Top 5 Radio Quiz Shows in the UK
The latest television version of Ken Bruce’s radio quiz Show 63, PopMaster, is due on More4 later this month. But Bruce’s not the longest-serving quiz host by time – that honour goes to Richard Whiteley, who hosted Countdown for 23 years.
Despite the rise of gimmickry and drama, great quiz shows are still based on a pretty simple premise. Here are some of the best.
The News Quiz
With its brilliant blend of the silly and the serious, The News Quiz has been entertaining Radio 4 listeners since 1977. In this collection, the satirical review of the week’s news is chaired by comedy host Andy Zaltzman. He is joined by a motley collection of journalists and comedians (including Sindhu Vee, Hugo Rifkind and Francis Wheen) as they trawl through headlines big and small to bring you comedy, commentary and irony.
After nine years, 28 series and 216 episodes Sandi Toksvig finally stepped down from The News Quiz at the end of Series 87. But fear not, Miles Jupp has arrived, bringing with him a new panel and fresh ideas for a new generation of punters. These 33 episodes from Series 89 see them tackle subjects including 5p bags, Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn’s tattoo.
A romp through the classic panel game of Twenty Questions. The quizmaster and the panel members appear as themselves, he a crime reporter she a newcomer – both struggling to uncover a murder mystery that links Rikitikitavi a man from India and his stuffed mongoose.
The basic premise of Twenty Questions is that one person thinks of a thing, and the other players try to guess it by asking yes-no questions. There are plenty of different variants, but they all feature the same essential elements. The answerer can choose a person, place or thing, and the information asymmetry between them is what drives the game’s drama. The questioners need to figure out the thing – in all of its facets and forms – as quickly as possible.
Britain’s Brightest Family
A celebrity version of the family quiz featuring well-known families battling it out to win the holiday of a lifetime. The show is hosted by Anne Hegerty – better known as the Governess from The Chase. The show also features a number of fun yet challenging rounds such as a’mnemonic challenge’ and a timed game requiring contestants to sort answers into categories.
The sixth heat of this knockout quiz tournament sees the Goodman family from Nottinghamshire pit their wits against the Ali clan from Manchester as both families vie for a place in the quarterfinals. The Governess presides over this battle with her famously sharp brain.
Unlike most quiz shows, this one isn’t straightforward trivia. Instead, the teams – consisting of a young captain and two older relatives – answer questions by buzzing in. The team who nominates the best answer earns a point by having their chair move a little way up.
The Question Jury
The Question Jury features seven strangers locked together in a jury room, answering questions collectively. Each round a player is nominated as the “foreman” who is responsible for helping to reach a consensus on an answer. Once all of the questions have been asked, a vote takes place among the seated players to decide who will face one final all-or-nothing question to see if they can walk away with the day’s cash prize. Like a cross between a game show and a reality show, it’s a compelling watch. However, it is let down by a few little things that can be easily rectified.