TV quiz shows: who are all those people in the audience? And the one quiz I’d love to have seen.

POINTLESS: Sitting in the audience would be pure torture

I am sure the people who make up the audiences on television quiz shows are perfectly normal, decent and smart.

Well, ok. I’m not sure.

You see, I read somewhere about the BBC quiz Pointless.

They make four episodes a day. Whether that means four audiences or one sitting through four recordings, the piece I read didn’t say.

Personally, though the hosts Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman can, occasionally, be genuinely funny, the idea of sitting through one recording let alone three or four, would be for me, worse than a prison sentence.

In fact, even though I am pretty sure Alexander and Richard are paid very well for doing their jobs, there isn’t enough money in the world to tempt me to do that work.

If they record a run of shows say, over two weeks, that’s 40 shows.

That 40 times Alexander has to say to a `finalist’  – “and what would you do with the money is you won?”

The money often being a pathetic £1,000, I’m surprised nobody has answered “get a bite or eat” or “a taxi home.”

Pointless is marginally more intelligent than some of the other quiz shows. 

There’s Take Your Pick, Catchphrase, Countdown, The Chase, Tipping Point, Don’t Forget the Lyrics, Richard Osman’s House of Games, Chase the Case, Eggheads and dozens more. 

(Those names I remember because I have switched them all off on occasions such as now when I am ill and chance watching daytime television. It serves to remind me of how wonderful radio is!)

Anyway, back to where I started.

Where do the audiences come from. Most if not all tv quiz shows have a live audience.

Who gives up their time to sit in television studio watching, if you’ll excuse the expression, that shite being recorded?

I’d seriously rather listen to a two hour concert of banjo and accordion than sit and watch a quiz show being recorded.

With one exception…

…a colleague from – I’d better not say precisely where but a rural location – told me how he was forced to attend a local version of Quicksilver, being presented in the parish hall of his native village.

Murt was on stage ready to face the questions.

The quizmaster was ready. He turned to Murt and he said:

“Murt. Can you tell me, what is the medical term for collarbone?”

Murt thought deeply. Then he leaned towards the microphone – he was a big man – and he said, clearly: “Clitoris.”

My friend’s head dipped in horror.

But it got worse.

The audience erupted in applause and cheering.

Then the quizmaster intervened.

Silence fell. 
Then he said: “No Murt. But you were close.”

And my friend’s shame was complete.

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