McGuinness' returns to our Saturday night
Good game show ideas never die. They just inspire shows such as Celebrity Benchmark (Channel 4, 7pm) The great idea in this case being Play Your Cards Right, the ITV weekly quiz in which Bruce Forsyth told the audience, 'You're so much better than last week's'. (It was their second recording of the day; many of them found the in-joke hilarious). He also whipped them up into such a frenzy of excitement that by the time contestants decided to go higher or lower than a nine of hearts for example, the resulting card could generate an almost palpable feeling of elation or despair. And that was the hook: higher or lower than a card's value. A bit like choosing Red or Black, only more exciting than Ant and Dec's game show. While Red or Black may have flopped, despite the thousands of pounds pumped into it, that didnít stop TV bosses pressing on with Benchmark a few weeks ago. The daytime Channel 4 quiz hosted by Paddy McGuinness rested on a similar premise: one contestant stood the chance of taking home thousands of pounds, with the help of the great British public, aka the 'Benchmarkers'. When that series launched earlier this summer, it looked like it could have thrashed the other wave of daytime quizzes, such as The Chase and Pointless. After all, with host Paddy McGuinness's cheeky charm, C4 bosses hoped he could work the same magic that turned Take Me Out into such a massive hit. But as we all know, a slick format and a seemingly perfect host is no guarantee for success. Joe Brown proved that with ITV teatime quiz Square One back in the 1980s. (The fact you've probably never heard of it is testament to how well that was received by the public). Alas, launched at a time when many folks were on holiday, Benchmark failed to find an audience and was taken off air after just nine episodes. However, now millions of us prefer to stay in on a Saturday night instead of making the most of the warm weather, we have the inevitable Celebrity Benchmark. Yes, it's the same idea only with famous faces hoping to make up to £50,000 for their chosen charity. In this case, 10 celebrity 'Benchmarkers' help Jimmy Carr and Joey Essex go head-tohead at the start of the show to determine who will become the main contestant.
Game show Paddy McGuinness hosts