This week has seen a new quiz show appearing on BBC1 each weekday. It is hosted by Shane Ritchie, well-known to fans of Eastenders as Alfie Moon. Shane was a quiz show host long before taking on that character. In a way he has certain similarities to Bradley Walsh, who is also an actor, quizmaster and general entertainer.
The prize money in Decimate starts at £20,000 but as the game unfolds that prize pot is decimated whenever a contestant gets an answer wrong. Each edition features one team of three composed of relatives and/or friends. After seeing ten key words from the forthcoming set of questions and being given a little time to work out what the questions might be about, each team-member in turn has to answer ten questions.
If the contestant gets the question right a golden column is lit up – if the answer is wrong, then that column is decimated. The contestants are given three possible answers each time. On five occasions throughout the course of the show, contestants can pass on the question to their fellow team mates to answer.
Also on five occasions the two non-playing team mates can decide that the given answer is wrong and can substitute it for another one. In the fourth and final game one of the team is picked to answer correctly at least ten questions in a set time in order to win the remaining prize money. Like several modern quiz shows, competitors can do reasonably well throughout the game only to end up going away with nothing – not even a consolation prize of a chequebook and pen!
The show was pleasant enough viewing, but it seemed to me to be one which lacked that ‘something special’ that really successful quiz shows have.