Belfast Telegraph

ITV reduces quiz show prize hauls after recession

Viewers no longer want to watch people winning a million pounds following the recession, 500 Questions host Giles Coren has revealed.

ITV have reduced the prize haul for their quiz shows following the recession.

Columnist Giles Coren has a new gig fronting 500 Questions, which will air nightly on the channel from next week (beg22Aug16), and told the Radio Times magazine he was slightly surprised by how much contestants were vying to win.

"I was talking to ITV and they said to me that after the credit crunch and the recession, viewers weren’t interested in seeing people win £1 million," he said.

"It didn’t sound convincing to me - but this is what I was told. And they research these things very heavily."

The state of the British economy has had a dramatic effect on television game shows, with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant revealing in 2013 that the contestants on his programme were less willing to gamble with money following the recession.

"We sat back and went, ‘That was weird, what happened there?’," he explained. "And somebody said, ‘It’s the recession, it’s like you can’t afford now to risk’.”

It remains to be seen how popular 500 Questions proves with viewers, with bosses no doubt hoping it will emulate the success of ITV series The Chase and BBC's Pointless.

But one thing they don't have to worry about is the presenting skills of their host, with Giles admitting he wasn't at all nervous before filming the first episode.

"The day before I started filming, my wife asked me if I was nervous and I said ‘no’," he said. "That’s the thing, I’m a psycho. My wife genuinely thinks I’m slightly psychotic.

"You put me in front of 500 people to host this show and it’s not remotely scary at all. I think that’s because I have a screw loose!"

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