Poor old Gethin Jones. The last quiz I can remember him presenting was Sky’s dire “Sell Me The Answer”. Gethin is one of those presenters who just seems to attract bad quiz shows. And make no mistake about it, The 21st Question is, in my opinion, a bad quiz show. If you had set out to create a show called ‘Everything Dave Clark Don’t Like In A Quiz Show’, it would not be a million miles removed from this ITV show which debuted while I was in Spain.
Simplicity is often a virtue, and this show is certainly simple. Ten contestants take part. The game starts with a twist on Millionaire’s Fastest finger. Pick five of ten possible answers to a question as fast as you can. The fastest picks which position they play in – 1 to 10. 1 – the power spot, is the the one who starts to answer the questions. He or she picks a category , and plays against the next contestant. If they both get it right, then they take another question on the same category. If the challenger gets it wrong, then he or she leaves the stage and money is added to the prize fund. If only the person on the power spot gets it wrong, then he or she leaves, and the other contestant takes their place. Whoever is standing on the power spot after question 20 gets to face question 21, which is a list question. Get it right, and take the money – get it wrong and don’t. See, simple.
What don't I like about it, then? Let’s look at the Maths. 45 minutes. 21 questions. That’s very, very bad. Multiple choice questions at that. That’s worse. For the most part, easy multiple choice questions. Even worse. Now, with a qpm (questions per minute) ratio that is so low, there’s going to be chat. Lots and lots of chat. Mindless, pointless chat. Not that I will be watching it again in the foreseeable future, but it’s a show which I would imagine would be considerably improved by watching it on fast forward, which would at least speed everything up to crawling pace, and render the chat unintelligible.
Mind you, there is something I can thank the show for. In pretty much all of the new mid – range quiz shows that I’ve reviewed this year I’ve found myself saying – well, it’s not for me , BUT . . . and I haven't branded any of them a grade A oven ready turkey. I was worried I was going soft in my old age. There is no but for me about The 21st Question. Don’t like it. Don’t like it. Oh, and I don’t know if I mentioned this, but . . . don’t like it.