Having just watched BBC TV’s Bargain Hunt, a couple of things immediately struck me. Firstly, my already held opinion of how rubbish Auntie Beeb’s competition prizes are was further endorsed. Secondly, that I’ll watch any old s***e on the telly.
The winners of todays show, where two teams attempt to usurp each other at auction selling the antiques they’ve chosen from bric a brac stores, won the grand total of £21. That’s a whopping £10.50 per team member.
They don’t tell you what the winners were going to spend their auction gotten gains, however, I suspect it won’t be on a holiday in Venice or a high performance car ……. Well, unless Poundland stores start selling Italian vacations or flash motors.
Bargain Hunt is by no means the only BBC show that has a ‘tight as a fishes arse’ strategy when it comes to the munificence of prizes. The channel funded by the licence payer rarely, if ever, has life changing winnings available to game show contestants……. That’s unless you class a Pointless trophy, a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen, or £10.50 as life changing.
With the Beeb’s budgets for this genre of show being significantly less than the bigger commercial channels, the reason for this disparity in winnings is a no brainer. With pockets stuffed with advertisers revenue, commercial channels can afford greater benevolence toward their shows victors.
ITV have the wherewithal to make Lorna’s 300 mile journey from Arbroath will be worthwhile if she keeps her nerve on Catchphrase. Additionally, if Bernie from Crewe doesn’t freeze on the night, he may win a huge amount on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire; especially if his ‘phone a friend’ (a clever sh**e called Percy) and the audience are on song.
In fact, the early questions are so easy on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire you can win up to £16,000 by successfully getting your name, address and shoe size correct, along with knowing how many seasons there are in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
One thing for sure, it’s highly doubtful you’ll return to Arbroath or Crewe with a tacky trophy as the sole reward for taking part on an ITV show. Admittedly, you have to endure a far more excitable/irritating audience than on the Beeb. However, when you’re sunning yourself in Marbella, winning the trip in front of Benny from Crossroads will be the furthest thing from your mind.
You could argue that, unless you’re a contestant, it’s irrelevant how good the rewards are on a competitive TV show on despite the channel. Which, I admit, would be a fair comment for you to proffer. Some would opine, the most important thing to the viewer is surely the entertainment value of the shows format.
For example, some of the prizes on BBC’s Pointless aren’t the best, however, the format and affable presenters make it infinitely more watchable than ITV’s quiz The Chase, which shares the same early evening schedule.
There is a more realistic chance of winning big money on The Chase, however the unfunny patronising of contestants by the Chaser’s leaves me cold. They might be clever and the host Bradley Walsh may be funny, but give me Pointless’ affable duo Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman any day.
Although saying that, whispers are that Richard Osman prefers The Chase, which he has running on that laptop of his during Pointless episodes.