Supermarket Sweep

Supermarket Sweep

With supermarkets often the bane of peoples’ lives, Supermarket Sweep turned on the fun element with contestants raiding the shelves against the clock as the host delivered fast quips and a whole lot of camp.

It was so popular that it recently made a comeback with former X Factor contestant-turned-presenter Rylan Clark-Neal hosting. Letting off steam in one of the most chaotic places was an inspired creation, and its initial running of eight years proved just that.

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The Chase

Voted the UK’s best quiz show, The Chase is a household favorite. With a hilarious presenter delivering comedy along the way and the know-it-all Chasers providing brains and wit at the same time, the ITV show is a brilliantly entertaining hour of fun. 

Drama and tension contrast superbly with greed and humor as four challengers try and escape one of four of Britain’s brightest quiz players.

Deal or No Deal

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.

The Weakest Link

The Weakest Link’s strongest link was host Anne Robinson whose demeanour and speech frightened the life out of contestants who had to answer inventive quiz questions against the clock.

For some reason contestants were given white boards to write the name of the person who they felt was “the weakest link”. It was always good fun to see who voted for whom and then see the person voted off complain about every other contestant in the post-match interview. 


Combining a specialist subject round with a general knowledge round, it’s a challenge that even the best slip up on.

The spotlight of the dreaded black, though enviously comfy, chair sat opposite Humphrys is enough to scare off any timid contestant. But then the questions start coming rapidly as darkness descends and the audience goes deathly quiet. It really is a true test of nerves and memory.

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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.

 2020: the year of the quiz

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.

Purposelessness Is Pleasurable
  • The low-brow, consolatory entertainment is enjoyable to viewers because it is relaxed, sociable, sharable and accessible. It is purposeless and trivial, making it relatable to our common humanity.
  • The reality TV recipe often has an everyman quality to it, so the viewers are able to relate to the antics of the participants who talk, act or behave as a normal person (like the viewers) would.
  • The pandemic resulted in TV viewership along with streaming network viewership to thrive. Most of the content is not intellectual but unchallenging, popcorn programming that someone who has had a hard day can relax and unwind with.

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