Monday, February 20, 2006

Take the money bitch!

I am currently addicted to the awful new game show on Channel 4, Deal or No Deal (currently becoming a global phenomenon) and hosted in the UK by Noel Edmonds. It's a painfully simply premise - there are 22 boxes, each with different sums of money in them. During each round a contestant opens some of the boxes, thus eliminating them. After each round, Noel receives a phone call from "The banker" who then offers the player a sum of money to stop playing. Invariably, the player says "No deal", and keeps opening boxes, until he/she is left with one box - which is the sum of money he/she ends up with. If you play it well you can end up with as much as £250,000 - the top prize. But more often than not, greedy players walk away with one of the more paltry sums of money - such as £10 or even 1p.

Although this is totally a game of chance and probabilities, Noel and the contestants try everything possible to inject some sort of spiritual nonsense into the proceedings. Previous contestants have relied on "positive energy" or even dead relatives in order to guide them into opening the boxes with the smaller amounts of money in them first. It is always hilarious when such entreatries to the "Spirit World" go unheeded and the hapless fools open a box with one of the "Power Five" - Noel's term for the top 5 sums of money, thus ensuring they will end up with one of the lesser amounts of cash. It is also funny-awful watching people's greed and bravado get the better of them, as they reject perfectly reasonable sums of money to go for the statistically improbable big cash prize - which they rarely get. On Saturday, some greedy sap played the game to its awful, inevitable conclusion and walked away with £10, after having earlier rejected a Deal from the banker of £20,000. Noel tried to make the most of it by telling him that "the way you played the game was fanastic!" etc, but it just didn't work. Today, another idiot rejected £40,000 and ended up with £10,000. Despite the fact that he was trying to play it cool and not look bothered, a huge vein on his forehead started to bulge, to the point where I thought his head was going to explode. A large part of the show's enjoyment is in laughing at Noel's efforts to inject drama into the proceedings - he gets angry at the Banker, he looks upset, he wears a series of garish shirts. His hair looks like it's made of polyester and then sprayed with toxic waste. I love him.

The show is filmed in Bristol, in a studio not very far from where I live. My fella wants to audition to go on it. If he is successful, that's one show I wouldn't be able to watch. But at least he would base his decisions on strict mathematical probablities and not the "energy" from some trinket left to him by his dead grandmother.


matty said...

Oh, I hope he does audition and wins big time! ...haven't heard of this one as of yet. Not sure it is my thing, tho. I think it is so cute how you call your husband your 'fella'

...makes me go, "awwww" every time!

Lost Boy said...

Noel looks a bit like a lizard in mohair; most odd. I love this show too, but I find myself becoming irrationally angry when the contestants start getting up and running around the game 'arena' hugging whoever just opened the '1p' box. It's simply not British.

KAZ said...

Strange - 'cos I HATE Noel Edmonds with a vengeance and resent the fact that some fool is paying him money to do what I could probably do better.
I'd avoided this like the plague. But after your recommendation i'll give it a try tommorow

Reluctant Nomad said...

Not being British, I don't really know much about Noel although others have tried to fill me in on his background. All I can say is, Why? Why inflict that horrid man on us?

But who am I to inflict my odd prejudices on the rest of the population? At least he isn't as awful as Davina, Ant & Dec and Jonathan Ross. Actually, he may just be worse than Ross.

comatose said...

oh I watch it religiously too. There's something very comforting about the monotony of it and how it's the same every day - a bit like countdown. I too love to scoff at the preposterous methods that the contestants employ, and Noel's desperate search for something new and dramatic to say. "I think you'll be back" is the pinnacle of being annoying and yet at the same time brilliant. It's nice when they have a sexy contestant too because you can admire them for a whole 45 minutes.

rhino75 said...

We have this programme in France too, although here it's called "Take it or leave it!" ("A Prendre ou à Laisser") presented by Arthur whose saving grace is being a little bit hotter than Noel. I couldn't believe it when I went back to England at Christmas and found my parents addicted to it. Still, it's better than "Noel's Houseparty" - that used to make me apoplectic.