watch this programme alot when it was first aired as it was a bit of a novelty and I like Chris Tarrant who I think is a good host. However, I have to admit I don't watch it as much any more as things always go stale and for me something that was exciting at first has lost alot of it's appeal for me. I have to admit I've never watched an episode where anyone has won the full amount as it does get pretty hard to acheive with the questions getting harder as you go along. The funny thing a question is only hard if you don't know it so if you know it then it's easy.
Worth watching if you've never seen it but I don't go out of my way to watch any more.
When this first came to air in 1998 (I believe) it was a novelty & I sat on the edge of my seat because the more questions asked, the higher the prize money got, the more exciting it seemed to be. Alas this only lasted a few weeks & I became somewhat bored/ impatient because Chris Tarrant seemed to make the programme so looooooong drawn out.
I watched it again recently & was sad to see it was the same - in fact I had time to make a cuppa whilst Tarrant was still asking if the contestant was sure this was his final answer lol. I'm one of those who like quickfire questions & prefer Mastermind which I find provides the same amount of tension without timewasting.
Millionaire starts with 10 contestants, 1 of whom will be the first one to answer Chris's question correctly. Then he/she sits facing the host perched on what look like really uncomfortable high chairs.
The first question is always silly, then they get (supposedly) harder but obviously we at home invariably sit screaming our answers to the TV. If stuck the person can phone a friend/ go 50/50 or ask the audience - I believe in Russia the audience deliberately give the wrong answer (mean but entertaining).
The programme became more interesting to me when one show (you know, the 'coughing' one) showed a contestant + friend who cheated - what? Brits cheating live on TV??!!
I also watched the aristocratic woman win £1 million - shows what a private education can do? - not going down that route....
In conclusion I find it somewhat boring now, very samey, too slow & after a while I find myself clenching my fists just wanting to get them round Tarrant's throat.
Would I go on it? well, YES, of course - as long as he didn't ask me any questions about sport (only just found out who Tiger Woods is!).
Who wants to be a millionaire is a game show and probably one of the first of its kind giving the general public like you and I the chance to win a million pounds. All you have to do is answer 15 questions. (now 12 after the change) Simple right?
Chris Tarrant is the face behind the show in the UK as the host and it has just gone from strength to strength. It originated here in the UK in 1998 and is now shown all over the world with many different versions and video/board games. Slumdog millionaire also had the Indian version shown in this film (although I have not seen it and so cannot comment)
The format of the show has changed since it started but the concept is still the same. There are 9 contestants first (who have rang in to get on the show) and they are asked a question with a multiple choice answer and they have to put the four answers in order. The person who answers correctly in the fastest time then goes forward with Chris to play for a million pounds. Each of the questions are multiple choice questions making you think it couldn't be any easier but the questions are quite difficult as the game goes on.
The new format is, a12 question board and each question earns them £500, £1,000, £2,000, £5,000, £10,000, £20,000, £50,000, £75,000, £150,000, £250,000, £500,000 and £1 million. Once a contestant gets to £1000, £50,000 then this money is safe and they cannot lose that but if they gamble to carry on and get to £250,000 and answer incorrectly then they go home with just £50,000 and so on with the other safety points. This means they can answer the £2000 and £75000 without any fear of losing any money.
To aid them on their way to the top they have three lifelines, these are:
Ask the audience - The 100 people in the audience vote with their keypad what they think the answer is and then the player has to decide whether they agree with their answer. Sometimes the answers are quite obvious and 90% answer the same, other times they are almost 50/50 and so no help at all
Phone a friend - where they have pre-chosen a few friends they can call on who they think may be able to help on certain subjects. Once the friend is chosen for a hard question Chris will ring them and then the player has 30 seconds to tell the question and get an answer. This is not a lot of time once the question has been read!
50/50 - where two of the answers are taken away leaving only two and so you have a 50/50 chance of getting it right (and wrong!)
Once these lifelines are used that is it, they are gone and cannot be used again and so need to be used wisely.
Most players just hope that they get to the £1000 so they don't go home with nothing, (how embarrassing) but normally the first couple of questions are fairly easy. Once a question is shown the player also has the opportunity to take the money (walk away) and not attempt to answer the question so they don't have to risk the money they have already won. In some cases though people have got greedy and took a chance at answering a question they were pretty much guessing at in the hope of winning more money and then walking away with a lot less but I suppose once you are in the chair you probably think 'well I am here I may as well go the whole hog' Once they have said that is their final answer and the answer turns orange they cannot change their mind and they are locked in to keep that decision.
Once they have decided to finish and not risk the next question Chris then hands them the cheque and off they go with a hop, skip and jump!
There have only been 5 people to reach and win the million pound question.
My Opinion of this show has changed over the past couple of years. When it first came out we were all in awe of it and we made sure that we were there sat ready for when it came on, we couldn't miss it, especially if the previous contestant was coming back because they ran out of time the week before. As it has been around for many years now it doesn't have the great appeal it used to have on me. If it is on I will watch it purely just to see if I can answer the questions not to see how much they can get up to. There have been a few celebrity shows where there are two people answering (yes two celebs - can they not do it on their own?) and they are playing for charity obviously. The constant sayings of Chris 'Is that your final answer?' and the funny faces that he pulls used to be comical but now get annoying. My eldest son has the game on DVD interactive which we do play every so often but when we have to stop the question to answer it and Chris is suspended he does look daft with this facial expressions!
I think this show will go on and on and I think they should do a children's version (if they have I haven't seen it)
Overall it is a great idea of a show and so simple in its context and you would think it would be easy with all the help they are given to win a substantial amount of money but as they always say the question is only easy if you know the answer. There have been some questions my 15 year old could answer that I couldn't!
It has become a TV hit around the world - and it's hard to imagine now, but 12 years ago, when it first appeared on British television, everyone was hooked. It was screened nightly - we were crying out for more! Now, once a week is enough for some people, but i think it has a great game show formula - there isn't many game shows left which actually test people's intelligence. In the format of the show now, contestants have to answer 12 questions to reach the elusive £1 million mark - they have three lifelines along the way, phone a friend, ask the audience and 50/50. The £1 million is rarely reached, only a handful in Britain have joined that club - but it's still fun to play along with at home - personally I preferred it when contestants had to answer 15 questions. Chris Tarrant is brilliant at host though.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire is, in my opinion, the King of the quiz game show. It began in the early 2000s and has been a consistent ratings darling since, as well as being repeated on numerous channels on Sky, and being adapted to various formats all over the world. Most recently it also has a resurgence in interest when it became the pivotal component of Danny Boyle's Best Picture winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
The show is hosted by Chris Tarrant, and opens with a "fastest finger first" round, where about a dozen contestants must place a number of events, dates, or films into the right order the fastest. The winner then gets to go to the player's chair situated in the middle of the studio, where they play close to Tarrant in a very tense and intimate situation. They have to answer 15 questions in order to win £1,000,000, but there are various "milestones" at which they are safe, and they are also able to walk away with the money that have accumulated at any time. They also have 3 lifelines that they can use to get through questions - 50/50 (which eliminates 2 of the 4 options), Phone a Friend (where they can speak to a friend for 30 seconds), or Ask the Audience (where the audience vote with keypads).
The show relies a lot on an intense atmosphere and an almost cinematic feel. During early easy questions, the music is fast-paced and the lights dazzle around the studio, but as they get harder, the lighting is more subdued, and the soundtrack is replaced with an almost eerie beating heart. It is genuinely quite engaging and Tarrant helps give things a narrative by constantly keeping the contestant on edge, and also trying to help them through things.
Who wants to be a Millionaire is a TV quiz show which offers the contestant a chance to walk away with anything from £1000 - £1,000,000, in order to win one million british pounds the contestant is required to answer 15 general knowledge questions which get considerably harder throughout.
CHOOSING A CONTESTANT
The way the show works is that 10 Contestants selected afer applying to be on the show sit round the edges and to determine who will play a fastest finger first question is presented which requires the contestants to put four answers in the correct order, the contestant that does this in the fastest time is then sent to the 'hot seat'/ play the game.
The player is asked a few questions about their life and what they would do with the money etc, and informs them that they have 3 Life Lines to use if they need (Phone a Friend, Ask the Audience, 50-50).
There are 15 Questions to answer and each is worth double the previous question, however this does mean that it doesn't stay easy for very long and needs some very good general knowledge for the last few questions, very few people have won the full 1Million, but it can be done
THE LIFE LINES
Phone a friend - The Idea is that you have an intelligent and knowledgeable friend/person on standby that you are fairly sure will kno the answer and will then get you through to the next question
Ask the Audience - This Life Line gets the audience to Vote on Answer A,B,C or D and it presents the results in a bar Graph, usually the majority vote from the audience is correct.
50-50 - This Life Line is good for if you think you may know the answer but want to see if it is eliminated, it takes away two wrong answers and so gives you a 50-50 chance of getting the answer correct if you choose to play.
TV - AUDIENCE GAMES
There is also usually a question for players at home aged 16 and over which requires them to text either Answer A,B,C, or D and be in with the chance to win £2,000
Overall Who wants to be a millonaire is a great show, fun to guess the answers, however i haven't seen it on television in a long time, in my opinion if it was to start airing again then a different host should be used, to change the 'scene'
Who wants to be a millionaire is a quiz show which has a fantastic format and actually has a great reason to go on it as well, as you could win a million pounds although to do that it very hard indeed though it has been done before.
The show works like this, at first there are several contestants sat doing the fastest finger first, a question is asked and its put these four answers in the correct order, the person who gets the right answer and who is the fastest will have a chance to play on the live show, there are usually about two or three players each show as it lasts an hour and games do usually continue into the next weeks show as well.
After the contestant has got through that round they get to play for money, each question they get right there money usually doubles although it's a bit different on some to make the money to equal amounts. Each player has three lifelines, the best one probably being ask the audience as they always seem to be right.
The show used to be 15 questions and you will win the million pounds however it is now just 12 but still it is hard to do no doubt as the questions just get harder and harder as they go up in value.
The shows hosted by Chris Tarrant who is a familiar face and has done it since it started, he is a pretty good host, he gets some banter going but isn't really funny and I think the show could perhaps be revamped if they got a younger host or someone funny.
This is another one of those quiz shows that I don't watch all the time but I do always enjoy it whenever I do, its good to see where you would get if you were playing although its usually not very far.
Hugely successful and with numerous different versions going around the world, 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' is a quiz show in which there is a lot of money at stake, as the title would suggest.
Using their own consoles, ten or so contestants must first try and arrange a number of items into a particular order, eg chronological order of events or the like, in the initial 'Fastest Fingers First' round. The quickest contestant to get the test right is then selected to take part in the main game, whereby they must choose the right answer from one of four choices, the amount of money starting low and subsequently doubling until the sum of a million pounds is reased (assuming they get that far).
After a few initial easy questions they soon become rather difficult, and contestants can choose to either take the money they ahve already won or to risk losing everything and continue. They also have 3 lifelines, allowing them to ask a friend for advice, eliminating 2 wrong answers or polling the audience on waht they think is the right answer.
The show is engaging and the questions genearlly challenging and intelligent, and its certainly a very tense experience that has a habit of sucking you in whether you like it or not. Chris Tarrant can become somewaht irritating after a while, and the show does get repetitive, but its nevertheless an interesting and engaging high profile gameshow nevertheless, and one that is fairly stripped-down and straigtforward, with none of the unneccessary complication of other prime-time quiz shows like The Weakest Link.
On who wants to be a millionaire (or cash mountain as it was initially intended to be called ) would be contestants have to answer a question on their keypads with four possible answers, in the quickest time to get the chance to play for one million pounds.
Once in the chair they are asked multiple choice questions for larger and larger amounts of cash up to number 15 which is worth £1 million. They get three 'lifelines' to help them out, phone a friend, fifty fifty (removes two wrong answers) and ask the audience (the audience vote on their keypads).
To date i believe there has been only one million pound winner but several peoples have won the measly £250 000 and £125 000 which is hardly worth getting out of bed for if you ask me ; P
To Help the contestants out there are safety nets, at £1000 and £32 000 (in the newer series i think it is £50 000) on obtaining these amounts they are safe and no matter what happens you go home with at least that amount.
While this takes away some of the tension involved in potentially going home with absolutely nothing i like the fact that the show is more about seeing people succeed instead of praying for them to fail, perhaps im just getting old but i no longer wanna see people lose (unless they are real gumps or arrogant or so on).
Despite being presented by the speech impeded sea lion that is chris tarrant (ip oeeew ip oeeew) -thats what he sounds like i havnt just had a stroke at the keyboard- I really like this programme with tarrant generating a fair amount of tension with the now famous catchphrase "is that your final answer" and drawing it out for as long as possible.
Obviously the major draw of this programme is the huge amounts of money on offer but the questions are usually interesting ones to (unlike weakest link which is more about generating enough fear within the contestant that they'll get simple questions wrong).
I like this quiz programme as it really focuses on good questions and great prizes, which in my eyes should be the essence of all TV quizes.
I would be very surprised if there's anyone reading this who hasn't heard of this program before because it seems to be a household name. Arguably not as popular as it once was, it's still going strong years after it first hit our screen years ago. Little has changed about the show, with the exception of the number of questions per contestant, so it retains its classic appeal.
'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' is hosted by Chris Tarrant and is currently shown on Tuesdays at 8pm on ITV. This is a quiz show, one which was quite unique at the time it first aired because of its format and the huge sums of money up for grabs. In addition to advertisements, the show has also gained publicity through incidents regarding Tarrant's personal life and a contestant's cheat scandal. The talk aroused by the show, and the high number of viewers, seems to suggest this is a popular choice on the box in the evenings.
To begin the show, one contestant is chosen from a group during the 'fastest finger first round'. That individual, or couple in special editions, then sit up on the podium in the middle of the studio. Here, here/she/they are given the chance to answer up to 12 questions. There were previously 15 questions until the format was revised in 2007. Each question increases in difficulty as the prize increases in uneven increments as follows:
£500 - £1,000 - £2,000 - £5,000 - £10,000 - £20,000 - £50,000 - £100,000 - £175,000 - £300,000 - £500,000 - £1,000,000
Each question has multiple-choice answers, labelled A, B, C & D. The first few are usually very easy and so these are asked & answered quite quickly. As the difficulty increases, Tarrant draws out the process by engaging in conversation with the contestant and asking them the notorious question : 'is that your final answer?'.
Whilst advancing on the question ladder, there are certain points were the money is banked; if the contestant chooses to 'take the cheque' or answers the next question wrong they're guaranteed the money they're currently at.
To help them out, 3 lifelines are available to contestants:
> Ask The Audience- the audience use electronic keypads to vote for the answer they think is correct.
> 50 / 50 - two incorrect options are removed to leave two possible answers.
> Phone A Friend - the contestant calls someone from a pre-selected group, ie. A friend or family member, and they get a few seconds to ask the question and get their opinion.
The benefits of a show like this is that you can join in a home and try to answer the questions, and it can get quite emotive when the atmosphere is built up as I find people watching it start talking to, then shouting at, the contestant. The atmosphere is built quite well with the moody lighting and a modern studio keeps the show feeling fresh and of good quality.
In addition to the lighting and the easily recognised dramatic music, many of the answers end on a cliffhanger, so you're kept waiting over the advertisements, and sometimes until the next show, to find out if the answer is correct or whether the contestant will lose quite possibly a lot of money.
To pad out the time, Tarrant makes small talk with the contestant and drags out the answer by asking whether it's their final choice. I find that this can get quite annoying, and although I know it's necessary to provide fillers rather than whiz through the show, listening to ramblings can grate after a while.
Tarrant does a good job as the host, and he's become very famous for it. It wouldn't be the same without him, the way he writes a cheque and then tears it up as someone wins more money, and the way he treats the contestant with warmth. But he's taken some grief for it as well, and I know even the sound of his voice can get up some people's noses. I think he's vital for the show, however, and I'm not sure that the show would survive if he were to be replaced.
The program has also encountered a problem or two, most notoriously the 2003 scandal with Charles Ingram. Although this outraged many people, it only served to heighten the attention around Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
To reinforce how popular the show is, along with the large number of viewers it gets, spin offs have also become common. Not only has the program been reinvented in many other countries all over the world, but board games, computer games and celebrity versions have been released. This strengthens the shows appeal and makes it more accessible and interactive.
Overall, it's a program that I prefer these days for background noise to occasionally join in with, but it's not one I would avidly watch. I'm sure I watched it from start to finish years ago when it was first starting out, but now the chit chat tends to get on my nerves somewhat. It's still a program I would recommend you watch if you haven't seen it for a while or want to strain your brain answering the questions from the comfort of your own sofa.
Who wants to be a millionaire is a quiz show hosted by Chirs Tarrant originally shown on ITV and then repeated on ITV2. The show consists of a studio audience with some hopeful competitors at the front. They all are asked a question to start the show. The first to answer correctly on the key pad is called up to the front to compete in the show.
The show consists of a series of questions all worth progressive amounts of money. There are certain sticking points where you are then garunteed that amount of money to continue through the show even if you answer the following questions wrong. It is always a relief when people reach these points as then you know they are not going away with nothing.
The questions get harder as you go through the show. They all have four options with the person has to chose from. At any point in the show they can use one of their three help options, when they get stuck on a question. One is to phone a friend and ask their opinion, one is to ask the audience and get them to vote, and the other is to go 50:50, which takes away half of the options to make the chosing process easier. At any point in the game you can quite with the money you have got and not gamble any further.
The game is very tense, as huge amounts of money are at stake. Several people have actually one the whole million pounds now on the show. I think Chris Tarrent helps to make the show so fantastic as his style really adds to the drama and he really strings it out before letting people know how they have done. One of the downsides is sometimes you feel like once you have seen a few of them that you have seen them all. They are quite repetitive. When someone wins a million you hear before hand in the paper, so if you havent heard you know nothing exciting happens in the show!