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Quiz shows have changed so much over the years. Not only in content, difficulty, but in the prizes they offer.
When I was a kid (many years ago) the two top shows were Double Your Money with Hughie Green and Take Your Pick with Michael Miles. Neither shows required any form of intelligence, just the ability to say "Yes" or "No" at the right time, or to point to a box and decided whether to open it. Amazingly both had audiences that either of the two main channels would kill for these days. Both were on ITV as well.
There were, of course, two other quiz shows that were far more cerebral. Call My Bluff was a must-see on BBC2 and was more for celebrities to try to fool each other as to the true meaning of an obscure word. It's a format that has now been brought back successfully with Would I Lie To You, though the swearing is something Frank Muir would never have indulged in!
The other quiz was University Challenge; probably the longest running quiz show in the UK, though it has changed channels and presenters. Bamber Gascoigne always seemed like a university don, or even one of the contestants, rather than a quiz master and so much background knowledge that if someone gave an incorrect, but close answer, Bamber would be able to explain why the error had been made and fill in all the gaps. However in a programme about the show he explained he spent hours doing research so he could appear omniscient! Bamber now owns and runs a history website called Historyworld http://www.historyworld.net/ It's well worth a visit.
Jeremy Paxman took over from Bamber and the show continues to be a must-see on a Monday night.
Mastermind is in much the same mould, testing contestants' knowledge on specific subjects as well as general knowledge.
The one thing that University Challenge and Mastermind have in common, asides from the difficulty of their questions, is the fact that the only prize on offer after the entire series has finished is a trophy.... no money, just kudos.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire changed all that with hardly anyone going away with less than £1,000 and many people taking £32,000 or twice that back home. Greed came to the quiz shows big time. Other shows tried to follow the format, but none lasted the pace and now WWTBAM has gone as well.
Monday is quiz show evening, starting with Link (Mark Williams), Pointless (Alexander Armstrong), Two Tribes (Richard Osman), Eggheads (Jeremy Vine), University Challenge (Jeremy Paxman) and Only Connect (Victoria Coren-Mitchell). On Dave, repeats of Have I got News for You and QI appear most nights and even programmes like Bullseye and Catchphrase are repeated regularly. Only one question remains unanswered.... who thinks up all the questions and when will they run out?
I wonder when they'll also bring back Double Your Money and Take Your Pick, because everything seems to be going full circle!
Blog on, Dudes!