Deal or No Deal (UK game show)
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|Deal or No Deal|
|Also known as||Deal|
|Presented by||Noel Edmonds|
|Theme music composer||Augustin Bousfield|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||11|
|No. of episodes||2,929 (excl. Celebrity and 2013 Christmas Stars Specials)
(as of 6 April 2016[update])
|Running time||60 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Production company(s)||Cheetah Television|
|Original network||Channel 4|
|Picture format||576i 16:9 (SDTV)|
|Original release||31 October 2005– present|
|Related shows||Deal or No Deal|
Deal or No Deal is a British Endemol game show hosted by Noel Edmonds, based on the format which originated in the Netherlands. The show features a single contestant trying to beat the Banker as they open 22 identical sealed red boxes assigned to potential contestants in an order of their choosing. The boxes contain randomly assigned sums of money inside ranging from 1p to £250,000. The day's contestant is selected at the beginning, bringing their box to the chair. As the boxes are opened over a number of rounds, the Banker makes offers of real money to gain possession of their box. The gameplay is coordinated by Edmonds, who communicates with the unseen banker by telephone. Contestants can either 'deal' to take the money, or play to the end, settling on the amount in their box.
The objective is for the contestant to obtain the highest amount of money they believe they can, whilst the Banker is trying to minimise the amount they have to pay out. As the game progresses and more possible final values are eliminated, both the Banker and the contestant have more information to offer deals or accept deals. The contestant faces the risk of not accepting a deal leading to smaller deals later or of the final amount being lower than previous deals offered. The Banker faces the converse, the offers made may ultimately end up being greater than the contestant would have won should the whole game be played out.
First broadcast on Channel 4 on 31 October 2005, the programme aired six days a week excluding Saturdays for the entire year for its first eight seasons. Previously there was a break in the production of new episodes during July and August each summer. Occasionally there are special episodes with a particular theme, usually based on national holidays, introducing special features and prizes.
The show celebrated its 10th anniversary on 18 September 2015 when Noel Edmonds played the game (hosted by Sarah Millican) and won £26,000 for his chosen charity Children's Hospice South West. It was seen by 930,000 viewers at 8pm.
The show is currently on a break and no new episodes have been broadcast since 6 April 2016. On 19 August 2016, it was announced Deal or No Deal will be axed with the remaining episodes airing later in the autumn. A farewell tour was announced following that, where Edmonds and the show would travel to landmarks throughout the United Kingdom.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Top prize winners
- 3 Production
- 4 Reception
- 5 Gambling issues
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Contestants can win prizes ranging between 1p and £250,000, and potentially £500,000 (after changes made in 2014). The game is played using twenty-two sealed red boxes, each with an identifying number from 1 to 22 displayed on the front. Inside each box is a sum of money. All the boxes are sealed by an independent adjudicator; the value inside each box is not known to anyone except the adjudicator.
At the start of each game one of the 22 contestants, each standing behind one of the red boxes, is selected to be the contestant for that episode. The contestants themselves do not know who is to take the seat until it is revealed at the beginning of the show. Usually contestants will appear on around 15–25 shows before they are selected to play. The contestant then takes their box and walks to the centre of the set, taking their place at the "pound table", in what Edmonds often refers to as the "crazy chair". Once sitting down the contestant introduces themselves, and after confirming that they selected their box at random, the game begins.
The contestant's box contains their (potential) prize. One at a time, the contestant chooses one of the 21 boxes remaining (other than their own) to be opened, eliminating the value inside it from the list of possible amounts in the contestant's box (displayed on a large screen opposite them). It is in the contestant's interest to uncover smaller amounts of money, in the hope that their prize is a larger amount or that they can get a higher offer from the Banker. Boxes are opened by the remaining 21 contestants; these contestants are also regularly spoken to by Edmonds and the contestant, and offer support and advice to the contestant. These contestants, however, return for the following episodes, along with a new contestant replacing the previous episode's contestant, so that all contestants eventually play the game, and continuity is built between shows.
There are six rounds: in the opening round the contestant opens five boxes, then three in each subsequent round. After the required number of boxes have been opened in a round, the Banker offers to buy the contestant's box. The amount is dependent on the remaining box values: if several larger amounts are gone, the offer is likely to be low, as the probability is higher that the contestant's box contains a small amount of money.
Occasionally, the first offer (or on very rare occasions a later offer) has been replaced by an offer to the contestant to swap their box for one of the remaining unopened boxes. The first offer can also be used by the Banker to offer non-monetary items such as a dozen roses, or in the case of Jimmy Carr's game, a holiday bribe (as Carr was playing for charity, he could walk away from the game, earning nothing for charity but a holiday for himself). These offers rarely impact the game in a serious manner.
The Banker is never seen, relaying his offers to Edmonds via telephone (although sometimes Edmonds allows the contestant to talk to the Banker through the telephone). Edmonds tells the contestant the offer and asks the eponymous question. The contestant responds either "deal" or "no deal".
Responding with "deal" means the contestant agrees to sell the box for the amount of money offered, relinquishing the prize in their box. The game is now over, though play continues to show the hypothetical outcome had the contestant not dealt. Saying "no deal" means the contestant keeps their box, and proceeds to the next round, again hoping to reveal small amounts in the remaining boxes.
After six rounds, only two boxes remain. If the contestant rejects the final offer, they take the prize contained in their box. The Banker might offer the opportunity for the contestant to swap their box with the other remaining unopened box and take the prize contained in it instead. A swap is always offered if the £250,000 is still in play; however, it can also be offered in any situation (including, on rare occasions, earlier in the game). On one occasion to one contestant the Banker offered a second swap.
Very rarely, after the contestant has already chosen to take a deal earlier in the game, after all six rounds, the Banker will offer the "Banker's Gamble" (also referred to as "hand back"). If the contestant agrees, they give back the amount they dealt at, and open their box, instead winning whatever their box contains. The most notable instance of this was when the second £250,000 winner, Alice Mundy, who had dealt two rounds earlier at £17,500, was offered this option. She was left with the 1p and the £250,000, giving the Banker the possibility to reduce her winnings to his dream finish of 1p or augmenting her winnings up to the player's dream finish: she accepted the Banker's Gamble and won the £250,000.
Sometimes there are extra twists to the game, including making offers between rounds, and offering other gambles such as "double or nothing", where after the contestant has dealt, they have to open extra boxes and risk winning nothing or doubling their winnings. Also, the Banker has allowed the contestant to go ahead one box at the time (giving them more freedom to pull out of the game when they wish). The Banker has been known to try other tricks such as offering prize money to other people, for example, a friend of a contestant who won only a small amount in their own game. Such twists happen rarely, but happen more regularly during the themed weeks.
There are 22 cash prizes contained in the boxes on the programme. These cash prizes range from 1p to £250,000. The highest five valued boxes are referred to as the "Power Five", whilst the lowest five valued boxes are referred to as the "Banker's Power Five".
When it was their 500th show and their Christmas specials, £500,000 was made the top prize. In order to make room for it, the £15,000 disappeared.
For their 2nd anniversary, the show doubled each amount of money to make a new board.
On 1 January 2014, a new feature—"Box 23"—was introduced to the game. At the end of a contestant's game, the contestant is asked if he or she wishes to buy Box 23 for the amount already won on the show. The box contains one of five cards:
- Money Back
If purchased, the result can double the contestant's winnings (raising the highest possible win to £500,000), add £10,000 to their winnings, return the winnings, half the winnings, or expunge the winnings. This change effectively makes it possible for a contestant to leave with nothing at all: previously, a player would leave with a minimum of 1 penny.
During special theme shows, the contents of Box 23 are modified, swapping out the "+£10,000" prize for "+£20,000" and the "Half" prize for "Quarter".
Starting 29 September 2014, a new gameplay element, the "Offer Button" was added. The button, situated on the contestant's desk, may only be used one time during the contestant's game. When it is pressed, the Banker must make an offer at that point, regardless of how many boxes have been opened at that stage.
The Offer Button becomes available after the opening five boxes are selected. To be able to make use of it during his/her game, the contestant must correctly guess, within a margin of 10%, of the banker's opening offer. The Banker's offer is written and sealed in a capsule and sent to the studio before the contestant guesses the amount. On special theme shows, the contestant additionally wins a holiday if offer within the band is correct.
Top prize winners
Eight contestants have won the £250,000 top prize. When a contestant wins £250,000, confetti is released in the studio. All winners of the top £250,000 prize (as well as certain non-top prize winners) are allowed to keep their box.
|1||7 January 2007||Laura Pearce||£250,000||First winner.|
|2||12 March 2009||Alice Mundy||£250,000||Originally dealt at £17,500, but accepted the Banker's Gamble (winning either 1p or £250,000 in her box).|
|3||13 May 2011||Suzanne Mulholland||£250,000||First (and currently only) contestant to have the "dream finish" (having both the £100,000 and the £250,000 boxes in play as the final two boxes). The first contestant to win by swapping her box. Also won a holiday.|
|4||22 September 2011||Tegen Roberts||£250,000||First winner to open the 1p as the first box.|
|5||5 August 2012||Nong Skett||£250,000||Also appeared on the 2,000th episode and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Deal or No Deal.|
|6||12 August 2013||Paddy Roberts||£250,000||First male winner.|
|7||12 February 2014||Roop Singh||£250,000||Also won a holiday. First winner to be offered Box 23. Would have won £500,000 if he had purchased Box 23.|
|8||15 October 2015||Ann Crawford||£250,000||Oldest winner. Wouldn't have won anything if she had purchased Box 23.|
Deal or No Deal is produced by Endemol and supported by BBC Studios and Post Production, a commercial subsidiary of the BBC. The original studio set for the show was converted from an old paintworks factory and its associated warehouses in Bristol.
Channel 4 initially commissioned a run of 66 episodes, with filming beginning in October 2005, and the first episode broadcast at the end of the month. Channel 4 then commissioned a second filming period at the end of 2005.
By May 2006, episodes were being filmed Monday to Friday at a rate of 15 episodes a week. Three episodes are filmed in a day in two sessions, an afternoon one for one episode using one audience, and then two episodes filmed in the evening using a second audience. The studio operates from 9am to 10pm.
Having initially begun filming episodes just a few weeks in advance, each new period of filming now begins several months in advance, and at a rate of 15 episodes a week being filmed, the delay between filming and broadcast varies; it can be months between the filming date and broadcast date for a particular episode.
For a two-week period starting on 10 October 2011, live episodes of the show were broadcast in place of the routine pre-recorded episodes.
The game show participants comprise the host Noel Edmonds, the unseen character of the Banker, the main contestant playing that day's game, the other contestants, and a studio audience of around 120 people facing the gameboard. Audience members are commonly asked for opinions on whether the contestant should "Deal or No Deal".
The contestants who appear on "Deal or No Deal" come from all backgrounds and age groups. At any one time, the 22 contestants have a mixture of old, young, male (with a brief exception during the 2007 "Battle of the Sexes"), female, loud and quiet contestants. The oldest ever contestant is Joe, who played in 2009. Edmonds stated that Joe is the "most mature contestant ever at the age of 97". Contestants must be at least 18 years of age to appear on the show.
The Observer interviewed Edmonds in relation to the show on 29 January 2006, quoting Edmonds as saying that his scenes with the Banker bring out his "inner actor". He revealed his passion for the show and his admiration for the individual community spirit within it, as well as his (later fulfilled) ambition that it would eventually hold a Saturday evening prime time slot.
The Banker (Later known as Banky) is the name given to the show's quasi-fictional antagonist. Notionally, the money on the gameboard is the Banker's own. As such, his role is to make cash offers to buy the contestant's chosen box rather than allowing them to continue and risk them winning much more. The Banker is played by "Himself", as stated on the end credits. He talks to Edmonds via the Bakelite telephone on the contestant's desk, and also regularly talks to the daily contestant.
As Broadcast magazine noted in March 2006, the UK version of the show was the first to exploit the potential for the Banker to be an active character. Despite not being seen or heard on screen, this personification led to a high degree of public and media interest in the Banker. The Guardian newspaper called the Banker "a cult character in the making and no mistake" and included him in their hotlist. Television programmes such as Harry Hill's TV Burp, GMTV, Richard & Judy and Dead Ringers all made jokes about and regularly speculated as to the Banker's real identity in episodes aired between November 2005 and April 2006.
Some sources have speculated that the Banker is really former Coronation Street actor and host of The Mole Glenn Hugill who works as part of the show's production team. Edmonds denied these claims in Heat magazine in July 2006.
As the show progresses, the Banker's fictitious backstory has been built up through the character's conversations with Edmonds and the daily contestants. Edmonds describes the Banker as an older man, who is overweight and has little hair. In various episodes the Banker has been said to speak fluent French and Russian. The Banker has made several references to his six ex-wives, mother, two boxer dogs and also to his estranged son, to whom he never speaks on account of his being a charity worker.
On 16 November 2006, Edmonds turned on Exeter's Christmas lights and claimed that the banker used to study "Financial affairs and Politics" at Exeter University, suggesting that students could find his identity by looking at the records. This "fact" was mentioned during an episode of University Challenge on 17 September 2007 when Jeremy Paxman introduced Exeter University and named the Banker as one of the institution's famous alumni. In the October/November 2008 edition of the Sky Digital Magazine, an interview with the Banker was published. It was revealed that the Banker has an MSc in financial analysis and fund management, BSc in pure mathematics, statistics and mathematical sciences and a Masters in behavioural and biological psychology. He also stated that he was a registered dentist.
The Banker has also made infrequent and obscure visual appearances, which usually serve to exaggerate his reputation as only caring about his money. On 25 December 2006, at the end of the show, a brief shot from behind of a man in a suit and hat was switching off his television after watching the contestants sing Christmas carols. Other short comical appearances followed, and on 20 October 2011, he said he was going to appear in person to make his offer. However, when he came out it looked like he was hiding under a cloak, until Helen, a woman from the audience unveiled him to see a man called Alex. The Banker then revealed it was just a fake, and that Helen and Alex knew each other.
On several occasions the Banker's voice can be heard. He has been heard laughing manically, blowing kisses and imitating Basil Brush. Contestants have described his voice as sounding like "a dirty phone call", old and sexy, rather like well spoken deep voiced fellow contestant Lance and "the Scream man". Edmonds has often imitated the Banker's voice in a deep Churchillian tone. Short utterances or other audio from the Banker's end of the phone call can occasionally be heard by the viewer.
The Banker's voice was heard properly for the first time on 22 September 2010. In a twist to how boxes are usually chosen, the contestant offered the Banker the opportunity of choosing his next three boxes. The Banker accepted the offer and rather than talking to Edmonds over the phone, his deep, gravelly voice was heard making his choices through the studio speakers.
The Banker's personality is one of the most essential components of the show, and on many occasions has generated good or bad offers, gifts and surprises. Such surprises have included early box swaps, chances to double offers, offer increases, offer decreases and additional gifts. On some shows, the Banker has offered items such as a copy of the rules, 2 weeks of therapy, the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People", a loofa and "a train ticket back to wherever you came from". On 15 April 2006, the Banker doubled contestants Gabrielle's and Savvas' winnings, after they both revealed they would be donating the money to charity. The Banker has also played mind games with contestants by only offering box swaps, substantially low offers, decreasing offers and threats to other contestants. On some occasions, the Banker has given poems and gifts to the chosen contestant. These gifts have included a bottle of bubble bath, a mini replica of a "Deal or No Deal" box, a bunch of roses, a "Deal or No Deal" mug and champagne.
On only one occasion (in February 2014) has the banker made an offer that was higher than any of the boxes remaining in the game. In the earlier rounds of the game the Banker agreed to inflate the contestant's offers by £1,000 per offer if the contestant could perform a "keepy uppy" (keeping a football off the ground by repeatedly kicking it in the air) for 10 seconds. The contestant succeeded. At the last two boxes, the amounts in play were £10 and £500. One of the waiting contestants remarked, "This is going to be an interesting offer". Noel himself observed that, "The Banker hasn't thought this one through". True to his word the Banker offered £1,200. It was academic though as the contestant had already left the game.
The episodes of "Deal or No Deal" are pre-recorded. The show is then broadcast constantly throughout the year including holidays, with weekday episodes currently airing 2:10pm to 3:10pm, and Sunday episodes varying in times. The show has aired episodes on Sundays except between 1 September 2013 and 5 January 2014. Sunday episodes started again shortly after but were finally stopped permanently on 17 October 2014. The show originally had a few weeks break in July–August, but this was dropped in 2012 and brought back on 8 July 2015. While the show has a standard theme for most of the year, it has also broadcast several special episodes usually themed to particular events or national public holidays such as Christmas and Easter. These were stopped before the filming of the 2015 episodes due to the Channel 4 Racing misinforming the show of when they would broadcast, resulting in the show not knowing when their episodes would actually air. Consequently, 'Double Trouble' specials substituted the regular specials, in which two people play the game. These games are not in sequence with the regular show.
Season 9 began on 12 August 2013, with the show's first ever male £250,000 winner, Paddy Roberts.
Episodes have been broadcast as follows:
|Season||Start date||End date||Episodes
|1||31 October 2005||22 July 2006||234|
|2||28 August 2006||13 July 2007||278||500th show|
|3||13 August 2007||25 July 2008||299|
|4||25 August 2008||24 July 2009||287||1,000th show|
|5||24 August 2009||25 July 2010||288|
|6||23 August 2010||29 July 2011||294|
|7||15 August 2011||12 August 2012||313|
|8||13 August 2012||9 August 2013||307||2,000th show|
|9||11 August 2013||8 August 2014||283|
|10||10 August 2014||8 July 2015||223|
|11||21 September 2015||6 April 2016||126|
Special episodes and Double Trouble episodes
Many seasonal episodes of Deal or No Deal have aired, with themes including Halloween week, Guy Fawkes Night, Christmas specials, Valentine's Day/Love week, Easter weekend, Banker's Birthday week and Summer specials. Many special episodes have themed games that can be played at the 5-box stage, where the contestant may be able to win a holiday. Games may also allow the contestant to receive an offer after every box opened or allow the Banker to look inside the contestant's boxes. From Love Week 2015 Deal or No Deal began broadcasting Double Trouble episodes starting as Couples.
Celebrity Deal or No Deal
On 8 April 2012, Deal or No Deal started broadcasting celebrity editions of the show. These episodes saw famous faces including (in order of appearance) Jimmy Carr, Olly Murs (who appeared on the show previously), Sarah Millican, Louis Walsh, Peter Andre, Katie Price, McFly, Joan Collins, Jonathan Ross, JLS, Gok Wan and Alan Carr all playing for charity.
When "Deal Or No Deal" began, viewers were invited to phone in (at premium rate), use the Channel 4 website or enter by post (free of charge) to enter the competition, in which an audience member selects one of three boxes (coloured blue and separate from the boxes used in the main game), and a selected entrant wins the amount of money displayed in that box. The amounts on offer in the competition varied from day to day, but typically comprised two amounts in the low thousands of pounds and a top prize of £10,000 or more. On rare occasions, a match play competition had been run in which the winning entrant received the same amount as the studio contestant instead of a prize being selected from the blue viewers' boxes; this once caused a viewer to win £70,000. Entry was open from the beginning of the second part of the show, when the winning box is chosen, to noon the next day, with the winner revealed at the beginning of the show seven days later.
Previously, the competition was only open for the duration of the show, with the box containing the prize being opened at the end of the show, and the winner's name announced thereafter. This was changed from the third Season in August 2007, following the premium-rate services operator ICSTIS imposing a £30,000 fine on iTouch, the company responsible for running the competition. It ruled that the competition was misleading since the impression was given that entrants stood a chance of winning any of the three amounts contained in the blue viewers' boxes, whereas in fact since the programme is pre-recorded, by the time of broadcast only one prize amount is possible. The altered format of the competition only opened the competition after the prize amount had been chosen.
Channel 4 had announced that, following a spate of revelations of improper conduct regarding premium-rate phone services across British television programmes (notably on "Richard & Judy"), it was scrapping all premium-rate phone competitions, with the single exception of "Deal or No Deal", with profits from the viewer's competition going to charity. As of 1 October 2007, the viewer's competition was cancelled. Edmonds informed the viewers that they will be giving the viewer's competition a rest for a while like all other viewer competitions on Channel 4.
In 2014, the viewer's competition returned in an altered form. A suite of prizes were on offer (usually for a week at a time) and viewers were invited to phone in (on a premium rate number), text (on a premium rate number) or enter for free on their web site. The entrant was required to answer a question using the usual multiple choice format. This ended in early 2015.
In a review by columnist A. A. Gill, "Deal or No Deal" was described as "like putting heroin in your TV remote". Guardian television reviewer Charlie Brooker criticised the in-show implication that there are strategies that can be employed and pointed out that the game premise revolves around plain guessing while calling it "a gameshow based on the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics".
"Deal or No Deal" has consistently been the most watched programme in its slot for all UK channels for both daytime and primetime. It was named "Daytime Programme of the Year" at the Royal Television Society Awards on 14 March 2006, and "Best Daytime Programme" in the TV Quick Awards on 5 September 2006. The UK version also won the Rose d'Or award for "Best Game Show" at the 2006 Lucerne Television Festival. Edmonds was also nominated in the "Best Entertainment Performance" category at the 2006 BAFTA Television Awards. The show was voted "Best Daytime Programme" at the 2006 National Television Awards. Edmonds was also nominated for "Best Entertainment Presenter" at the same awards.
As of 2 February 2015[update], the show has given away more than £40,000,000 prize money.
Since August 2012, the show has undertaken product placement by incorporating the PG Tips logo into episodes. The logo is added digitally in post-production and appears on the contestants' coffee mugs.
A book called Can You Beat the Banker? (ISBN 0-09-191422-1) was released on 25 May 2006, which has descriptions of games from early episodes and the reader having to guess what the Banker's offers will be, and whether to "Deal" or "No Deal". Drumond Park have also released three games: a board game, an electronic game, and a handheld electronic game.
The Official Behind the Scenes Guide (ISBN 0-09-192006-X) was published on 26 October 2006, written by Noel and Charlotte Edmonds, Jane Phillimore, Richard Hague and Glenn Hugill. It features interviews with Edmonds, the Banker, and contestants, and has statistics for all contestants' games from season 1.
A DVD TV game was released on 13 November 2006. Filmed in the "Deal or No Deal" studio, it features Edmonds and 21 contestants from Season 1 playing themselves, who open the boxes and give the contestant advice. The game's three modes are Single Contestant (played like the show), Contestant Vs Contestant (two contestants play rounds in turn), and Contestant Vs Banker (one contestant is the contestant, the other is the Banker, and gives offers to the contestant).
A card game has also been released. The 22 sums of money are shuffled, and placed on top of the 22 box numbers. The gameplay is similar to the Contestant Vs Banker mode on the DVD with one contestant being the contestant and another the Banker. Contestants then swap roles, and the one who takes more money is declared the winner. The card game is often sold in a special box-set alongside the DVD game. "Deal or No Deal" video games for the PC and Nintendo DS have also been released, as has a second DVD game on 19 November 2007, subtitled "Family Challenge", and featuring series 2 contestants.
Additionally, a Wii game and a second DS game, both titled, "Deal or No Deal: The Banker is back!" were released on 28 November 2008; a "Deal or No Deal" chocolate game is also available; an online version of the game is available on the website WeDigTV.com; and there is also a Facebook application called Deal Or No Deal LIVE!, in which a user can play with other people competing to get the highest amount out of the box. The contestant can build up through levels. There is also a chat function whilst playing. A quiz-based "Deal or No Deal" game also appears on a number of pub quiz machines.
A quiz app titled Deal or No Deal - Noel's Quiz was released on 12 March 2015. Available on iOS and Android, the app allows users to play the Banker in a multiple-choice quiz based on the TV show's gameplay. When asked about the app, host Noel Edmonds said "I've lost count of the number of Deal or No Deal fans who have stopped me in the street to ask how they can get to play the game. With this app they can take the Walk of Wealth wherever and whenever they like and I can't wait for them to Spank the Banker on it."
In March 2012, with the series approaching its 2,000th episode and the format now broadcast in over 50 countries, senior Channel 4 executives were to meet with the Gambling Commission, who were preparing to issue new guidance in April 2012 on the implications of the Gambling Act 2005 for broadcasters and according to The Guardian, had concerns with the show. The newspaper claimed the show could be breaking the law as it did not involve any element of skill, with such non-skill games played for profit requiring a gambling licence. However, as in the Sun bingo case, there is no element of gambling as the contestant does not wager any stake money as participation is effectively free.
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