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.

Geelong Advertiser - TV Guide - - FEATURE STORY -

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

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