The Appeal Of The Quiz Show
The humble quiz game appeals to millions, with many of them obsessed with appearing on such shows and winning a truckload of money.
The concept of public quizzes started back in the 1930s with the Spelling Bees. Broadcast radio picked the quiz format of the game and reached a wider audience. These radio quizzes were popular because they had normal people coming on air and hearing themselves live for the first time.
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Small-scale quiz events were often staged in the 1940s by women at various pubs, as a deterrent for their husbands. Many pubs drew on this pastime and organized quizzes to draw consumers in the '80s.
The appeal for a public question and answer session is so widespread that in 2019, more than half of the 40,000 odd pubs in the UK ran quiz leagues on local and national levels.
Quizzes got immensely more entertaining with the onset of Television. People finally found a way to make use of the useless general knowledge they had retained in their heads since school time.
The prospect of winning money made the shows even more popular and thrilling in the 1950s. Though some initial shows were rigged to favour certain contestants, the British found the golden goose of high-stakes quizzing with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire which ran for multiple decades and was watched by more than a third of the British population.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire had all the winning ingredients:
The format of the show made it a highly entertaining interactive sport among family members huddled together. The show’s appeal was so good that many started exploiting its weaknesses and planned elaborate heists in order to win money.
There was the Zoom quiz, of course: a staple of the first lockdown during which many of us combined video-conferencing technology and general knowledge in order to stay both vaguely sane and in touch with our friends. But also, TV quiz shows seem to have colonised greater chunks of the schedules.
There is an obvious practical element to this: the quiz show is filmed in a controlled and contained environment and was, therefore, from a logistical point of view, easier to bring back under pandemic conditions than drama.
The idea of a banker at the other end of Noel Edmonds’ phone is a unique one.
So unique in fact that the whole essence of Deal or No Deal has been taken onto the online world.
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