Antrim sisters hit The Wall with Danny!
Saturday: The Wall; (BBC One, 9.15pm)
It wasn’t that long ago that Danny Dyer was appearing in straight-to-DVD films like Malice in Wonderland, Guns of the Dead and Run for Your Wife and fronting documentaries such as The Real Football Factories, Deadliest Men and I Believe in UFOs.
How times have changed, and if you’d have said to Dyer 10 years ago that he would now be hosting a Saturday night prime-time game show on BBC One, he might have accused you of “having a giraffe”, or something similar.
But that was before he landed the role of Mick Carter in EastEnders, took part in an astonishing episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, and delivered an infamous Brexit rant on Good Evening Britain, in which he called David Cameron something unprintable.
Dyer, 43, is now a national treasure, and TV bosses have recognised that the Custom House-born star has definite comedy value.
Much like its presenter, The Wall also became an unexpected success in 2019, and when Danny was first chosen to host it, he said: “I’d never had a desire to host a game show before I saw this game. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to help win the public some serious life-changing readies.”
The Wall is back for its second series tonight, with sisters Nichola and Paula from Antrim taking part, and Dyer is just as excited about its return: “I can’t believe we’re doing another series,” he says. “I can’t wait to get stuck back in and meet these new contestants and hopefully make them very rich. Drop ’em!”
The Wall is based on an NBC game show of the same name, one that has been variously described as ‘an addictive combination of trivia, chance and interpersonal anguish’. It all revolves around a giant four-storey Japanese pachinko board – much like a giant Kerplunk.
The show sees participants split up – with one answering knowledge-based questions and another dropping balls down the 40ft wall in the hope of winning a huge cash prize. In round one, Freefall, the contestants start out playing together for fast cash.
Then, in the second round, the pair separate. One goes into isolation, while the other stays with host Dyer. The player gets two free green balls to try and accumulate cash – but whichever slots they drop from at the end of the round, two red balls will also have to drop into the same slots.
The contestant in isolation then faces three questions while their partner takes risks on The Wall.
In the final round, before the last three red balls are dropped, the isolation player is sent a ‘contract’.
If the isolation player signs it, the pair take home the sum that was banked in Freefall, plus a cash amount for every correct answer they gave over the course of the game.
However, as they’re in isolation, they don’t know what the final value of the guarantee will be.
The players are reunited at the end of the game and the isolation player explains how and why they came to their decision.
The Wall’s (fairly) simple rules and rapid question rate make it just the right level of challenging, straightforward fun for Saturday nights.
And with one of TV’s most popular geezers at the helm, along with broadcasting legend Angela Rippon on voiceover duties, it’s sure to keep hitting the target with viewers.
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