ONTO A WINNER
MTV bad boy Darren McMullen looks set to bring a lively edge to Seven’s new game show. Guy Davis had a few minutes with the host of Minute to Win It.
McMullen admits to being quite pleased at being regarded as one of the nice guys at his new network. “ I’m actually quite wellbehaved,” he said with a laugh.
Not only that, he’s clearly an ambitious chap as well – after all, he’s regularly commuting between Australia and the US as he both develops new television projects and scouts for new presenting opportunities.
In fact, he had basically relocated to Los Angeles, having signed with prestigious talent agency William Morris, when he got the news that he’d won the job of hosting Minute to Win It, the local version of the hit US show.
McMullen, who emigrated to Australia nearly 20 years ago but still retains his native Scottish brogue, had been discussing possible projects with Seven and production company Shine when Minute to Win It entered the mix.
At first, however, McMullen was only aware that the possibility of hosting a game show was on the table, and he wasn’t exactly thrilled by the idea.
“ Once I got a look at the concept, though, and found out it was Minute to Win It, I was thrilled because I’d seen it before in America and I’d loved it,” he said. “ It’s basically Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for frat boys, and I said to them ‘ This isn’t a game show, this is brilliant!’”
The set-up of the competition is fairly straightforwad, according to McMullen.
“ The object of the game is that you’re given 10 devilishly simple challenges, each one lasting one minute. And once you’ve passed a challenge, you move on to the next one. Complete all 10 and you win yourself a million bucks.
“ You get a thousand dollars if you win the first challenge, and it goes up incrementally from there until it reaches $ 50,000 at level five. And then the games get harder and harder, and the prize money goes up quite significantly until the final round.”
So how “ devilishly simple” are these challenges? Well, they range from Hanky Panky, which has the contestant trying to empty a box of tissues in 60 seconds using only one hand, to Speed Eraser, which sees the contestant attempting to bounce seven pencils into seven glasses using the eraser on the end of each pencil.
Having already shot a complete run of Minute to Win It, McMullen is impressed by the quality of the players so far.
“ We’ve had people come in who were almost penniless and they
Good medicine: Edie Falco ( right) and newcomer Taylor Schilling ( inset) are just what the doctor ordered. Short and sharp: Contestants try their hand at deceptively simple challenges.