The Chronicle

Michael's star turn

CO­ME­DIAN MICHAEL McIN­TYRE IS ABOUT TO PUT CELEBS IN A SPIN WITH HIS (LIT­ER­ALLY) REV­O­LU­TION­ARY NEW GAME SHOW. DANIELLE DE WOLFE FINDS OUT WHAT WE CAN EX­PECT

-

SHOULD the Ca­naries re­main on the Gov­ern­ment’s travel cor­ri­dor list, an is­land-hop­ping ad­ven­ture could be just the thing once travel is al­lowed again.

Olympic Hol­i­days has launched a two-cen­tre trip to Lan­zarote and neigh­bour­ing Fuerteven­tura, just a 30-minute ferry cross­ing away.

En­joy­ing year-round sun­shine, th­ese Ca­nary Is­lands of­fer end­less beaches and dra­matic vol­canic land­scapes.

The Lan­zarote & Fuerteven­tura Is­land Hop costs from £599pp in­clud­ing trans­fers, based on three nights at Ho­tel Club Siroco and fournights at Villa Florida.

Re­gional de­par­tures avail­able. See olympi­chol­i­days.com

‘IDON’T know how you found that out; I thought I’d only told one per­son that,” ex­claims Michael McIn­tyre with alarm. “But yes, I did think of it in the bath.”

The “it” the Bri­tish co­me­dian and star of Michael McIn­tyre’s Big Show is re­fer­ring to is his new prime­time BBC1 game show, Michael McIn­tyre’s The Wheel.

A for­mat un­like any­thing you’ve wit­nessed on tele­vi­sion be­fore, The Wheel sees three con­tes­tants join forces with a va­ri­ety of celebrity “ex­pert” guests in a bid to win life-chang­ing sums of money.

The quirk, as you may have guessed, is that the celebrity guests are all strapped to a ro­tat­ing wheel.

“I didn’t want to be a game show host, I just wanted to be me host­ing a game show,” de­clares Michael, 44.

“I just thought, there hasn’t been any brand new for­mats for game shows, quiz shows – and they’re so well loved and they al­ways do so well.

“So, I thought, ‘I’m go­ing to try and think of one’. And I did – well, I thought of two in the bath... It sort of came to me as like a hu­man roulette wheel.

“I have to say, I’ve en­joyed the roam­ing around thing; I feel a bit like Noel Ed­monds when I’m do­ing it.”

Ini­tial de­scrip­tions aside, there is more to this game show than first meets the eye.

Each episode features three con­tes­tants who find them­selves on a wheel lo­cated di­rectly be­neath the main celebrity wheel.

After one per­son is se­lected at ran­dom, they find them­selves el­e­vated to the cen­tre of the celebrity wheel above and re­main there un­til they get a ques­tion wrong.

“The the­ory was that you build a good rap­port with th­ese three peo­ple and you start root­ing for one of them and also, only one of them can win and two of them can’t,” says Michael.

“No-one’s felt sick to be hon­est. I mean, a cou­ple of peo­ple looked a bit ropey at the be­gin­ning be­cause we do spin them too much be­fore for shots, so I’ve stopped them do­ing that.

“I don’t want every­one start­ing the show dizzy and con­fused.”

It is then up to the con­tes­tant to pick a topic, an­swer­ing their ques­tion and build­ing up the prize fund with the help of one of the seven celebri­ties lo­cated on the wheel.

But with each celebrity spe­cial­is­ing in a dif­fer­ent topic area and the wheel be­ing spun to se­lect the helper at ran­dom, there’s ev­ery chance the con­tes­tant could be hin­dered rather than helped by land­ing on a celebrity with next to no knowl­edge of their cho­sen topic.

“We had Carol Vor­der­man on num­bers; we had Pro­fes­sor Green on rap mu­sic; Chris Ka­mara on foot­ball; we’ve got Joey Es­sex on dat­ing; we’ve got Mel B on the Spice Girls; Der­mot O’Leary is do­ing World War Two – he says he’s an ex­pert, we’ll find out.

“We did strug­gle to get cer­tain book­ings be­cause of a ver­tigo is­sue,” the co­me­dian con­fesses, de­spite the wheel be­ing sta­tioned at ground level and ro­tat­ing hor­i­zon­tally.

“I ran into David Wal­liams and he just kept say­ing, ‘Will my head get cut off?’

“I’m like, ‘ You don’t seem to un­der­stand what I’m try­ing to ex­plain to you, it’s just round in a cir­cle! It’s like a mas­sive tea cup’.” But then comes one fi­nal twist, as the celebri­ties – who have been play­ing along through­out, se­cretly an­swer­ing ev­ery ques­tion us­ing their key­pad – find them­selves the sub­ject of scru­tiny.

“I don’t know whether [the celebri­ties] just haven’t been ex­plained the game, but there’s a won­der­ful mo­ment at the end.

“We col­late their scores and then I re­veal th the rank or­der of how they per­form – from the best celebrity ex­pert to the worst – and I’m telling you, the con­tort­ing of their bod­ies in their chair. They’re look­ing around like, ‘No­body told me we were go­ing to be judged here!”’

With the con­tes­tant then re­quired to pick ei­ther the high­est, mid­dle or low­est rank­ing celebrity helper to an­swer one fi­nal ques­tion – with their se­lec­tion af­fect­ing the fi­nal prize pot – you’d be for­given for think­ing the au­di­ence would be tee­ter­ing on the edge of their seats.

“It’s a very strange sit­u­a­tion,” says the co­me­dian.

“There is a stu­dio au­di­ence but they’re not even with us, they’re all in masks be­hind a wall. It’s a very bleak

We had Chris Eubank do­ing boxing That was some­thing... At one point he stopped talk­ing, just kept do­ing the thumbs up. But we got him back.

sit­u­a­tion. I’m so grate­ful to them for com­ing but they’re there to cre­ate an at­mos­phere – but we can’t re­ally hear it.

“I love au­di­ences – I did the Big Show in a the­atre for that rea­son. I don’t want to be in a stu­dio. The more peo­ple laugh­ing, the more re­laxed I’m go­ing to be.”

How­ever, it might just be the com­bi­na­tion of awk­ward celebrity mo­ments and art­ful sus­pense that el­e­vates Michael McIn­tyre’s The Wheel to “must-watch” sta­tus.

“I wanted video gam­ing to be one of the cat­e­gories – be­cause, ob­vi­ously, that’s what peo­ple do 100% of the time now if they’re un­der 18 years old be­cause of the

sit­u­a­tion,” says Michael.

“So, I got this guy, Vikkstar – he’s a YouTu­ber, he’s got over 10 mil­lion fol­low­ers – I mean, I’m go­ing to be hon­est with you, I couldn’t pick him out of a line-up.

“We had Chris Eubank do­ing boxing – I’ve got to tell you, you don’t want to miss that.

“That was re­ally some­thing... he took to the game. At one point he stopped talk­ing, just kept do­ing the thumbs up. But we got him back.”

A show per­fectly de­signed to ad­here to so­cial dis­tanc­ing guide­lines (even if that wasn’t the in­ten­tion), The Wheel, Michael hopes, will serve up dra­matic ten­sion and joy­ful cel­e­bra­tion in equal mea­sure.

“The wheel can stop at ran­dom, that’s the key thing I keep for­get­ting to say, be­cause I’m so wor­ried that peo­ple will think in any way that the wheel is fixed,” says the co­me­dian.

“I’m used to cyn­i­cal view­ers with the Big Show – I don’t think I’ve met a sin­gle per­son who be­lieves any of those things are real.

“The other night, no­body won and I found it very, very de­press­ing – but ap­par­ently you have to have it.

“I al­ways want some­one to win – es­pe­cially in 2020. Can we please just have a happy end­ing?”

Michael McIn­tyre’s The Wheel starts on BBC1, tonight at 8.30pm

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Chris Eubank
Chris Eubank
 ??  ?? Re­volv­ing cast: Michael McIn­tyre will strap celebrity ex­perts into a re­volv­ing wheel as they help mem­bers of the pub­lic an­swer quiz ques­tions
In­ner cir­cle? Der­mot O’Leary, above, and Ja­son Dono­van, be­low, signed up for a seat on the wheel, but David Wal­liams had some safety reser­va­tions!
Re­volv­ing cast: Michael McIn­tyre will strap celebrity ex­perts into a re­volv­ing wheel as they help mem­bers of the pub­lic an­swer quiz ques­tions In­ner cir­cle? Der­mot O’Leary, above, and Ja­son Dono­van, be­low, signed up for a seat on the wheel, but David Wal­liams had some safety reser­va­tions!
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK