Saturday, 3 September 2011

Red or Black? Ant & Dec Win Either Way

I'm not a Doctor Who fan.

So tonight I've been watching ITV and the newest Saturday evening entertainment extravaganza - Red or Black?

Just like Channel 4's recent success with The Million Pound Drop where the added suspense of knowing that anything can happen in front of your eyes, adds an excitement that is lacking in its pre-recorded equivalent.

Equality of Opportunity
I've been derided for being a fan of Deal or No Deal but I'll stand by that and it's for the same reason that I've enjoyed Red or Black this evening.

The format comes down to a simple matter of luck. Just like with Deal or No Deal, Red or Black requires no skill and no expertise. It is a format which is egalitarian and fair. Anyone can play and anyone, no matter what their age, class, sex, race etc, could conceivably go all the way to the live final for a single spin for a million pounds.

I enjoy skill-based quiz or entertainment based shows. As a quiz boff, the uber-competitive Eggheads is excellent but only the keenest pub quizzer could ever compete. Likewise, the increasingly popular Pointless, hosted by Alexander Amstrong puts a twist on answering questions but again, a certain amount of knowledge is necessary.

We're all different with our own quirks and individual fortés but progammes such as Deal or No Deal and Red or Black levels the playing field and puts all on an equal footing. Personally, whilst they're often ridiculed for their simplicity, I rather like that basic trait.

A Star Attraction - Ant & Dec
So for me, this evening's new gameshow which will be running all week, already has a crucial vital ingrediant working in its favour.

It also has another - its presenters.

Ant & Dec are a televisual phenomenon. Since their lives collided on the set of Byker Grove back in 1989, they have moved on to release singles as PJ & Duncan and have moved on to an extraordinary media career as a double act.

Their main hits include:
  • SMTV Live (1999–2001)
  • CD:UK (1999–2001)
  • Pop Idol (2001–2003)
  • Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (2002–2008)
  • I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (2002–present)
  • PokerFace (2006)
  • Ant & Dec's Gameshow Marathon (2006)
  • Britain's Got Talent (2007–present)
  • Ant & Dec's Push The Button (2009–present)
  • Red or Black? (2011–present)
They are apparently inseparable. Indeed such is their intertwined popularity, it is reported that they are each insured against the other's death, although the amount is unknown.

Their media persona is such that to assist with identification, all of their TV appearances and publicity photos have Ant on the left and Dec on the right.

Why so popular? They just have that cheeky charm that endears them to the viewing audience. It is also strikingly obvious that they are close friends. The rapport that they have with each other shines through and after 20+ years together it isn't surprising. Yet some relationships can sour with age but this one seems strong and when their success is as inextricably linked to each other as theirs is, that isn't surprising.

Such is their popularity with the British public, the success of a new show such as Red or Black is all but guaranteed by having the duo as the anchors.

Red or Black? Ant and Dec? They're all winners.

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