McGuin­ness' re­turns to our Satur­day night

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK -

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

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