Poll of the Year 2021

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Welcome to the 17th annual UKGameshows.com/Bother's Bar Poll of the Year! As ever, the Poll of the Year truck has been going up and down the country encouraging you to vote and we've got an extremely interesting set of results for you from an extremely interesting year.

As ever, our voting public could choose to vote for up to five shows in each of the categories except for Golden Moments which is freestyle. Anyone is eligible to vote, this turns out to be 15-20% industry insiders and 80% genre fans. So with that in mind let's dive in.


Watch a recording of the live broadcast!

Hall of FAME 2021

35 shows nominated in this category this year (down from 39 last year) and it's fair to say that one channel dominates this list in a way few have previously. But which channel?

10 - Sitting on a Fortune

9 - Unbeatable

8 - The Weakest Link

7 - I Can See Your Voice

6 - Lightning

5 - Tom Allen's Quizness

Before continuing it's worth pointing out there's a significant vote gap between the lower five and the top five. Your writer did a runthrough of this and reckoned that "there's a certain subset of people who are going to really dig this, and lots of other people it's going to leave extremely cold." This pretty much reflects in the ratings and its position here, I think. Nonetheless, it's probably one of the more interesting tests of mental agility to come out in recent years, that probably would have benefitted more if Richard Osman's House of Games didn't exist. You said:

  • "Nice formats that you wouldn't see in other gameshows. Added a bit of flair to the regular gameshow genre and was nice to be able to play along with them at home."
  • "It is silly but that's the idea of the show and what makes it unique. I only saw the Christmas special but that was enough to convince me to place it in the Hall of Fame. A very original format and all the different rounds make you think and mess with your head (certainly in my case) as it's tempting to say what would normally be the right answer when you instead you need to give the silly answer!"
  • "After false starts (Wedding Day Winners anyone?) Tom Allen found his calling with this witty show, which rather than being all-out daft with no real point (like, say, Shooting Stars) was a proper quiz, deftly written to be cheeky and funny. One crit: it could maybe have benefitted from wider variety of rounds (House of Games style) rather than reusing the same ideas in the same place every week (and Subbly Jubbly several times in each show, which seemed a particular waste.)"
  • "This is what the primetime version of House of Games should have been like- the silliness of this is endearing, and actually makes it more difficult- the endgame in particular. Tom Allen's comedy shtick can grate on me, but it actually works well for this show (though haven't said that, I wouldn't miss him if they dropped him). Unless you count Catsdown and the numerous panel shows, Channel 4 haven't had a prime time quiz for years and this one looks to be a success. The only issue I have really is with the set and lighting - it's all way too dark for a 'fun' show."
  • "Not sure Subbly Jubbly is really strong enough to make 3 appearances per episode, though, and the “pocket square bonus rounds” are cringeworthy."

4 - Lingo

When we originally heard they were going to do this without the bingo element that had been part of the format for almost forty years we thought it was crazy. In the end did we miss it (and did it really make a difference to who won)? Surprisingly not really. A smart reformatting that's started dominating the timeslot. You said:

  • "A grower, and the recent success of Wordle proves how popular it is. Good show that's warmed up from its first series nicely."
  • "Once you've got over the shock of "OMG, no bingo!" there's a decent production underneath. Adil Ray is a good find."
  • "Coming in with zero knowledge of the old/international versions, I thought this was fine. The puzzle is fun, you want to play along, and the show moves at a decent pace. Simple but enjoyable."
  • "This show needs a change in format in vain to that happened to Pointless from series 1 -3 though not bring back bingo elements. However, being a puzzle game make it unusual at least on current tv schedules and it has a great play along quality."
  • "Surprisingly watchable now the bingo element has been removed and its just a straight forward, down the line, shout out a word format."

3 - Jimmy Carr's I Literally Just Told You

One of the more interesting media stories of the last twenty years is Richard Bacon's journey from disgraced Blue Peter presenter to political journalist to apparent format powerhouse. The latest is a comedy test of short term memory where the questions are written as the game is playing out. Doesn't sound like much, but in the right hands is a comedy powerhouse. You said:

  • "A really fun test of memory when the players are good, and a screamingly funny nightmare when they're not."
  • "It's going to grow old sooner than most formats, but 'hooray' on taking a chance on something quirky."
  • "Ok. I usually get on with Jimmy Carr like Channel 4 do with recommissioning great daytime quiz shows. But he's brilliant cast here as the flailing ringleader of utter anarchy. Part meta, part quiz, we find out what the general public remember under pressure - nothing."
  • "If you're going to make an hour-long quiz where you're forced to pay attention to get anything out of it, you'd do a lot worse than having Jimmy Carr host it. He's a good frontman for this format, which (for me) got stronger on repeat viewing as you try to guess what production tricks Bacon et al will throw at the contestants next. Again, it feels like it might better suit a 45-minute slot, but it's a strong Hall of Fame contender."
  • "Clever, original and distinctive. One of a handful of quiz shows to make me laugh out loud this year. The second episode, where none of the contestants seemed to be paying attention to anything they were meant to remember, was pants-wettingly funny."
  • "A quite brilliant idea, and I tip my hat to Mr Bacon - I've often heard something on TV and then gone back to recall it, only to realise it's popped back out of my head again, and here's that idea turned into one of this year's funniest and most watchable quizzes. The sight of Carr in tears of laughter as episode 2 fell apart at the seams will be one of the final defining images of 2021 TV."

1= The Answer Trap, Moneybags

In a top five dominated by Channel 4 it seems fair that two shows, shown in the same timeslot no less, should tie the top of the leaderboard. Both were really neat ideas stylishly done and both sadly failed to move the needle in the mid-afternoon slots.

The Answer Trap was an extremely fun take on a list-based quiz format that nobody watched where contestants needed to sort answers out into categories whilst nerd favourites Bobby Seagull and Frank Paul boobytrap the boards with answers that fit into neither category. Easy to play along with, and hopefully not the last we'll see of Anita Rani, Bobby and Frank on our screens. You said:

  • "Channel 4 got into a nasty habit this year of greenlighting a lot of very interesting game shows and seemingly having no faith in any of them. The Answer Trap was the most heart-breaking casualty, being one of the most stylish and well-polished first runs of any quiz formats in recent memory. Anita, Frank, and Bobby played off each other wonderfully, the questions were modern and interesting, and the gameplay (the alphabetisation gaff aside) was really fun to play along with. It's a total embarrassment on Channel 4's part that The Answer Trap will seemingly never get a second outing."
  • "For competitive quizzers, this was an ideal format - Bobby and Frank's eccentric personalities and mini-competition made it compelling viewing, it was very underappreciated."
  • "Great trio of on-screen personnel, each bringing something different and each clearly loving being there. Very good breadth of questions and background information in the traps provide a lot of variety and interest in an otherwise quite rigid format."
  • "Very much a quizzy quiz (but so's Pointless and look at that), and perhaps guilty of being a little slow and perhaps a slightly weak final, but at heart it's a fun little idea. The show brings out its three characters really well, and creates a weird and warm little world."
  • "Although it was a tad dry and long-winded, the format was sound with rounds that naturally grew in difficulty as the easier answers were eliminated. Shame it wasn't recommissioned to give them a chance to work out the kinks."
  • "Only Connect on daytime TV and !mpossible on steroids. A genius concept with a genius execution. Ask two pairs of contestants to spend some time in an HD version of the Hypothetical studio trying to sort answers into groups while trying to avoid traps cleverly set by Bobby Seagull and Frank Paul, with Anita Rani playing the role of an excellent host. Shame it's not coming back."
  • "Best new quiz in years. Alas, its sole viewership appeared to be me, three sheep, and a dog near Newport."
  • "No question this is going to win by the fan reaction. Channel 4 had better bring it back for a surprise Series 2, or I will personally protest outside their door."

Moneybags was an extremely fun take on a true-or-false quiz format that nobody watched where contestants needed to quickly decide whether answers attached to moneybags that came down the conveyor belt fit the brief or not, leaving them if not (and giving other people the chance to pick it up) and picking them up for hopefully big money if correct, whilst being cajoled by Craig Charles. The questions were frequently quite clever and thought provoking - as much about smarts as knowledge. You said:

  • "Chaotic, crazy with money changing hands every bag "£5,000 AND A STEAL!!!!!" - you could never predict how this game was going to go. Genuinely thought-provoking questions, I loved this show. Craig Charles was the perfect host. "
  • "Moneybags harkens back to a time when daytime quizzes were a little more colourful and goofy. It has a physicality rarely seen on modern game shows, with actions feeling a bit more weighty as a result of having to grab the bags. Craig Charles is a great host, and it's bizarre it's taken this long for him to get back to gameshow presenting. The show always feels like a treat, even if at parts the gameplay is a bit slow, and the endgame is a total flop. Here's to hopefully more Moneybags in the future!"
  • "Channel 4’s latest attempt at a hit shares some similarities with the last massive hit in this slot. A host trying to revive his television career, Contestants who stay on the show for several days, Randomly assigned £ Values, etc. And hopefully, the great hosting, fun gameplay and outside-the-box question writing will make this into Channel 4’s next hit."
  • "Lots to like here – great idea, great use of physical props and always good to see Craig Charles hosting something. It’s quite a complex set of rules, but they all have their place."
  • "The Five Minutes to a Fortune of its generation; Moneybags throws everything at the wall, and all of it works (except perhaps a slightly weak final) - the host, questions, set, props, and mood are all perfect."
  • "A rare example of a simple idea being done well in all departments. Though the principle only really gets to shine in the 3-player section."
  • "I think the question-writing really put this format through the roof. You see a category and you think, "how hard could it possibly be?" Then you see the first answer and scream "UMM" as your brain locks up and before you know it, you've got two seconds to grab it or not. Even confident plays gave you that pang of "what if I'm wrong"."

Hall of SHAME 2021

39 shows on the list this year which is well up on last time and the top show almost breaks a record in percentage of ballots it appears on. Perhaps interestingly, perhaps not, the 6-10 positions are quite similar to the ones in the Hall of Fame. Let's have a look shall we?

10 - The Masked Dancer

9 - Unbeatable

8 - Sitting on a Fortune

7 - Game of Talents

6 - Lightning

5 - The Tournament

The first new format from the QI people and perhaps they should have stuck to obscure facts and not obscure production decisions that made what is actually a very simple first-on-the-buzzer quiz Quite Difficult to really follow. Every decision where the most awkward choice was made seemed to have been taken, and once the social media success of the Mortal Kombat style contestant introductions died down (which it did, quickly) there's not much of a hook. You said:

  • "As a quiz it was alright I suppose, but the presentation was cringey. It was as if it wanted to be “so bad it's good” but got stuck at “so bad”."
  • "The LED floor looks cool... until you realise it's been shot in the worst way imaginable."
  • "Sounds epic, but when it came to it, it was just two people standing still answering questions posed by a sometimes bewildered Alex Scott, whilst the LED underfloor stage did all the visual heavy lifting."
  • "Getting calm and pleasant daytime TV quiz contestants to make up 'Battle Cries' is one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen. The questions were also annoyingly boring, which was probably for the best as I had to use all my brainpower to try and fathom who was actually winning from the terribly unclear graphics."
  • "One of the laziest formats in a long time. There is nothing innovative or exciting about it whatsoever. The prizes were insultingly small, and the pre-launch press releases promised “an intense game of tactics and trivia”, which was an outright lie. Do better, BBC."
  • "It hyped itself up to be this big knockout quiz tournament, and all of the contestants brought along their fighting talk, but in the end, it was just a set of boring head to head quizzes. It was like the show was pretending to be a lion, when in actual fact it was merely a pussy cat."

4 - The Void

Unbelievably it turns out that having a really large indoor pool for people to fall into isn't as much of a viewer draw as the press releases would have had you believe. Also committed the gameshow cardinal sin of having a round where the correct strategy was not to play. You said:

  • ""Mum, can we have Total Wipeout?" "No, we have Total Wipeout at home""
  • "Sounded like high-stakes and foreboding Ninja Warrior. Really it's worse than watching a kid having a try on the monkey bars at the park on a rainy day."
  • "Described in the dictionary as "an empty space lacking in any depth or atmosphere" Never has a show be so perfectly named."
  • "This confused me, why go to the trouble of making TV's Biggest Ever Pool Of Water just to use about 4 meters of it? Why have exactly one game with a mental element in your whole show? Why does it rain in the final round? Why is Ashley there?"
  • "It disappoints me that they seem to have cancelled the far superior Ninja Warrior UK in favour of this which is essentially “What if Ninja Warrior only had one obstacle?” Ashley and Fleur are almost invisible – it certainly doesn’t need both of them. The commentary also doesn’t seem to know what tone to take as all the gags seem a bit shoehorned in."
  • "I wanted to like this - Fleur and Ashley are decent enough folks, and physical games are a longstanding fixture of Saturday nights, but this just came off as a little, well, wet: with Ninja Warrior seemingly put on ice, replacing it with this budget alternative, an indoor Total Wipeout shorn of its cartoonish humour, didn't come across well."
  • "Weird commission. Like taking a small part of a Total Wipeout course and making it into the centrepiece of the whole show. Generally dull, the thousands of litres of water was, unsurprisingly, not as exciting as the press releases were trying to make out. Also there's simply nothing worse than clearly scripted commentary over physical gameshow footage. You'd have thought after Can't Touch This everyone would have learnt but all anyone ever remembers is Total Wipeout. "

3 - Walk the Line

Simon Cowell's big comeback format after the eventual ending of The X Factor, except it sounds like he was increasingly not involved with it after all, Walk the Line took the winner-stays-on format of Opportunity Knocks, but in a unique twist asked the winner to gamble their winnings if they wanted to return the next episode. Not actually a bad idea in itself, completely undermined by a final night where four people you'd never seen before sung for half a million quid despite not having to make any decisions or perform to get that far and someone who effectively has to pay their own entry fee for a shot at the same prize. At least the winners were determined on an audience vote and not Louis Walsh deciding on a whim. You said:

  • "When the title moment of the show is such an underwhelmer of a moment, your show is dead on arrival."
  • "Time for Cowell to retire to his yacht, or let someone else at Syco come up with some formats. This didn't work on so many levels - why did the Friday people all get to sing for half a million?"
  • "For a show called Walk The Line there is not much Walking the Line. It's just a generic Cowell talent show but with a massive T shaped stage. And how come some people get to win £10k but some of them get to win £500k?"
  • "A format that feels like it went through about 25 iterations in the development stage yet still ended up broken. The central mechanic made no sense whatsoever, it felt like some of the acts wouldn't have even made it to the audition stage of X Factor and the judging panel was a bit "who's available at short notice". Let's hope it never returns."
  • "The format, as well as not being well explained, was fundamentally awkward. The rest of the show was just derivative. Better versions of this idea exist across Europe. An executive's off day, this had no business making it onto primetime ITV."
  • "While I like the idea of measuring your confidence in your own singing ability, the show’s format was infuriating, with a flaw so obvious that it’s clear the production had no care, or effort, put into it. In a business with some real talent and passion, that is a crime."

2 - Moneyball

Or to give it its proper title, The Ill-fated Moneyball, this was plagued with issues from the start - the original porn-ferencing title, the entire first block of recordings having to be cancelled because of technical issues and the newer tech feeling a bit less impressive, it battled on through to have questions that were nicely themed but so easy they may as well have not been there and a central format point that was so boring a watch not even Ian Wright (who in his return after a gameshow hiatus of about twenty years frankly deserves better) trying his best could inject much excitement into. You said:

  • "It often just felt like the questions didn't even need to be there. I know it's light Saturday night entertainment but I just couldn't root for the contestants..."
  • "Watching the ball going side to side is like being hypnotised in a very dull way."
  • "I feel a little guilty putting this on the Shame list. From what I saw, it wasn't *bad*, but with the technical problems it seems to have had from the start, leading to the un-astounding result in the end, it feels like this project should have been dropped at some point rather than going to air with something unremarkable."
  • "I feel for the hard time that the production team have had, but they need to reach out of their bubble and ask outsiders "Will this work?". It was just so obvious that the mechanic they've ended up using would be slow and illogical."
  • "Perhaps knowing about this show's troubled journey is causing me to notice more how there's just nothing there. The questions are vacant (and weirdly well-answered), the lifeline is boring, the DANGER zones are boring, the final roll boring. Why bother?"
  • "Extremely meh, ball sliding gets very boring very quickly. A show that will be forgotten and yet would have been so expensive and caused so much stress for the channel and production company after their first failed attempt to film the series."
  • "Not what is says on the tin. The production hell it went through means the show isn't what was initially envisaged, and what emerged wasn't brilliant. If I want to see a ball rolling back and forward I'll watch Phil Wang hoopla on Taskmaster."

1 - Gordon Ramsay's Bank Balance

The BBC were so confident of this it was commissioned without a pilot. That's a shame because it's not like there's not the basis of an OK idea in it, but some of the more obvious issues that may have been caught just weren't until it was too late. Like basically being impossible to win, the prize structure being "a bit maths" and the set being designed so you couldn't always get the shots. You had quite a lot to say:

  • "The premise had promise but was executed poorly. Too much for contestants to do in 60 seconds, particularly given the contestants they casted weren't too confident with their trivia to begin with."
  • "I had the 'privilege' of seeing this for audience reactions to episode one. Unfortunately they left no time between this and airing the show - and no time to fix the editing, and absolutely not a chance to fix the glaring format errors. A shame, as it could've been something, leaving me feeling very let down."
  • "Who Wants to be a Millionaire? & Million Pound Drop realize that the first couple of questions are boring, so they breeze over the first half and only start to slow down & build tension on the end. Bank Balance is the other way around. Good idea, disastrous pacing."
  • "Bank Balance felt like the most adversarial format of the year. One that really did not want to see its contestants succeed. It definitely felt like those who went on this show were being set up for failure."
  • "Amazing that they managed to conceive, (allegedly) prototype and test, and make a 40-minute long game with about a 1% win rate. And when this became apparent their response was "send in Gino D'Acampo"."
  • "The best shows have a difficult to win jackpot that feels achieveable. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Deal or No Deal, The Chase, these are all shows that you know can be won but it is hard to do. Bank Balance felt unwinnable. Bank Balance had too many choices to make along the way that slowed the game play down, and the set was strange."
  • "At least they gave it a go, but there is absolutely no point in watching 40 minutes of a couple playing the game when you know for a fact that they're doomed within the first five minutes of it."
  • "A show that only existed because Gordon Ramsay was bolted onto it, Bank Balance made some of the most baffling decisions of any show in 2021. The game was unwinnable, the tension was non-existent, and the hosting was poor. There are the bones of an interesting game in Bank Balance, but everyone I talked to who had seen it could see it was a total mess."
  • "Well, we all know what a mess this was. Who exactly was asking for Gordon Ramsay's Big-Money Buckaroo on primetime BBC? In fairness the core idea - answer question to earn money, perform physical skill to bank it - is sound, but just about every production decision taken along the way here was a misfire, from the host (who gave himself the job, to be fair) to the camera positions. Could have been better: wasn't."
  • "I genuinely think this is the worst gameshow format of all time. I truly hope this doesn't fall down the list because it was at the start of the year and so other many bad ones have aired since, because this thoroughly deserves to be right at the very top. Right, where to begin. A show so riddled with holes that your game could be over between rounds because the set would wobble and send all your bricks flying. Endless confusing and dull rules. The way the balance and penalty system worked meant that on some occasions you'd be better off getting the question wrong to avoid over-stacking a leaning side with correct answer bricks. No one actually won anything. A baffling set that looked like nothing yet was so imposing. A logo that defied the laws of physics. Even the casting was probably the worst I've ever seen of any show. Everything was awful about it, absolutely everything and I'd be truly disappointed if this didn't win."

Well, don't hold back.


Or the Gameshow Or Gameshow Adjacent Stuff That's Not On Broadcast Telly Or Radio Five. Lots of different things voted for here and a complete list will be found on the Bother's Bar results page for you to peruse at your leisure. You haven't written an awful lot of comments for us here so we'll rattle through these. There's a sizable gap between the top seven and the rest of the field so we'll quickly mention the two that didn't quite make it. Also an honourable mention goes to Tom Scott's Money that would have made it if it wasn't for the fact that being released on Nebula in 2020 before releasing an omnibus edition on Youtube last December made it ineligible. Rules are rules!

7 - New World (Netflix)

6 - TV Show and Tell Podcast

5 - Topper1's Quizzical Evening (Twitch)

It's not a great surprise that UK Quiz Twitch and the gameshow community has a large crossover and reflects in this poll, really the pandemic and people wanting something to do has provided a great shop window for Twitch Wizards doing their own versions of shows, often massively multiplayer versions. Topper1's Quizzical Evening is the latest to breakthough.

4 - No More Jockeys (Youtube)

Up one spot this year for the Horne/Key/Watson collective.

  • "With some of the formats which emerged from lockdown constraints petering out as restrictions lift - Who Said That? seemingly dead now Mark Olver's back in demand for TV warm-ups - it's time to celebrate the webshow that's been a consistently excellent fixture of the last couple of years, continuing to build its unique universe (and even itself being adapted for a live stage show, though ironically 'new variants' have led some performances to be put back.) It's pleasing that even as things start to open up again - Taskmaster getting its Dave-era seating plan back, for instance - that Horne, Watto and Key to start have regularly found time to keep this thoroughly enjoyable show going"
  • " Just continues to be one of the many great things put out by Horne & friends, the game has taken a bit of a backseat to their general shenanigans, but it's still a great time. Hoping for a live tour in 2022!"

3 - Fingers on Buzzers (Podcast)

Another great year for Lucy Porter and Jenny Ryan, this year less invading (and getting invaded by) other podcasts and more getting superstar guests in.

  • "Jenny and Lucy offer a really interesting insight into the world of quizzes."

2 - Royal_flush's Game Night (Twitch)

1 - Ash the Bash's Quiz Night (Twitch)

Again extremely similar to last year, Ash the Bash slightly ahead but it'd feel incorrect to ascribe them too much difference. Both have been entertaining with own brand formats and versions of older existing formats at least twice a week pretty much all year.

  • "A well-deserved #1 and #2 last year, and I expect the same this year, and hopefully for many years to come."
  • "Interactive quiz show fun with a like minded community of individuals, a mix of classic gameshows and new formats - I find most of my spare evenings are spent on one of these three channels. Always fun."

Although the umbrella is what's being voted for, some of you expressed passions for some of their shows - the first two are Royal Flush's, the latter Ash the Bash:

  • "Though I didn't participate, I found Face/Off (which apparently started in January, to my surprise, I thought it was earlier) absolutely fascinating to watch. Lots of great close calls and shout-at-the-telly moments. Though other chess clock formats have existed, I hope this format could make it to television proper and still maintain the atmosphere Ben had on its run."
  • "Cryptex, probably my favorite format of the lot, mostly because I felt like a blippin' genius every time I scored points. Though it was completely backwards to the "ancient" motif, I felt like I was a hacker cracking the code and saving the world from nuclear disaster every time I made a guess at a cryptex puzzle with only four letters showing. I'm not usually that high on the leaderboard even, but it still felt like it was right up my alley and I've loved every game I've played. There are not many games I go back to the VODs for when I miss an episode, but this was a must-catch for me."
  • "Unfortunately I don't get to participate in most of Ash's streams due to my work schedule, but I have tremendous respect for the games he makes. I think his take on Secret Fortune is very well implemented for massive multiplayer play. It's hard to describe, but it just *works*. Well done to him for his efforts here."
  • "OutRight - And yeah, the twenty-three minute heart attack definitely gets a nod. It's rare I get to play it, and it sucks not being able to play along on the VODs, but it's an incredibly good and intense quiz, and it's really given a lot of question-writers in the community a chance to shine with some brilliant packs. I have no idea how you make 40 people staring down at their monitors for half an hour interesting, but I would love to see this make a jump to television as well. It'd be an absolute blast as a daily quiz, especially if you could keep Ash at the helm."


And so we come to the blue riband award awarded to the best show that broadcast new episodes last year. Has it gone to Only Connect again? Well yes, yes it has. We'll extend the Bubbling Unders a bit because it's a fun selection this year. Let's go!

5 - Michael McIntyre's The Wheel

How fun! This made third place in last year's Hall of Fame AND second place in last year's Hall of Shame and it looks like with the benefit of another year many of you have got on board with it. We look forward to seeing how the US has ruined it in 2022.

  • "Feel good entertainment with fun questions and big payouts, what's not to like?!"
  • "One of the few shows my whole family doesn't mind watching together, and that means a lot these days."
  • "This is the only game/quiz I make a regular appointment to watch these days. It's just as fun as it was when it started, the question writing is top-notch, the celebrities continue to be well-cast, Michael McIntyre still looks like he's having a ball and Paul Farrer's score is the best thing he's ever done. The bumper ratings on Christmas Day show how important the show's become to the BBC One primetime schedule - and let's hope it's got a good few years in it."
  • "A show whose presentation alone keeps it on this list. The Moneyspinner is also a fun new addition this series – it’s like a Nintendo Wii minigame!"
  • "I dunno if the pandemic has reduced my attention span or what, but the combination of silly questions and celebrity bants has kept my brain thoroughly engaged throughout the year."
  • "Just wheely good fun, especially with Michael McIntyre always making light of everything even if things are going wrong such as when he threatened to never host the show again if The Wheel didn't finish where it was supposed to! I always enjoy hearing the music as well."
  • "For a series forged in the crucible of crisis, this has very quickly grown to become a national favourite, and something that could well go on rolling long after Michael's other shows are able to welcome back audiences. Exciting when the players are doing well, still funny even when they aren't. A lovely show."

4 - The Chase

It's The Chase! You know what this is. Same position as last year.

  • "Been going 12 years now, but still shows no signs of slowing down! Bradley is still on top form even after all these years, and still manages to crack up on some dodgy looking questions & answers! Some more HUGE wins over the last year too!"
  • "Longer desk, but still holds strong as a format."
  • "I say this every year, but when the Final Chase is close, there's not a lot more exciting in TV quizzing."
  • "At whatever point you tune in during the hour it's almost impossible to tune out, whether they're playing for £1,000 or £100,000."

3 - Taskmaster

It's Taskmaster! You know what this is. Same position as last year.

  • "Thankfully the 2nd Channel 4 series rescued what was otherwise a wobbly debut in its new home."
  • "The regulations creating some amazing task work - the bursting the balloon one an all time classic, VCM learning to ride a bike."
  • "One of the few shows where virus restrictions don't seem to have impacted the quality of the programme. Absolute genius and am now watching the earlier series repeats."
  • "Particularly enjoyed Victoria Coren Mitchell's contributions this year, especially her gift to Alan of a partial season ticket for Manchester United, and learning to ride a bike."
  • "Lockdown and having long-since burned every "circuit" name on the channel 4 roster isn't stopping this go from strength to strength. Perhaps the truly great tasks are getting less frequent, but the truly great moments aren't."
  • "A show which has thankfully weathered the storm of COVID compliance. Mike Wozniak's casserole incident will live long in the memory, for all the wrong reasons."
  • "After a bit of a stumble last year, Taskmaster appears to have found its strength again, with Mr. Horne now keenly aware on how to craft tasks that work better in a socially distanced world. Despite still being spaced apart, the most recent crop of contestants felt like they once again had a warmth and comradery that had unfortunately been missing in 2020."

2 - Richard Osman's House of Games

It's Richard Osman's House of Games! You know what this is, same position as last year.

  • "Watch this on iPlayer on a Friday night every week. Very fun."
  • "The best daytime quizzer has added to its variety of games to keep itself fresh amid ever-larger episode orders!"
  • "A quiz in the prime of its life. This is essential viewing, with some excellent new rounds in the latest series keeping things fresh. Please, just promise never to invite back Patsy Kensit."
  • "I've become addicted to it ever since I first came across it 2 years ago at the start of the pandemic. I now religiously watch it making sure I never miss an episode, and if I do I catch up on it as quickly as possible soon after including the prime time version. It's friendly banter, wit, as well as its wide variety of games is enough to keep you entertained and never get bored."
  • "One of the few shows I try to see every day if I can, live-restarting on iPlayer if Channel 4's doing new-to-free Simpsons simultaneously; an ever-increasingly wide range of games and a generally good mix of players has kept the energy flowing. I also enjoyed HOG Night, even if others oddly didn't - perhaps this is one of those shows that really shines most in the daytime..."
  • "A teatime fixture which always delivers. The less said about the primetime version the better though."

1 - Only Connect

It's Only Connect! You know what this is, same position as last year. Different from last year is that it now beats Eastenders in the ratings.

  • "There's no stopping the juggernaut of lateral thinking, and the writers for the Connecting Wall have slipped in red herrings at every opportunity now."
  • "Obligatory. I mean, it's still consistently good. I'm glad to see this show lasting as long as it has."
  • "Especially with the festive specials with Victoria willing to play the fool to the max, you have to say that it's arguably as strong as ever."
  • "Suddenly started watching and this suddenly became one of my favourite quiz shows of all time. I seem to keep getting 5 pointers and usually beat one of the teams, and a good range of lowbrow to highbrow questions to keep me interested. More of the same please."
  • "How we're 17 seasons in and the question writers still come up with more innovative questions year on year is beyond me. It seems fun to be a part of even if you can't answer 90% of the quiz."
  • "Only Connect is part of the furniture now in the British TV landscape! Panel show regulars make jokes about it, it gets trotted out on Gogglebox every now and again, it's a staple part of a quizzer's diet. And yet, despite its familiarity, I think OC has managed to continue to prove its worth, remaining fresh and interesting with the questions and showcasing some of the most interesting and clever contestants television has to offer. You have to wonder where it can go next, what new worlds are left for OC to conquer? Will Tia Kofi finally enter a Drag Queen team?"

We can but hope!

Bubbling Under: 6 - Beat the Chasers, 7 - The Masked Singer, 8 - Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, 9= Pointless, Tipping Point, 11 - Moneybags, 12 - The Hit List, 13 - The Answer Trap


Finally as ever a selection of your favourite formatty "bits" in no particular order, the big wins and the surprises, although one thing - or episode rather - stood out amongst the rest which we'll save until last.

  • "Nick Helm's 'Wheel of Death' round on Question Team - one of the funniest things I've seen for a long time."
  • "Victoria Coren Mitchell's outfits on Only Connect - slowly building up from a red wig and a funky dress to a snowflake and a bee-bird."
  • "Victoria Coren Mitchell wearing a snowflake costume."
  • "Victoria Coren Mitchell's many and varied outfits on Only Connect."
  • "Conor coming back from using a lifeline on the £100 and £200 questions to win £125,000 on Millionaire. Part 1 Part 2"
  • "Conor Kim who used 2 lifelines for his first 2 questions on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire"? but eventually walked away with £125,000."

It's Victoria Coren-Mitchell and Mike Wozniak o'Clock on Taskmaster:

Lots of love for Rose-Ayling Ellis for winning Strictly Come Dancing, here are a few you linked to:

There is one clear "winner" in your selections though:

Thank you and good night!

Thanks everyone for another fun year of formats. If you want statistics turn over now to Bother's Bar for the Afterparty hosted by Vernon Kay and Maya Jama and we'll see you all next year.

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