Weaver's Week 2023-12-31

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It's been dubbed 2023, the year when there were some game shows on television. And on the radio, too. Here are some of our highlights.


Eurovision Song Contest

Welcome to Liverpool, there are no strangers, just friends we've recently met.

Eurovision Song Contest

For the first time in forever, we were able to take the Week's roving camera out to the biggest cultural event in the world. The Eurovision Song Contest came to Liverpool, and Liverpool embraced it like no other city could do.

The Eurovision Song Contest got everywhere. The platforms at Lime Street station had welcoming messages underfoot, and there were real live people to talk to in the foyer.

Throughout the city, Eurovision branding was everywhere. On the shopping centre wall. On the billboards. Giant inflatable birds right across the city, representing Ukranian culture and heritage. Blue and yellow colours everywhere. Massive Pysanka eggs in the shopping centre. An agreeable range of Ukrainian beers brewed in the city.

Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream A place to make memories.

It's Ukraine's party, and Liverpool was both proud and honoured to host it. And Liverpool was absolutely brilliant at it. The atmosphere was electric, a pervasive buzz that something utterly unique was going to happen. Compare and contrast to Nice, which hosted Junior Eurovision in November; a few signs outside the arena, that's literally all the promotion they did.

In the hall, the contest was ably hosted by Hannah Waddingham, Julia Sanina, and Alesha Dixon; there was also some input from Graham Norton during the Saturday final, but he was superfluous to requirements. The interval acts and staging were a heady mixture of Liverpool, Britain, and Ukraine.

Eurovision Song Contest Be who you want to be.

At the concert, the viewers voted for "Cha cha cha" performed by Käärijä, the juries voted for "Tattoo" performed by Loreen. With no clear winner, they looked at second preferences, and found the viewers put "Tattoo" second, and the juries had "Cha cha cha" fourth, so "Tattoo" won the contest. Fans of "Cha cha cha" haven't shut up about it in the months since, until they found something else to be boring about in the autumn.

Eurovision is a symbol of hope, of life in all of its crazy and bizarre forms. What other evening's entertainment will take us from a warzone to an anti-war art piece, via two heavy metal songs, two powerful women, and a meditation on surviving great loss? By watching, by participating, we support the performer's right to be themself. To tell their stories, speak out about life and injustice and feeling a way to a better world.

Eurovision Song Contest Cha cha, and – most probabily – cha.

And Eurovision was treated well by the BBC. The production, the attention to detail, the big things and the little things were all very good. Sure, we'd loved to have seen Hacker T Dog and Paul McCartney, but we have no complaints with Dustin the Turkey and Daði Freyr. The Beeb have had 25 years to prepare, and didn't want anything to go wrong. Nothing went wrong. Eurovision in Liverpool is our Crowning Achievement of Awesome.

The show's legacy? A massive economic boost to the Liverpool region, a great platform for Voyager and Joker Out and Noa Kirel and Käärijä will never have to buy another round as long as he lives.

And the BBC has confidence in Eurovision as it is these days – big and bold and actually cool. Less Wogan, more Olly Alexander – the famous actor and singer has stepped forward to represent the BBC in Malmö next year. Blimey, the first current star with an international rep for the Beeb since Olivia Newton-John in 1974. We wish him well, and look forward to chronicling his ascent of the scoreboard.

Comfortable reality

Channel 4's got the Big New Show of the Year. And, like last year's, the Big New Show is hosted by Claudia Winkleman.

The Piano Claudia Winkleman (right) and a piano.

The Piano is a very simple idea. Take a concert piano, and put it in a public place – a railway station, perhaps. And invite along a dozen local people to play the piano.

Of course, it's not quite that simple. All of the players have been discreetly screened and auditioned, so that a) they can play the piano, and 2) they have some sort of tale to tell on screen. And, with it being a Love Productions show, the tales are sentimental to the point of schmaltz.

Series winner Lucy.

The opening episode, for instance, told us about an elderly man whose wife is so lost in dementia that she doesn't know who he is, but does recognise the tunes. We met a refugee from Ukraine who gets lessons over video link from Kyiv. A mechanic who took up boogie-woogie piano during the recent health crisis. A drag queen draws extra meaning from the sensitive tones.

Claudia Winkleman is warm and empathetic and brings out the emotional heart of the programme, which is what she does to every programme. Waiting backstage are two other people. Mika, the warm and gregarious and generous singer and entertainer and pianist: he puts the show into show business like nobody else. Lang Lang, the smart and generous and proficient pianist: he has more technical proficiency in his little finger than most of us have in our bodies.

Mika (left) and Lang Lang are surprised.

A competition element provides a bit of structure to the show: the best performer at each location (as judged by Mika and Lang Lang) will perform at the prestigious Festival Hall in London, and one of those will be named the winner of the series. Each episode works without its contest, it's an exploration of how music can power emotions.

Is the plot formulaic? Yes, and this column couldn't expand our notes into anything longer than the blurb you've just read. Does The Piano pack an emotional punch? You bet. A successful show? Got that: two more series commissioned already, researchers are scouting for a dozen and more closets for Mika to jump out of.

Two other warm and fuzzy shows came in the autumn. The Vintage French Farmhouse (daytime on BBC1) and The Great Antiques Challenge (primetime on the Really channel) starred familiar faces from The Bidding Room. Our familiar faces try to find some collectables and bits, buff up their purchases, then sell them for a profit.

The Great Antiques Challenge A challenge is set.

Again, the plot is formulaic (can you find the things to meet a nebulous brief? Flog tat for lots of dosh?), and the result can have quite the emotional heft.

Puzzle that!

Only Connect has been running for fifteen years. It's uncompromisingly rigorous, and revels in its ability to make a question out of anything under the sun. A recent episode went from the children's game Hungry Hippos to Oscar-winning musicals to businesses on Dragons' Den. And Only Connect has grown into a really big hit. From a modest target of 50,000 viewers for the opening series, Victoria's quiz now gets an average of 2.5 million viewers.

Yet nobody else has had a serious effort to make another quiz straddling highbrow and accessible. Hive Minds on BBC4 had all the trappings, but Fiona Bruce wasn't as good at question time when compared to Victoria Coren Mitchell. Riddiculous on ITV is accessible and threatens to be a bit clever; though it hides behind Lee Mack's wisecracks, The 1% Club will only award its money to the smartest of smart people in the room.

Puzzling Welcome!

Puzzling on Channel 5 hit the mark. Perhaps a little too much of a carbon copy – a neo-baroque theme, posh blonde woman as the host. Lucy Worsley warmed to her job as the series ticked by. The show isn't perfect – "Pressure Points" is too much counting and watching people count is bad telly; "Rule Breakers" is slow, "Picture This" could run a bit longer.

The unique point of Puzzling is how teams are thrown together at random, win as a team, and then turn on each other to find one winner of the show. That winner comes back for the series semi-final – or straight through to the final if the score is high enough.

Puzzling is a work in progress, and we hope – hope! – that Channel 5 was sufficiently pleased with the 700,000 viewers to make a new series.

University Challenge Amol Rajan hosts UC for the TikTok generation.

There was a scheduled change on University Challenge as Amol Rajan took over from Jeremy Paxman. We'd quite forgotten what it's like to hear a presenter ask questions at a fast pace, and there were generally about 10% more questions than in previous years. Rajan encourages the teams a lot, saying that "there's still plenty of time" early in the game. He's brought a love of cricket, and feels like a fresh broom to the show.

If we're being hyper-critical, Rajan had a regrettable tendency to gabble at tense points – though this has been less pronounced in recent episodes. It's very clear that he's reading words off a screen, the intonation and inflection suggests he doesn't always understand the question. And some of the early episodes had a very odd look, as though Rajan was reading his words off a 1990-era computer screen; it's been recessed into the desk for this year's Christmas series, recorded on next year's set.

Does Amol Rajan meet our criteria for a host? Well, he has precise and swift diction, better than his predecessor. He's showing empathy for the contenders, and is known to the audience. We're not yet convinced that he is a credible authority figure, it sometimes feels like we've got a supply quizmaster and are just waiting for the grown-ups to come back into the room.

And we're not yet convinced that he'll advocate for the student contestants, the real stars of the show. We lost an episode from the Christmas series because producers promised adjustments for some contestants and didn't deliver them. It looks bad, and reflects – however dimly – on the host. There is room for improvement, though not much.

House of Games (3) and Mastermind have continued to bimble along in their charming and amiable manner. Pointless has continued the experiment of guest co-hosts, which are a very varied bunch – Ria Lina knows what she's talking about, Konnie Huq is excellent at reading off a screen. ITV's daytime schedule has featured Tenable and Lingo, with more Tipping Point and The Chase in daytime and primetime.

Pop quiz


At the beginning of 2023, Ken Bruce was firmly planted in the Radio 2 studio, hosting the most popular show on the wireless. We were occasionally asked, "when will they bring Popmaster to television, and how will it look?"

At the end of 2023, Ken Bruce has moved to the independent sector – Clyde 2, Kerrang FM, Mix FM, 107.7 The Wolf, and other stations taking the "Greatest Hits" programme. Ken's audience has come down, his bank balance has gone up, and he's taken Popmaster with him.

Ken's also sold Popmaster to television. A six-part series went out on More4 during the summer, it had some teething troubles and the question editing could have been better, but its heart was in the right place.

Catchphrase in place, naturally.

There was a gap at 10.30 on Radio 2, where Popmaster used to be. The replacement quiz was Ten to the Top, a little more rigorous than its predecessor. A contestant gets ten questions. Some of them have musical cues attached. The player has five seconds to give their answer, late answers will be marked wrong without mercy. Answers must be precise, no wiggle room, they won't take "Ant and Dec" for "PJ and Duncan".

Scores are kept in an unusual way. The first question's worth one point. Get it right, and the next question is for two points. Get that right, and the next question's for three points, and so on. But get a question wrong, and the chain breaks, the next question is for just one point. Each player has a joker that they can play on a question to double the points.

After ten months, we've concluded that this scoring system is far too complex to play along with. Contestants know if they've got the question right or wrong, and in spite of Vernon Kay (or regular substitute Gary Davies) giving the score for each question, you need pen and paper to keep score. Treat it as a stream of questions, answer what's in front of you, and it's much more fun. The joker is also a bit of a wasted feature: the bulk of folk leave it to the very last question, the others play it to force the win early.

Vernon Kay Mid-morning's greatest showman?

Ten to the Top is just one feature on The Vernon Kay Show, and it fits in well alongside the archive clips and Tracks of My Years feature. Vernon hosts a big and expansive show, he brings energy and showmanship to the radio, qualities we didn't have from the previous host.

Which is the better quiz? Ten to the Top benefits from asking about seven decades of pop music, and from being pre-recorded and edited to sound slick and professional. Popmaster can focus primarily on its target era of 1970 to 1995, and is a simpler format to keep your own score; it suffers from being done live and from Phil Swern's questions that look great on paper but are confusing when read out.

Ultimately, this column listens to Ten to the Top because we're more likely to listen to the Vernon Kay show. Familiarity breeds contentment. And if there's any news on Radio 2 replacing Jeremy Vine with Laa Laa from Teletubbies, we'll let you know.

Name That Thing

Here is a picture of something. What is it?

One of the most bizarre fashions of 2023 was – quite simply – asking contestants to name things. Three different shows used this idea as the whole – or significant part – of their game.

In With a Shout Joel Dommett shouts at your telly.

In With a Shout was first on air, appearing on ITV during the spring. Joel Dommett asked family teams to identify pictures and things from very short film clips. Just three seconds to identify the thing, but there are "freezes" to give thinking time. A complicated scoring system ensures there's almost no chance of a tie, and ensures that the game is in doubt until the final round.

Joel Dommett's presence turns the programme from OK to very watchable. He's confident and positive, encouraging them and offering useful advice. "What's that? Yes! You're already well up! No? Keep throwing stuff out. Never mind, it's alright, it's ok." He's a calming influence, ensures that nobody takes this game too seriously, or gets disheartened. The show reminds us most of The Hit List, a difficult quiz made to look simple by a great presenter.

Picture Slam Alan Carr gets between this week's winners.

Compare and contrast with Picture Slam on BBC1. Random things appear on the screen, there's money for each correct answer – and bonus money for clearing the board. Time is always of the essence, and there's not much effort to theme the rounds.

Alan Carr has to shout "What fruit is this?" or something on every single picture. It means he isn't able to give encouragement and chivvy people along. Alan also thinks his talking is more important than contestants answering the question, which really isn't true.

For this column, In With a Shout is much better: there's a clear progression within each round, and within the show. And the hosts are chalk and cheese, Joel a particularly delicious brie, Alan could write on a blackboard.

The Finish Line Roman Kemp and Sarah Greene, the hit pair we didn't expect to see.

Name That Thing was also the most-seen round on The Finish Line, a daytime programme on BBC1. Sarah Greene and Roman Kemp are familiar figures for two generations of viewer, and here they ask contestants to name five things as quickly as possible. But it's just one round in the show, which centres around a chariot race. Our players will be asked questions down the line, starting with the fastest to get five answers. A right answer will start your podium moving; but if you are wrong or can't answer in time, your podium stops. While the other players are answering, you keep moving – and so do they. Last player to cross the finish line is out.

The Finish Line is the best new daytime quiz of the year. (It's also the worst new daytime quiz of the year, as there hasn't been much experimentation in daytime.) And there's plenty of quiz to enjoy: each episode has almost as many questions per minute as Mastermind or Fifteen-to-One. Savvy and sassy, The Finish Line is written with wit, uses simple words, and the joy in the studio comes through the television screen.

Reality used to be a friend of mine

Corks, remember when reality television was really popular? We've had lots of new series this year, but few have captured the imagination.

Rise and Fall Three have-nots hoping to become haves.

Channel 4 put a lot of money and effort into Rise and Fall, and it almost paid off. Divided into "rulers" and "grafters", the "grafters" did the work to raise prize money for the "rulers" to manage. But there are eliminations as the "rulers" vote each other out, and the "grafters" nominate themselves to rise – and perhaps to fall back down. This column watched the majority of Rise and Fall, and it gave us plenty to think about. Greg James proved an adept presenter of this show, as well as an adept radio host.; Emma Clarke's voice brought the lift to life

Although Rise and Fall looked like a clone of BBC1's spoof The Apprentice, it was actually all about alliances and networking. Make people love you in the basement, where people are bonding because of a shared traumatic experience. Do your best to keep people onside in the penthouse. Try to build alliances in the penthouse, where everyone's looking over their shoulder in an advanced state of paranoia. And certainly don't give anyone in the penthouse a reason to hate you.

Rise and Fall Greg James looked and presented like a million dollars.

The opening night description was "the new show from the people behind The Traitors" – the new series of 2022's hit show will air in January. Let's face it, Rise and Fall wasn't quite as compelling as The Traitors, there were no incredible revelations over croissants, just an awful lot of paranoia. The show coalesced around young white men – though this was never mentioned on screen. Greg claimed at the start of every episode, "the gap between top and bottom has never been closer" – but the show never attempted to demonstrate that. Some people climb the greasy pole. Some fall down it, some jump off, some are pushed.

We don't expect another series of Rise and Fall, which is a bit of a shame. We do expect another run of Loaded in Paradise, where young couples swan around Greece trying to find an unlimited credit card. A combination of Hunted, Millionaire Manor, and a travelogue around the sunny Med. Did the show need a prize at the end, when the real prize is using the card to buy stuff? Or replace half of the couples for just the final week? Not convinced these twists worked.

Next Level Chef Gordon Ramsay prays for a good review.

It's certain that Next Level Chef continued Gordon Ramsay's run of barely-broadcastable c***. Not content with inflicting a second series of Future Food Stars on BBC1, Ramsay brought his format to ITV. The gimmick: groups of chefs are assigned to kitchens with varying levels of luxury, and get first or last dibs on ingredients.

Next Level Chef was actively bad television. With twelve individual people to follow at once, we get confused. The producers had spent a lot of time on how to make the show look good, and completely neglected their duty to tell a story. Everyone bangs on about a "next level dish", but never explain what they mean by this vapid management speak. And, although it's a show about cookery, the actual food is the least important aspect of the show. It bombed horridly in the ratings, barely ahead of cheap 'n' cheerful summer filler Cooking With the Stars.

Other summer filler shows bombed badly. Selling Super Houses on Channel 4 tried to make a competition out of multi-million pound estate agents. There is a "best estate agents" contest to be made, there is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about selling the homes of the ultra-rich, but Selling Super Houses tried to combine the two and satisfied neither.

Ultimate Wedding Planner The role of the horse is played by two planners.

Ultimate Wedding Planner on BBC2 attempted to put together a memorable wedding ceremony in a few days. "What if the best day of your life was organised by seven people who hate each other?" And who didn't know how to delegate a job. Each show had a similar formula: "How are we going to do it?" "We're going to do this!" "Or we could do that." "'Ave you zourt of doing it zees way?" "Don't be late starting!" "The bride is late." "Hello, welcome, we're not quite ready..." "Oh, that was lovely." In its internal logic, Ultimate Wedding Planner was passable telly; that it was seen by barely a million viewers isn't great.

Another Channel 4 show, Tempting Fortune, asked its contestants to walk through the wilderness in South Africa. They'll be offered "temptations" to ease the stress and make their life easier. The show was predicated on an assumption: that everyone wanted to walk away with as much money as possible. But there are other, perfectly valid, goals. To prove your physical ability, and complete the hike. Or just to go out and have the time of your life on the trip of a lifetime.

Tempting Fortune chose to pitch itself as a Spartans versus Hedonists show, thus completely undermining the point it might have made. They cast to fit their prejudices, and managed to reduce half the group to supporting cast. They could have presented the show as a worked example of modern morality, but chose not to. Do we watch entertainment television for Bickering and Arguments in the Middle of Nowhere? No thanks, leave that to Channel 4 News.

Tempting Fortune Was any show improved by booking Paddy McGuinness?

"Into the wilderness" formats have become a mature template. Tempting Fortune joins Naked and Afraid, Abandoned In the Middle of Nowhere, Camping the Wilderness, and not-quite-a-game show Freeze the Fear. While commissioners love these shows, viewers are less interested. The genre has been responsible for some of the biggest failures of the year. It makes the success of Race Across the World even more remarkable: perhaps the secret is to keep moving, to make the contestants' narrative journey also be their literal journey.

Rick's back!

2023 has been a great year for Rick Astley. The lead singer with The Smiths had a joyful solo set at Glastonbury, and owns the "Never gonna give you up" Rickroll meme.

2023 has also seen some old favourite game shows come back, as if they'd never been away. This might not be for the best.

Big Brother Big Brother has gathered the contestants on the sofas.

ITV2 revived Big Brother, with AJ Odudu and Will Best as the hosts, and Marcus Bentley as the narrator. Sixteen contestants were reduced to one winner by the medium of tasks, votes, nominations, things to do, and evictions. For all the bravado and colour, this was a slightly nervous series, finding its feet and settling into a place that might not be comfortable in the long term.

Tasks that didn't last more than one day betrayed a slight lack of confidence, an assumption that viewers wouldn't tune in from one day to the next. Free votes through the app means ITV don't have to bother with premium-rate telephone regulations, but it becomes very cheap for the worst people in society to vote out minorities. Redubbing the voice of Big Brother with the same actor became tiresome.

But it would be churlish to carp too much. This year's Big Brother was played out for entertainment, with lighthearted games and plenty of laughter throughout the series. The on-screen romance didn't work for this cynical old column, but hit the mark with the viewers.

Deal or No Deal Hear that, Mr. Banker?

ITV also brought back Deal or No Deal, Stephen Mulhern led the charge to open as many small boxes as he could. Played for smaller stakes than the Channel 4 version from two decades ago, the decisions were more interesting and required a little bit more consideration. Stephen Mulhern continues to be superb with people, just like his predecessor. Unlike his predecessor, Stephen recognises that a decent win is a win, and if you take £9000 from a £15,000 game that's a very good return.

Deal or No Deal was very successful, averaging almost two million viewers and eclipsing the venerable Tipping Point. We can look forward to more episodes of Stephen and the Big Box Game in 2024.

So, Big Brother and Deal or No Deal picked up with simplified versions of the formats, and we remembered why we loved them. Could BBC1 turn the same trick with Survivor? No, BBC1 could not make a success of Survivor. We'll discuss this further in a few weeks' time, but the show was sunk beneath the waterline by poor challenges, unfortunate casting, and the cultural reluctance to appear to try too hard.

Is it possible that Joel Dommett is associated with the Best and Worst new show in the UKGameshows / Bother's Bar End of Year poll? He'll surely place into the top five of each category.

Around the world with Willy Fog

There have been many shows produced for streaming services, ones that this column doesn't subscribe to and hasn't seen. UKGS editors have put together a good review for 007: Road to a Million, an action and adventure series building on the James Bond universe. We've also got a look at Cheat, Danny Dyer's quiz where somebody knows all the answers.

Squid Game: The Challenge gave away US$4.56 million (€ 4 million) to one poor unfortunate person. The show's been criticised for asking a lot of its contestants – holding unnatural poses for an hour while they adjudicated on something, being treated "like livestock for entertainment", and "the cruellest experience [I've] ever gone through".

Non-English shows also attracted interest, with Korean favourite The Genius Game optioned by ITV following a mildly-successful series in the Netherlands during 2022. The same production house made The Devil's Plan, another crop of challenges rewarding social skills and intellectual smarts. This column's viewing was enhanced by the company at a friend's house.

More shows need to be watched with a cat obscuring the screen.

Across the world, we've not yet seen anybody try to make a programme using "artificial intelligence". As we showed in the summer, it could be frustrating for serious play, and might be best suited to a particularly random edition of Pointless. "We gave 100 AI bots 100 seconds to name as many new names for forthcoming elements of the periodic table as they could... and remember, by chemical element, we mean a sovereign state that's a member of the UN in its own right."

Ratings watch

Here's the top twenty most-seen shows of 2023.

Channel Programme Title Date Rating ('000s)
1 ITV I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! (first) 19/11 10243
2 BBC 1 Eurovision Song Contest (final) 13/05 10237
3 BBC 1 Strictly Come Dancing (final) 16/12 10057
4 Channel 4 The Great British Bake Off (first) 26/09 7835
5 ITV Britain's Got Talent 22/04 7316
6 ITV Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (first) 25/02 6373
7 ITV The Masked Singer 28/01 and 18/02 (final) 5743
8 BBC 1 Michael McIntyre's The Wheel 30/09 5223
9 BBC 1 The Great British Sewing Bee (final) 26/07 4938
10 BBC 1 Race Across the World (final) 10/05 4935
11 ITV The 1% Club 29/04 4877
12 BBC 1 Celebrity Race Across the World (first) 20/09 4730
13 ITV Dancing on Ice (first) 15/01 4623
14 BBC 1 Have I Got News for You 08/12 4351
15 ITV Limitless Win 14/01 4320
16 BBC 1 Dragons' Den (first) 05/01 4287
17 ITV Celebrity Catchphrase 07/01 4246
18 BBC 1 Picture Slam 28/10 4178
19 BBC 1 Blankety Blank 30/09 4165
20 BBC 1 The Weakest Link (first) 18/11 4154

BARB ratings cover live viewing, and viewing up to 7 days after first transmission. It includes SD, HD, and +1 channels, and people time-shifting on their PVRs; it doesn't include watching on the website in days before transmission on telly.

BARB get their data by asking a sample of people to fill in diaries of what they've watched, and information from broadcasters' catch-up websites. They don't tell us the margin of error, because surveys will be right to within a small amount of wobble. This has implications at both ends of our top ten – the I'm a Celebrity launch beats the Eurovision final by 0.06%, and Sewing Bee finishes ahead of Race Across the World by the same minuscule percentage.

The top 20 contains all the shows to get more than 4 million viewers. BBC2's biggest game show was Only Connect, ITV2 had massive success with Love Island, and Squid Game The Challenge was more popular than any of Channel 5's games.

Here's the list of week-by-week winners.

Week to Game show Quiz
08/01/2023 The Masked Singer Limitless Win
15/01/2023 The Masked Singer Limitless Win
22/01/2023 The Masked Singer Limitless Win
29/01/2023 The Masked Singer Celebrity Catchphrase
05/02/2023 The Masked Singer Limitless Win
12/02/2023 The Masked Singer The Chase
19/02/2023 The Masked Singer Celebrity Catchphrase
26/02/2023 Saturday Night Takeaway The Wheel
05/03/2023 Saturday Night Takeaway The Wheel
12/03/2023 Saturday Night Takeaway The Wheel
19/03/2023 Saturday Night Takeaway The Wheel
26/03/2023 Saturday Night Takeaway The Wheel
02/04/2023 Saturday Night Takeaway The Chase
09/04/2023 Saturday Night Takeaway The Chase
16/04/2023 Got Talent The 1% Club
23/04/2023 Got Talent The 1% Club
30/04/2023 Got Talent The 1% Club
07/05/2023 Got Talent The 1% Club
14/05/2023 Eurovision Song Contest The Chase *
21/05/2023 Got Talent The 1% Club
28/05/2023 Got Talent The 1% Club
04/06/2023 Got Talent The 1% Club
11/06/2023 Sewing Bee The 1% Club *
18/06/2023 Sewing Bee Pointless Celebrities *
25/06/2023 Sewing Bee The 1% Club
02/07/2023 Sewing Bee The Chase
09/07/2023 Sewing Bee The Chase
16/07/2023 Sewing Bee The Chase
23/07/2023 Sewing Bee The Chase
30/07/2023 Sewing Bee The Chase
06/08/2023 Celebrity Masterchef The Chase
13/08/2023 Celebrity Masterchef The Chase
20/08/2023 Celebrity Masterchef The Chase
27/08/2023 Celebrity Masterchef The Chase
03/09/2023 Celebrity Masterchef The Chase
10/09/2023 Celebrity Masterchef Only Connect
17/09/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Chase
24/09/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Wheel
01/10/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Wheel
08/10/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Wheel
15/10/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Wheel
22/10/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Wheel
29/10/2023 Strictly Come Dancing Picture Slam
05/11/2023 Strictly Come Dancing Picture Slam *
12/11/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Chase *
19/11/2023 I'm a Celebrity The Weakest Link
26/11/2023 I'm a Celebrity The Weakest Link *
03/12/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Weakest Link
10/12/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Weakest Link *
17/12/2023 Strictly Come Dancing The Chase *
24/12/2023 Would I Lie to You? at Christmas Celebrity Mastermind
31/12/2023 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special The Wheel at Christmas

* – Have I Got News for You had more viewers than the named quiz. Some people may deem HIGNFY to be a quiz.

The Roll of Honour

(All results as transmitted are final)

(Champion of Champions) – Ahmed Mohamed
(June) – Ronan Higginson
(December) – Harry Savage

Junior Bake Off – Amelia
Bake Off Crème de la Crème – The Landmark, London: Mauro and Daniel
Senior Bake Off – Matty

Eurosong '23 – "We are one"; composed by Callum McAdam, Conor O'Donohoe, David Whelan, Ed Porter, Jörgen Elofsson; performed by Wild Youth
Junior Eurovision (TG4) – Jessica McKean

Love Island
(winter) – Kai Fagan and Sanam Harrinanan
(summer) – Jess Harding and Sammy Root

The Masked Singer

The Masked Singer – Charlie Simpson as "Rhino"

Landscape Artist of the Year – Finn Campbell-Notman
Portrait Artist of the Year – Wendy Barratt

Next Level Chef – Jade Greenhalgh

Cân i Gymru – "Patagonia" by Alistair James, performed by Dylan Morris

Best Young Artist – Chloe

Only Connect – Strigiformes (Jonathan Taylor, Jonathan Williams, Joshua Mutio)

The Great Pottery Throw Down – Lois from Ramsgate

Counterpoint – Kathryn Johnson

RTÉ Dancing with the Stars – Carl Mullan and Emily Barker
Strictly Come Dancing – Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special – Jamie Borthwick and Nancy Xu

Dancing on Ice – Nile Wilson and Olivia Smart

Home of the Year
Ireland – Rob and Janice McConnell for a new build in County Antrim
Scotland – The Old Train House in Edinburgh, for Christina and Ben Blundell
Scotland Christmas – Bay Tree House in Edinburgh, for Katie and Jamie Morris
Wales – Rhyd y Garreg Ddu, for David and Anthony

Scotland's Greatest Escape – Inverlonan Bothies by Loch Nell in Argyll & Bute

Starstruck – Abbie, singing as Adele

Rise and Fall

Rise and Fall – Eddy Fulford

University Challenge – Durham (Harry Scully, Chloë Margaux, Bea Bennett, captain Alex Radcliffe)
Christmas University Challenge – Middlesex (Heather Phillipson, Lola Young, Dan Skinner, David Hepworth, and David Heathcote)

Mastermind – Stuart Field

Interior Design Masters – Monika Charchula

Masterchef – Chariya Khattiyot
Celebrity Masterchef – Wynne Evans
Masterchef The Professionals – Tom Hamblet

Eurovision Song Contest

Eurovision Song Contest – SVT for "Tattoo", written by Cazzi Opeia, Jimmy Jansson, Jimmy Joker, Loreen, Peter Boström and Thomas G:son, performed by Loreen.
Junior Eurovision – France Télévisions for "Cœur", music by Julien Comblat and Jérémy Chapron, lyric by Noée Francheteau, performed by Zoé Clauzure.

Fighting Talk – Bob Mills

Ireland's Smartest – Patrick Carthy

Got Talent – Viggo Venn

Future Food Stars – Andy Albalous

Cardiff Singer of the Year
Overall – Adolfo Corrado
Audience prize – Julieth Lozano Rolong
Song prize – Sungho Kim

Taskmaster (spring) – Mae Martin (autumn) – Sam Campbell

Rostrum Camera – Ken Morse

Glow Up – Saphron Morgan

Around The Islands Quiz – Paddy Duffy and Freya McClements

(tv) – Vicky Johnson
(radio) – Richard Todd

Sewing Bee – Asmaa Al-allak

The Voice of Holland of ITV
(Kids) – Shanice & Andrea Nyandoro
(senior) – Jen and Liv

Cooking with the Stars – Samia Longchambon

Ultimate Wedding Planner – Chantelle

Puzzling – Peter

One Man and His Dog – Robert Ellis & Todd, representing Wales

BBC New Comedy Award – Joe Kent-Walters, in character as Frankie Monroe

Handmade – Nathanael

Big Brother

Big Brother – Jordan

Squid Game The Challenge – Mai Whelan

BBC Brain – Dan Adler

Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream

Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream – Stevie and Tobias

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! – Sam Thompson

Coming up next year...

It's all kicking off on New Year's Day. Riddiculous with Ranvir and Henry, then Jeopardy! with Stephen Fry. The final of World's Strongest Man (C5) goes up against Bake Off's New Year Special (C4), which could be strange if you're not concentrating. Fancy a nice walk? Am Dro! (S4C) has you covered.

Tuesday for Taskmaster's New Year Treat and the new run of Junior Bake Off (both C4). Wednesday for The Traitors (BBC1, continues Thu, Fri; spin-off Uncloaked BBC2 Fri). Dragons' Den returns (BBC1, Thu), Mark Nelson sorts The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected (Radio Scotland, Fri), and The News Quiz looks back at last year (Radio 4, Fri).

Graham Norton hosts Wheel of Fortune (2) when it returns to ITV next Saturday, and Limitless Win comes back for more quizzing with Ant and Dec. Celebrity Deal or No Deal with Simon Gregson brightens ITV's Sunday night, then The Great Pottery Throw Down comes to Channel 4.

Young Masterchef begins on BBC3 on Monday 8 January, and Celeb Cooking School starts on E4 the same night. Just a Minute comes back to Radio 4. Alexander Armstrong is the big attraction on Beat the Chasers (ITV, 12 January): will he sing a duet with Bradley Walsh? Catsdown and QI XL and The Traitors make a busy hour. We expect to see Gladiators back on BBC1 on 13 January, with Dancing on Ice to follow on ITV the next evening.

We plan to be back on 14 January, probably with that review of Survivor we've been tweaking since October. Until then, we wish you a very happy new year, and may all your games be very good ones.

Pictures: EBU / BBC, Weaver, EBU / Corinne Cumming, Love Productions, Ricochet, 12 Yard, Granada, BBC, Expectation, Triple Brew Media and Objective Media Group Scotland, Potato in partnership with Nice One Productions, Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group, Studio Ramsay Global, BBC Studios, Voltage TV, WEA, Initial, Remarkable Television, Bandicoot Scotland.

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