Balls of Steel (TV series)
|Balls of Steel|
|Genre||Comedy Game show|
|Presented by||Mark Dolan|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||19 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||50 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Production company(s)||Objective Productions|
|Original network||Channel 4|
|Original release||19 August 2005– 25 April 2008|
Balls of Steel was a British comedy game show hosted by Mark Dolan. Dolan's special guests would perform stunts and hold their nerve during hidden camera set-ups in the presence of celebrities or the British public.
Massive Balls of Steel, the spin-off series to Balls of Steel was broadcast on E4, showing highlights of the show.
There were a total of 12 acts. In each episode, six acts competed with one of them being the winner from the previous episode. At the end of each episode the studio audience had to decide which act had the biggest 'Balls of Steel' by voting on a keypad. The Balls of Steel format is distributed internationally by DRG.
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||19 August 2005||30 September 2005||7|
|2||16 February 2007||23 March 2007||6|
|3||21 March 2008||25 April 2008||6|
Balls of Steel internationally
UK version broadcasts
It aired on The Comedy Channel in Australia in 2011 and 2013 and in the past, has also been shown on the Nine Network. In Latin America, it is broadcast on Sony Entertainment Television, in New Zealand on C4, in Germany on RTL II, in Denmark on TV 2 Zulu, in Portugal on SIC Radical, Norway on TV2 Zebra, in Sweden on Kanal 5, in Poland on TVN, in the Netherlands on RTL 5, and in Russia on 2x2.
During early 2007, an Italian adaptation of the format was aired on Rai Due, this version lasted just one season and wasn't picked up for a second season due to very poor ratings. The show featured local versions of the original skits such as Sexy Lisa, which was an adaptation from Bunny Boiler.
An Australian version of the show, Balls of Steel Australia was put into production in Sydney in late 2010 and premiered on the Australian subscription television channel The Comedy Channel on 19 April 2011, hosted by The Chaser's Craig Reucassel and running for an initial ten episodes. It was the highest rating show in the history of The Comedy Channel, doubling the ratings of the previous record holder The Merrick and Rosso Show. Ten episodes in total have been produced. The series stars Neg Dupree, reprising his Urban Sports segment from the UK version, as well as Australian versions of The Annoying Devil and Bunny Boiler. New characters include Nude Girl, James Kerley as the Game Show Host from Hell, Janis McGavin as Fame Whore, Very Foreign Correspondent, Flatmate Wanted and Just Come Out. Due to the success of season one, a second season was produced with new and existing acts, and premiered on 31 January 2012.
A Swedish version of the show has been shown on Swedish Channel 5 in the springs of 2009, 2010 and 2011. It was first produced for the Swedish public service broadcaster SVT, but cancelled since a participant sprayed water in the face of prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
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Even before it was broadcast, Balls of Steel received an enormous amount of publicity during the London premiere of the film War of the Worlds; its leading man Tom Cruise was squirted with a water pistol disguised as a microphone as part of one of the programme's various stunts or practical jokes. Cruise expressed his disdain but his reaction was not as excessive as that of Sharon Osbourne in an identical stunt several weeks before; she reacted by throwing a bucket of water over one of the team's camera men, ruining the camera.
Others who have been attacked include Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden. Sveriges Television, where the Swedish version Ballar av stål was going to air, decided to cancel the show after massive criticism. But the show was picked up in 2008 by the Swedish network Kanal 5. The show has also had its fair share of complaints from viewers. One target is the 'Annoying Devil' in which he performs extreme acts on members of the public. Some complaints were directed at his roller coaster stunt where he threw (false) bags of vomit at the passengers.
The program returned for a further series in 2007, for which its makers appealed for contestants for a pilot quiz show on an established quiz site. At least one participant rumbled the deceit almost immediately during filming on 10 June 2006, but despite his queries the makers refused to admit that the quiz was a hoax until the "broadcast" was over. Series 3 began airing on Channel 4 on 21 March 2008.
However, despite harsh criticism, Balls of Steel kept coming back by popular demand - as witnessed by the return of Balls of Steel to Channel Nine in Australia in September to the prime late night time slot. This occurred just 3 months after the Sydney Morning Herald's Michael Idato panned the show as being "puerile" in an online review (26 May 2008)
On Neg Dupree's website, the third series of Balls of Steel was referred to as the 'last ever'.
Neg launched a petition to get his own show, although whether this will go ahead with Channel 4 is unknown. Neg's Australian fansite has also launched its petition to try to get Neg to launch his own show in Australia, rather than the UK.
- "Balls Of Steel Australia on THE COMEDY CHANNEL. Available on Foxtel". Thecomedychannel.com.au. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "Security Service reports TV crew for Reinfeldt attack - The Local". Thelocal.se. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "Nyheter - DN.SE". dn.se. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
- "Ofcom | Broadcast Bulletin Issue number 49 - 05|12|05". Stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-28.