ICYMI on HTWGS in 2021

Hello, and again Happy 2022 to you!

Just a quick one today, before I launch into the year’s first official, exclusive new content next week. I thought I might take a look back at some highlights of last year here on the blog, to give you a second chance to catch up on them, in case there’s anything there that might take your fancy, but which you missed at the time.

First up, in February, I let you know about a very clever, very funny new podcast created by a couple of brilliant Melbourne-based comedy writers. It’s called The Pop Test, and each episode tackles a scientific subject in great detail with the help of a couple of celebrity contestants, and a whole lot of smart gags. Andy Matthews and Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall are the brains behind this, and if you haven’t sampled it yet, you really should give it a go!  

In May, our good friend – and occasional guest blogger – Ryan Vickers drew our attention to the second season of The Search For Canada’s Game Shows, all episodes of which are available to watch online. They make fascinating viewing for any game show aficionado. (Hey, that’s you!) 

Then, in June, we discovered a brand new nightly online quiz, in the form of The TikTok10. Australian quiz show question writer Miles Glaspole creates a new 10-question episode every weeknight, in a fun, quick quiz that’s now racked up over 18 MILLION LIKES! Congratulations, Miles! You can see what all the fuss is about right here.  

The second half of 2021 was almost entirely occupied by my epic, 18-PART EXCLUSIVE episode with Australian quiz show legend David Poltorak. It was a wide-ranging and very candid conversation with a man who’s proven himself in front of the cameras, and in a variety of behind-the-scenes roles in the game show industry since he exploded onto the quiz show scene back in the 1980s. If you haven’t read the interview, I’d heartily recommend it. The whole thing kicks off here.

And finally, we rounded out the year with…

  • My latest HTWGS movie review. I took a look at Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much, which tells the incredible story of Theodore ‘Ted’ Slauson, who’s appeared on The Price Is Right a whopping 37 times! You can read my review right here, and the 72-minute movie’s actually available to view online here, here and here
  • And a two-part interview with game show winner Kristi Milley, who told her twisty, turny tale of appearing on the ill-fated 2006 Australian Quiz show the MASTER. There’s certainly a lesson to be learned with that one!

So there are a few highlights of The Year That Just Was, in case you missed them. I look forward to welcoming you back here next week, for my very first big, EXCLUSIVE interview for 2022. It’s with a man who’s worked behind the scenes on many of Australia’s biggest game shows across all the major networks, across four decades! He’s veteran Australian game show producer Steve Marshall, and it’s a far-ranging chat you won’t want to miss.

See you then, then! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR from HTWGS.com!

Thanks, Mr Gumby.

As 2021 draws to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your near ones and dear ones all the very, very best for a wonderful 2022. Whatever sort of 2021 you’ve had, I sincerely hope that 2022 is Bigger, Better and Brighter for you!

I’ve got loads of good stuff lined up for the blog in the year ahead, including: 

  • More of my patented HowToWinGameShows reminiscences,
  • More book reviews,
  • and more exclusive interviews with fascinating behind-the-scenes figures from the game show industry (the first one of which will start in just a couple of weeks).

If there’s anything other game show-related material YOU’d like to see me tackle in 2022, please do let me know, either in the comments below or via email: Stephen@HowToWinGameShows.com. I’m always open to suggestions!

Thanks so much, as always, for your support… 

and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Cheers,

Stephen.

Merry Christmas from HTWGS.com!

Hello. As the year that was 2021 winds down, I’d just like to take this opportunity to heartily wish you and yours all the Compliments of the Season. I hope your Christmas is exactly what YOU want it to be. I hope it’s happy, I hope it’s safe, and I hope it contains liberal amounts of laughter and love.

And, of course, silliness.

Thank you so much for your support throughout this year…. and again,

Merry Christmas to you!

Cheers,

Stephen.

 

My latest quiz show appearance (#spoileralertletsjustsaywinningisnteverything…)

Hello!

A quick one today, to let you know about a quick radio quiz that my Mad As Hell castmate Tosh Greenslade and I did on ABC Radio National last Friday…

Every Friday, Patricia Karvelas’s’ drivetime show has a light-hearted quiz about the news of the week, usually featuring two comedians. This week, it was our turn to face off against each other, on subjects ranging from a Flintstones-themed house to fuel for European flying cars.

It was really good fun. If you’re interested, and you have a free 20 minutes, here it is…

I’ll see you next week, with exciting news of an epic new interview that I’m just putting the finishing touches on now…

Until then, then!

A nightly burst of quick quizzy goodness…

Hello!

Just a quick one today, to let you know about a fun new quiz competition that’s the brainchild of Australian quiz show question writer Miles Glaspole. In his spare time, Miles has created a brand new quick-fire general knowledge quiz format for TikTok!

It’s called The TikTok 10, and it’s a rapid round of 10 general knowledge questions that you have to answer before Miles says the answer. The thing is, he says the answer right after the question, so you really do have to be pretty darn fast…

There’s a new episode every weekday at 7 PM AEST.

Speaking as a gentleman of a certain age, I must confess that I’m not totally, entirely, 100% super-familiar with the intricacies of TikTok… but from what I’ve seen, this looks ace!

And I think it’d certainly be excellent training for anyone contemplating going on a fast-paced fire quiz show.

Nice one, Miles!

And THAT’s where Canada’s game shows got to…

Hello! I’ve just got a quick post for you this week, with an update from our Canadian friend Ryan Vickers, who’s kindly written numerous guest posts for the blog about his various game show-related adventures over the years…

Ryan tells me that Season Two of the documentary series he’s involved with (The Search for Canada’s Game Shows) recently premiered in Canada, on the Canadian TV channel Game TV!

“Well, that’s all fine and dandy,” I hear you say.

“Oh yes sir, that’s all very well and good,” you go on, “but what if I want to watch this show, and I don’t happen to BE in Canada? Hm? What do I do then, Einstein?”

Um, my name’s actually Stephe-

“Eh? Did ya ever think about that? What if I’m not there? What if I’m HERE, instead? Only 38 million people live in Canada, you know – just 0.48% of the world’s population – and I’m tellin’ ya right now, pal – I’M NOT ONE OF ‘EM!!”

Well, okay. But if you’d just –

“SO HOW ON EARTH DO YOU EXPECT ME TO WATCH SEASON TWO OF THE SEARCH FOR CANADA’S GAME SHOWS, IF I CAN’T GET THE GAMETV CHANNEL ON MY TV?! HUH? HUH?”

Um, you can watch it online, via this link that Ryan provided: https://www.igametv.com/canadasgameshow/

“Oh,” I hear you say.

“Okay.

Thanks.”

Yeah, no worries.

Aha! So THAT’s what it is…

Hello!

So it looks like the mystery raised in my last post has now been solved: the ABC has announced an upcoming news quiz show called Win The Week, hosted by Alex Lee and Craig Reucassel. 

That’s them there.

It’s being billed as “a test of news knowledge and loyalty, where everyday Aussies must know the news and betray their teammates to win.”

Apparently, each episode will see three teams of two players go head-to-head over four rounds. Each team has an everyday Aussie as Team Captain and a celebrity who’ll both need to work together to win. But team loyalties will be tested at the end of each round with the “Stay or Betray” dilemma – one Team Captain must decide whether to stay with their celeb teammate or to betray them and swap to a different celeb from another team… in order to Win the Week!

If you’d like to know more details, the show’s full media release is right HERE.

I think this all sounds really promising – a new, light-hearted, inclusive, fun show, an original Australian concept, and really good talent on both sides of the camera. Here’s hoping it’s a hit!

If it sounds like the sort of show you’d like to compete on, you can still apply to be a contestant by sending an email to quizcontestants@abc.net.au

I wish you – and indeed them – every success!

Coming soon, from The Land Of The Maple Leaf…

Hello, and Happy Tuesday to you! I have some cool news to share with you this week, by way of a welcome visit from our favourite Canadian guest blogger.

Serial game show contestant and aficionado Ryan Vickers has been a great friend of HowToWinGameShows.com for ages now, having written loads of great guest posts for the site since August 2017. You can find a choice selection of Ryan’s game show-related adventures right HERE.

It was Ryan who first alerted me to the fascinating series The Search For Canada’s Game Shows, (which you can watch at

https://www.CanadasGameShows.com/season-episodes).

Ryan appeared in the first series of this show, and since then, he’s developed a real rapport with its producers. Could that possibly, conceivably, somehow have a little something to do with Ryan’s return today?

Hm.

Let’s see, shall we? Take it away, Ryan…

==================================================================

O Canada! O Game Shows! Season Two!
(Yes, I’m paraphrasing Stephen’s great title from last year!)*

Hi there friends! It’s guest blogger Ryan Vickers speaking to you from slightly-getting-warmer Canada.

I wanted to share with you that The Search for Canada’s Game Shows is back on GameTV here in Canada later this month! We are rolling out a three-night premiere with all-new episodes on March 29th, 30th and 31st (and an early shout out… Happy Birthday Mom!)

Our first season focused on the origins of Canadian game shows up until the turn of the 21st century. Our second season looks at more recent Canadian game show activity and the focus on more competitive shows that have taken over the prime-time airwaves here in The Great White North. We’ll explore shows created in Canada and how they’ve evolved; the proliferation of shows that have food as their centrepiece; the progression of prizes; the role of comedy and comedians in game shows and the future of game shows here.

I look forward to sharing some neat facts about Season Two after it airs; but for now, I also need to let you know that you can catch the show at the end of March (concurrently with the television broadcast) if you don’t live in Canada – all episodes will be available for viewing at CanadasGameShows.com. In fact, you can pop over there right now and see interview segments from this season’s episodes, as well as sneak previews of each episode in Season Two!

I hope you enjoy!

Ryan.

==================================================================

Thanks very much for the heads-up, Ryan – I’m really looking forward to the new season, and to hearing more about it from your good self. 

But hey, Ryan shouldn’t have to do all the heavy lifting in the guest post department. If you – yes, YOU! the person reading this right now – ever feel inclined to write a guest post for the site, I’m always open to suggestions. It can be autobiographical, it can be behind-the-scenes info, it can be analysis or opinion…. as long as it’s game show-related, I’ll consider it. So, if you think you may have something to offer, something that I can help share with a wider audience, just email me at Stephen@HowToWinGameShows.com. You never know where it may lead!

I’ll see you next time, and yes… Happy Birthday, Mrs Vickers (Ryan’s mum). 

* Aw, shucks, Ryan… – SH

Announcing my first EXCLUSIVE interview for 2021!

Hello! Just a quick update today, to let you know I’ve secured my first exclusive interview for 2021… and it’s a Biggie! I’m really pleased to have booked a chat with a man whose vast experience in the game show industry is simply incredible. He’s held a variety of powerful positions behind the scenes, in a career that spans decades. He’s brought loads of the world’s biggest hit game shows to our screens and – on a personal note – he’s also been a great mentor to me, teaching me an awful lot along the way.

Thank you, Fry – I’m pretty sure it will be. There’s a lot for us to discuss, so I’m sure our chat will run over several weeks here on the site. And it’ll all be kicking off soon, right here at HowToWinGameShows.com!

 

We’re eight.

Today, HowToWinGameShows.com is 8 years old! How about that – who would have thought?

Probably not me. Back in 2013, when I posted the first-ever entry here, entitled Well, here goes!, I had no idea if this concept could possibly sustain a regular blog. I remember how nervous I felt as I set up the site, and how vulnerable I felt when I finally hit that “Post” button for the first time. This silly little idea of mine was now OUT IN THE WORLD. This was all new to me, and exciting – I liked the idea of a blog on this subject as a fun little hobby. I’d spent a bit of time on an online blogging course. Game show tips, information and stories was a ‘niche market’, as they say, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I knew a few people who’d been on game shows, I knew a few people who worked in the industry; maybe they’d chat to me, and this could be a place where we could share their stories, tips and hints with a wider audience. I’d share my stories, my tips and hints too, of course, and maybe some future contestant, somewhere out there, might find some of it useful. Worst-case scenario, it’d fizzle out, and I could look back on it as a fun little experiment.

But it didn’t fizzle out.

A year after that first post, the blog celebrated its first birthday. 52 weeks after that was birthday number 2. Another 365 days passed, and suddenly the site was three years old. March 14th 2017 saw the site turn four, and 12 months after that it was five – well, you get the idea.

For a long time, I thought I had to post every week, no matter what. Not sure why I thought that – some weeks there’s naturally more content than other weeks. A streak of stubbornness, I suppose. I’ve mellowed a bit now, and my policy is to post when I have something (hopefully) interesting to share with you.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for your feedback, your contributions, and, as always, your support.

Cheers!

Stephen