Seven years old today!

Well, here we are at the seven year mark!

When I nervously started, way back in 2013, I really wasn’t sure if there would be enough material on this subject to sustain a blog like this for any reasonable length of time. As it turns out, I kinda think there has been.

I’ve done 327 posts over the past seven years (this being my 328th), and interviewed loads of game show contestants, game show winners, game show producers, question writers… and hosts! I hope you’ve managed to glean some useful information from our discussions.

I’ve reviewed various books and TV shows (there are more of these reviews to come!), and I’ve related many behind-the-scenes experiences from the various game shows I’ve worked on. There are more of these on the way, too!

Along the way, I’ve written my first book – the cryptically titled How To Win Game Shows – and self-published it on Amazon. All of which was quite a learning curve in and of itself. As I’ve mentioned here before, a second HTWGS book is on the way, and my goal is to get it written and published by the end of the year.

In short, I guess what I’m trying to say is… yes, there is enough material on this subject to sustain a blog like this. And, much more importantly, there’s enough interest to sustain it….

Interest from you.

And for that, I’m very, very grateful.

So I’d like to sincerely thank you for your interest and for your support, and of course for your visits. I really, really appreciate it all, and will never take it for granted.

And now

In case you didn’t know, my current interview guest Mark Humphries will be competing in TONIGHT’s episode of Celebrity Mastermind, which you can watch on SBS, if you’re here in Australia. So why not tune in, and get behind Mark?

I know I will be – good luck, Mark! 

O Canada! O Game Shows!

Something a little bit different this week. I just wanted to draw your attention to an interesting new six-part documentary series all about – you guessed it – Canadian game shows! It’s called The Search For Canada’s Game Shows, and you can watch all six 22-minute episodes right here, on the Search For Canada’s Game Shows website. (

It’s a really engaging and amusing series, with loads of archival footage, and interviews from some of the major players in the Canadian game show… erm… game. 

In fact, one of the people they interviewed for the series is our old friend and occasional guest blogger Mr Ryan Vickers! And I’m happy to say that if all goes well, he’ll be sharing the details of his involvement here in his next guest post, in the not-too-distant future.

It’s a well made series, and while it’s a great primer on game shows in that part of the world, there are lots of interesting tidbits in there about the genre in general. 

So there you have it – this week’s recommendation: The Search For Canada’s Game Shows; all four episodes streaming now, at

You’re welcome!  

… and a Happy New Year!

Yep, the front cover of George Benson’s album certainly knows what year it’ll be, a few hours from now….

Hello, and a very Happy New Year to you and yours!

I hope that 2019 has been a happy, safe and prosperous year for you. It’s been a good one over here at HTWGS HQ, with a quite a few more interviews, guest posts, industry insider reminiscences, and (hopefully) a lot more helpful game show hints and tips for you.

I know I haven’t managed to bring you something every week this year – there have been quite a few other demands on my time* – but I hope you’ll forgive me for that, and that what I have managed to bring you here has been interesting and / or useful.

Now, there is something that I need to talk to you about….

Back in March, I know I promised you a second How To Win Game Shows eBook by the end of the year.

This news just in…

It’s not done.

Yeah look, I’m sorry about that. You see, after finally getting the first HTWGS eBook properly published (and priced!) on Amazon in January, the plan was that I’d finish my second (non game show-related) eBook, get that up on Amazon in February, and then go straight into the second HTWGS eBook.

That second eBook was just days away from being finished and uploaded when, for reasons I won’t go into here, it all came to a screaming halt. This meant that the two years I’d spent working on it did not result in a polished, fascinating, jam-packed 250 page finished product after all… but they did result in an extremely valuable learning experience.

Cést la vie.

After that, in the course of re-examining my writing and publishing goals, I came up with my Bold Literary Experiment / Frustrated Novelist / Mid Life Crisis idea… This is my 52-chapter novel, which I’m writing over the course of a year, from my 50th birthday to my 51st birthday. I’ve been releasing a new chapter each Friday at noon, and you can read them all here. This project has been taking a lot of my time and creative energy this year; time and creative energy which I think would otherwise have been poured into the second How To Win Game Shows book. I hope you forgive me. The second HTWGS book is still on the way – it will still be a mini memoir about my time working on various game shows over the last 20 years. Its working title is Tales From The Shiny Floor, and here’s an early idea for a cover photo….

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this eBook will be a compilation of all of my Patented HowToWinGameShowsReminiscenses, from a career spanning 20 years in the industry. There’ll also be insider interviews, behind the scenes photos, more ‘Interesting Facts’, with quite a few game show tips and hints sprinkled throughout.

I’ll be throwing myself into the writing of this as soon as the novel’s finished. That’s scheduled for May 2020, but I’m happy to report that I’m currently five weeks ahead on the writing of that. Hopefully, if I can continue to work at my current pace, I can increase that lead time, and get the novel finished even further ahead of schedule. Which will mean that I can get to work on the second HTWGS book sooner.

Anyway, so that’s where all that’s at. I’ll sign off for this week – and for 2019 – with a reminder that my EXCLUSIVE interview with Australian Sole Survivor Pia Miranda continues here next week, and once more – a wish for all good things for you and yours in 2020!

As always, I thank you for your patience, and your continued interest in this site.



* Apart from the serialised novel, some of the other demands on my time have been this, this, this, this and this.

A podcast about ‘Quiz Show’…



Another cross-promotional, podcast-related post this week, but this one’s much more relevant to game shows and how to win them.

I promise.

It’s been 25 years since Robert Redford’s brilliant movie Quiz Show came out, and we’re revisiting it today. Quiz Show is a great period drama, based on the real life scandal behind the game show 21 back in the late 1950s. You may remember that I reviewed this movie here last year (my first ever movie review for the site!), but recently, I was invited onto the movie podcast Chatflix to discuss it with host Brose Avard.

Spoiler alert: we both liked the movie.

If you’re interested in the details, you can find the episode right here:

Episode 160 Quiz Show with Stephen Hall

So there it is, available for your listening pleasure right now, if you’re interested.

Now, I did mention at the top of today’s post that it would be much more relevant to winning game shows than the last one was… and it just so happens that there IS one very big tip on winning game shows that’s central to the plot of Quiz Show. But if you haven’t seen the movie yet, this could possibly be considered a spoiler, so I’ll leave a bit of a gap before I reveal it…

Continue reading

Off on a cross-promotional / self-promotional tangent…

Hello! I’m going off on a bit of a tangent this week, which has nothing to do with game shows, or how to win them.

Sorry about that. Actually, no I’m not. I’m not sorry at all. This is my blog. Mine, do you hear me? So I can do whatever I blummen well like… Right, kids?

And so today I’m just going to remind you about – and give you a quick update on – my B.L.E.* As I think I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve undertaken a fairly daunting task this year – I’m writing my first ever novel, and releasing a new chapter online every Friday, from May 17th, 2019 to May 17th, 2020.

You can find it at, or by clicking on the image above.

I’m 21 chapters into it now (of the total of 52), and it’s proving to be one of the most challenging, intimidating, difficult – and yet exhilarating – things I’ve ever done. One of my hopes when I started was that the project would build up a readership, who’d keep checking back each week, subscribe to the blog, get active in the comments section, and even get a bit of story discussion going, as it all unfolded. That hasn’t materialised yet, and that’s partly why I’m plugging it here today. The story is a rollicking, swashbuckling space adventure (PG – rated) that takes place 512 years in the future, on an enormous luxury space cruise ship that’s been boarded by pirates. There are ray gun battles, daring escapes, a mysterious treasure, double crossings, desertions, and all that good adventurey stuff. I’m trying to write the kind of audacious, quick-moving ripping yarn that I enjoy reading myself, for a bit of escapism.

As part of the writing process, I’m also recording a short video diary entry each week, discussing the creation of that week’s chapter. You can find all of the weekly video diary entries on the dedicated YouTube channel (click on the image below)… but I would recommend that you don’t watch an entry until after you’ve read the chapter it’s discussing. (Here be spoilers!)

Anyway, please do consider dropping by and sampling the novel, if it sounds like your cup of tea.

And finally, below is a link to the latest episode of The IndyCast (The World’s #1 Indiana Jones Podcast), where the show’s host Ed Dolista very kindly allowed to me babble on about the B.L.E for a while (starting at the 12:10 mark)…

IndyCast: Episode 285

And that’s it for this week. See you back here next time, when it’ll definitely, definitely, totally and utterly be something about game shows. Promise!

* Bold Literary Experiment.

Coming Attractions…

Hello! Just a quick, somewhat interstitial, post this week… as I just want to mention four things.

Firstly, I wanted to thank Judd Field again for chatting to me about his Millionaire Hot Seat experience in the interview that’s gone up here over the last few weeks. I really appreciate him giving such a detailed account of his adventure, and I hope that there were some nuggets of wisdom in there that YOU found helpful.

Secondly, I wanted to let you know about my first ever interview with a game show DIRECTOR. In the six years I’ve been running this site, I haven’t yet spoken to someone who calls the shots (literally) on a game show. Well, now that’s about to change. I can’t say too much at this stage, but the person I’ll be speaking to is a true industry veteran, who’s directed at least ten game shows, on every Australian TV network, dating all the way back to 1998! I’m really pleased he’s agreed to speak to me, I’ll be grilling him about all of them in detail, and getting as much information as I can about the world of game shows from his unique perspective up there in the control room…. If YOU have any questions you’d like to ask a game show director, I’d be more than happy to put them to him, on your behalf! Just let me know, in the comment section below.

Thirdly, a little heads-up about what I have in store for you over the next three weeks. I’m really pleased to be talking to my first ever Hard Quiz winner, Markos Hasiotis. Markos got in touch with me via Twitter (where he’s @FactBuffet – well worth following if you’re a trivia buff – and I’m tipping you are). For those of you unfamiliar with it, Hard Quiz is an Australian quiz show which tests its contestants on both their general knowledge and their knowledge of their own special subject… so if you’re keen on quizzing (of either the general or specific varieties) you should find lots of useful stuff in this interview.

And fourthly and finally, I just wanted to go off on a little tangent and remind you of my current – and ongoing – literary experiment for this year. I’m writing a rollicking science fiction comedy adventure story, and releasing a new chapter every Friday, over at 

I’m twelve chapters in now (nearly a quarter of the way), and it’s proving to be an extremely challenging, yet extremely rewarding (not to mention fun!) experience. Please consider popping over there and giving it a read, if you like that sort of thing.

Okay, that’s it for now. See you back here next Tuesday, with Part I of my exclusive interview with Hard Quiz winner Markos Hasiotis!

Until then, then!

My B.L.E. (Bold Literary Experiment)…

Hello! It’s Stephen here.

Well, I’m glad you asked, Unimpressed Baby.

Firstly, my apologies for not posting here on the site in a while. The fact is, I’ve been pretty busy with work (writing this year’s Logie Awards) AND a new creative project, that I’ve thrown myself into with great gusto.

You see, this year, I’ve decided to write my very first novel.

And I’ve decided to serialise it.

And to publish it online, one chapter at a time.

AND to do that each and every Friday, from May 17th 2019 to May 17th 2020.

The full story behind this big, ambitious (over-ambitious?) idea of mine is over at my other (personal) blog, right here.

And all the instalments of the novel I’ve written to this point are right here.  

So far – and we’re currently 5 chapters in – it’s been quite an all-consuming task. It’s very challenging, very fulfilling, but also extremely daunting, as I ask and re-ask myself… “Have I bitten off more than I can chew”?

Time will tell.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in page-turning science fiction adventure stories with a dash of humour, please consider popping over and having a read.

As far as goes… very soon, I’ll have another exclusive multi-part interview for you, and a few book reviews, and an analysis of that whole Jeopardy! James Holzhauer thing…

Until then, then!



Another birthday, and a Big Announcement!

Hello! Well, here we are – six years old today.

It certainly doesn’t seem like six years ago that I took a deep breath, and nervously sent my first ever blog post out into the world. But it was. And since then, here at, there have been almost 300 blog posts, 28 interviews, more than 400 tweets, 1 guest blogger and one eBook which combines some of the site’s best content – and a lot of new, just-for-the-eBook content – into one volume.

And there’s plenty more to come! In fact, today I’d like to make a VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. May I have a drum roll please?

Thanks very much, Invisible Cartoon Drummer.

Today I’m announcing a second How To Win Game Shows eBook!

It’ll be a sort of mini-memoir: a compilation of all my behind-the-scenes adventures in the game show industry. In one capacity or another, I’ve worked on some 16 game shows over the years, and I’ve got stories from all of them. There’s also ‘the ones that got away’; those gigs that I nearly got… but didn’t. In the book, I’ll also go into detail about all those times, when I came so close and yet so far…

So, if you’re a game show aficionado (and I’m assuming you are, or you wouldn’t be here) this will be a unique and personal glimpse behind the scenes into what really goes in to making some of the shows we love so much.

… and, in true How To Win Game Shows style, a few tips, hints and strategies just might find their way in there as well.

The book’s coming together, and I’m looking at a release date some time in the second half of the year, after I get Being Basil – and a couple of other creative projects – finished and out into the world. Of course, I’ll keep you updated on the progress of the new book here, and on Twitter and Facebook, but if you’d like a more personal reminder when the time draws near, please do consider joining the specific email list that I’ve set up for the eBook side of things, by emailing me at

As yet, I don’t have a title for this book… and I thought I might consult you about that.

What do YOU think would make a good title for a book about my various behind-the-scenes adventures as game show question writer, game show adjudicator, game show producer and would-be game show host?

Please leave a reply below, and let me know your thoughts – any and all contributions gratefully received!

The eBook’s now (finally) available on Amazon!

Well, it’s been a looong time coming, but I’m very happy and proud to announce that my eBook How To Win Game Shows: Winning Tips, Tactics and Strategies from Game Show Producers, Hosts, Writers… and Champions! is now finally available on Amazon.

You can find it right here.

It’s cheaper than it’s ever been before, (now at $5.99 AU) and it’s been updated, re-formatted, and optimised for tablets, phones and Kindle e-readers. It’s chock full of tips, hints, photos, gags… and heaps of links to a whole lot of video content.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve learned an awful lot about self-publishing over the last couple of months, and all of that new knowledge has been poured into this relaunch of the book. It is priced at $5.99 AUD on the Australian Amazon store, and at comparable prices in the other Amazon stores around the world. However (as I also mentioned in my last post), I will be doing a free-for-a-limited-time promotion in the near future, which I will announce here on the blog, and on the HowToWinGameShows Twitter feed and the HowToWinGameShows Facebook page too.

In the meantime, if you’d like to sample the book, I’d suggest heading over to Amazon and clicking on the “Look inside” tab just above the cover image. That’ll give you a look at the first three chapters.

You can also grab a free bonus chapter of the book (16 pages) which organises some great tips show by show, if you join my new author mailing list. You can see the signup form on this page, just over to the right.

Thanks to all the wonderful people who’ve bought the book, those who’ve left reviews over on Amazon, and everyone who helped me bring it into existence.

Next time, we’ll be back to business as usual here at the blog… with my first EXCLUSIVE interview for 2019!

Until then, then!


Happy New Year, from!

Hello and WELCOME, 2019!!!

As another year ticks over, and we take stock of the last twelve months, and make plans for the next twelve, I hope that 2018 was full of fun, happiness and laughter for you. I hope you continued your love affair with game shows, enjoying watching them, playing along with them at home, and maybe even appearing on one (or more!)

And if you’re an aspiring game show contestant, but haven’t quite got there yet, then I sincerely hope that 2019 will be the year when you MAKE IT HAPPEN! And if WHEN you do, I sincerely hope that you’re able to find some handy tips in these pages, to help you have a fantastic, fun, and profitable time competing on it.

I’ve got all sorts of interesting – and hopefully helpful – content lined up for you here on the blog in 2019, but as always, I’d love any suggestions you may have.

Please do feel free to contact me in either the comments section below, or via email (, Facebook or Twitter

Thank you, as always, for your continued support, and as Yoda says, NEW YEAR HAPPY, EVERYONE!