Flatmates (1)


Sara Cox


UK Play, 15 July to 13 August 2000 (5 episodes in 1 series)


Sara Cox eh? Somehow managing to forget the nightmare of The Girlie Show and now hosts the Radio One Breakfast show, as well as host cheap but somehow compelling quiz Flatmates.

Four mad-for-it Flatmates have a quiz to decide who knows the most about life and each other. Before the show, they all sign a contract promising that the loser will have to do something mildly embarrassing in the street... But more of that later.

The set is the flat they are playing in. Yep, no studio, but to add to the effect there are some cardboard signs with the title of the show placed everywhere.

The first round is about secrets. Sara reads out three secrets to everybody and the players have to guess which belongs to who. If someone accuses the correct person, they win five points. If the person manages to convincingly bluff and blame someone else and nobody suspects that it's them then they win fifteen points. They do this for all three secrets.

Round two is about fashion. One person is randomly picked from an envelope. They are told that they are going on a hot date tonight. The other three players are told to find the bra/CD/nail varnish that that person would wear. Whilst they're out of the room going through that person's drawers, the person in question reveals what they'd pick. When the players come back, if they've picked the correct things, they win five points and so does the person in question. Therefore the person in question has the advantage in this round to make up for the mild embarrassment of having people go through their clothes!

The person with the most points after this round leaves the show - they've escaped the forfeit and win a garland of flowers, hat, and cocktail.

Round three is Pet Subjects Win Prizes. Everyone has their specialist subject and gets a minute in the hot seat to answer questions on their subject and for every one they get correct they win five points. However, trying to stop them are the other two, and if they're first on the buzzer and answer correctly then the player loses five. Conversely, if the player gets it wrong she'll lose five, and she'll gain five if she is beaten to it but they get it wrong. After the minute expires they change seats so the next person has a go and so on.

At the end of this round, there's normally someone on an embarrassing score (-40), someone doing alright (10) and someone in the lead and the person in the lead is very happy because they've escaped the forfeit!

This leaves just two people for... the Head to Head. Before the show, the players were invited to list their top ten programmes/bands/pin-ups/whatever and it's this information that's going to be used against them now. They bid against each other to guess how many of their opponent's Top Ten they could name in ten guesses. Points are irrelevant now: if they match the bid they escape, if not they're going to be humiliated. This is always very exciting because they add the Millionaire-style musical effects and Sara does her Tarrant impersonation (You picked A-ha... it's not on the list!).

We see the forfeit being carried out whilst the credits roll. This involves a daft stunt such as dressing up stupidly (judo fighter, breakdancer) and is then encouraged to 'be' them whilst Sara points them out in the street with a megaphone. Funny rather than nasty, then.

Made on a budget of approximately £5 then, £4.95 of which probably goes on Ms. Cox's pockets. This is one of those shows that demonstrates that even if your budget is loooooow, you can still take care of the game structure to come out with a decent programme as the result.


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