Mel giedroyc on why her new teatime game show is both entertaining and just a little bit annoying…
monday-friday / bbc2 Mel Giedroyc is back with another new show. This week, she hosts a new game show involving letter clues. If it’s a hit, I expect the boardgame will be out for Christmas.
Anybody who feared that lovely Mel Giedroyc would have too much time on her hands after she left The Great British Bake Off needn’t have worried as Mel, 49, has already had a super-busy year hosting a clutch of talent shows from Eurovision: You Decide and Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief to Let It Shine and Pitch Battle.
Now, she’s turning to the world of game shows with Letterbox. The addictive daily show sees pairs of contestants try to crack a series of letters based passwords. As they go along, they collect letters, which will help the winning couple solve the mystery final password, which unlocks the letterbox holding a £2,500 prize. Here, Mel tells us more.
How would you describe Letterbox in three words?
Passwords. Need. Cracking.
what makes it special?
It’s the most fun family wordplay quiz game that you’ll ever play.
It’s one of those very all-welcoming, all-inclusive experiences. That’s the great thing about this show, in the studio there’s a lot of, ‘Nooo!’ and ‘Ahhh!’ going on. But the audience at home will be just as involved.
You literally will be throwing things at the telly as you play along.
How tough is it?
First and foremost we have some cracking contestants, we’ve got some really, really good people. But you don’t have to be a genius to play it. Anyone can play it. Young, old, wordsmith or nay. You absolutely don’t have to be an expert quizzer. Trust me, I can play it.
ooh, are you any good?!
Well being the quiz mistress, I thought it would be fun if I didn’t know any of the words either, so I’m playing along and it’s exciting. But when I realise what an answer is, I want to blurt it out! Generally though, I’m an absolutely terrible quizzer because the pressure is too much. I feel for the guys on the show. Once you’re there standing in the spotlight having to answer within a certain amount of time, everything slips your mind. It’s much easier sitting at home shouting and screaming than it is to be under the old spotlight.
what sort of passwords can we expect to see?
The words that crop up can be on absolutely any subject matter at all. It could be something to do with millinery, the military, or Millicent Martin, all things beginning with ‘M’, which is one of my favourite letters. I know that’s very narcissistic of me but I just love an ‘M’. It’s nice to look at, it’s nice to write in the sand, it’s nice to write on a window that’s had condensation on it…
and how about your least favourite letter?
It’s got to be ‘Q’. I know Q’s quite cool, he’s a Bond character and everything, but actually if you get a ‘Q’ in the bag of Scrabble letters, it’s not good at all because ‘U’ has to follow, unless you’re going to spell the word ‘qi’, which is apparently a real thing, but I don’t believe it.
what’s your favourite word?
‘Willy-nilly’. ‘Ribald.’ ‘Squelch’ too, and ‘jiggery-pokery’.
we get the impression you’re pretty competitive at games and quizzes, is that right?
I’m awful at Christmas! I take charades way too seriously. Half the family won’t play with me now because I’m so aggressive.
will you miss Bake Off when it starts again in the autumn?
I’m thinking of them, wondering what’s going on. I’m extremely fond of [new presenter] Noel Fielding and I love the idea of him being in the Bake Off tent. He’s great. It’ll be good to see how he deals with a croquembouche.
Love a good word-based puzzler? Check out this new weekday game show presented by the evercheery (and ever-busy!) Mel Giedroyc. Pairs of contestants compete to crack a series of passwords, winning letters to increase their chances of getting the password for a Letterbox holding a £2,500 cash prize. Got that? Easy peasy!
Red letter day: Mel explains her brand new quiz
Bake Off family: Mel with baking buddies Sue, Mary and Paul
Spell with Mel!