New Million Dollar man
Seven’s Million Dollar Minute has a new quizmaster in Simon Reeve. Guy Davis spoke with the man who could make some smart cookie an instant millionaire.
Aman like Simon Reeve is a valuable secret weapon for a television network to have.
Since 1979, the journalist and presenter has filled a variety of roles for Seven, ranging from covering scientific breakthroughs on Beyond 2000 to commentating at the Olympic Games.
And Reeve currently has a pretty busy schedule at Seven, appearing as Weekend Sunrise’s sports presenter while hosting The Force, a reality series following the work of police officers, and the kids’ quiz show It’s Academic.
Now he’s added one more job to the list, stepping in to replace Grant Denyer as the host of the popular quiz program Million Dollar Minute.
“I feel like I’ve been filling in for people and stepping into the breach for a while now and that’s fine,” Reeve said.
“It’s a juggle at the moment but a good one. And while I’ve only recorded a few episodes of the show so far, in that short time I’ve really enjoyed the format.”
Million Dollar Minute pits three contestants against each another in a test of their general knowledge, with the winner of that round proceeding to the show’s jackpot segment where each correct answer brings them closer to $ 1 million in prize money.
A few new additions have been made to the format in 2014, such as the introduction of a $ 75,000 “safety net” – any player who wins that much during the jackpot round
Reeve: ‘ Quiz show formats are an interesting beast. They have to be simple to follow and provide an element of risk,
reward and, of course, drama.’
keeps that amount, providing encouragement for them to keep scaling the show’s “Jackpot Ladder” in hopes of reaching the million- dollar prize.
And Reeve believes all these elements come together to create an atmosphere that could be described as enjoyably tense.
“Million Dollar Minute is just plain good fun,” he said.
“You can pat yourself on the back if you get 90 per cent of the questions right at home, and from time to time you can see a contestant reach a point where serious money goes on the line.
“The palms start to sweat for everyone as a possible life- changing experience takes shape. Being around that sort of energy can be an adrenalin ride for the contestant, the viewer and even the people who work on the show.”
While he has close to a decade of presenting It’s Academic under his belt, Reeve admits Million Dollar Minute presents different challenges for him as a host.
“It does take some time before you start to own the show, as they say,” he said.
“I’ll certainly be asking the audience to cut me a bit of slack in the early days. The main thing from the host’s point of view, when you’re in the thick of it and the questions are firing thick and fast, is that you have to be at your most clear and most succinct.
“Quiz show formats are an interesting beast. They have to be simple to follow and provide an element of risk, reward and, of course, drama.
“Above all, as a viewer you try to see yourself in the position of the contestant. How would you cope with the pressure? What decision would you make under those circumstances?
“It’s old- fashioned entertainment and Million Dollar Minute does a super job of combining all those elements in the right proportions.”
Million Dollar Minute, Monday to Friday, from January 27, 5.30pm, Seven