Michael McIntyre’s wheel keeps spinning

Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel
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(BBC One, 8pm)

Saturday night game shows can be risky business.

Done right, they are almost guaranteed bumper viewing figures, but done wrong, and it can be terrible TV that sinks without a trace.

Michael McIntyreMichael McIntyre
Michael McIntyre

For every Generation Game there’s a Red or Black? and for every Blankety Blank there’s a Don’t Scare The Hare. Kudos then to Michael McIntyre and the people behind The Wheel who appeared to have found the right balance of family friendly comedy, testing quiz questions and star guests, all brought together by a likeable host.

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As The Wheel was able to incorporate social distancing when it debuted in 2020, it was the perfect show for lockdown and McIntyre had another a hit on his hands.

“I am thrilled by the success of The Wheel,” he said when the second run was commissioned. The series was so much fun to host and I love how the gameplay in every show was so different but always entertaining and suspenseful. And having socially distanced strangers sing The Wheel to me on my daily walk has been the unexpected.”

The show returns tonight, and spinning around on the wheel are singer Michael Ball, comedian Tom Allen, singing sensation Lulu, rugby player Joe Marler, EastEnder Maisie Smith, presenter Anita Rani and antiques expert Raj Bisram.

They will all be hoping to help the contestants win a large sum of money, and if you haven’t managed to catch the show yet, here’s how it works:

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Seven celebrities are strapped to the circumference of the giant wheel. Each star has brought one area of expertise to the show – and it is on these areas that the contestants must answer questions.

Meanwhile, the contestants are underneath The Wheel, on another smaller wheel. That is spun, and whichever contestant is randomly selected, rises up on their chair, to take their place and begin the game.

The contestant at The Wheel is in control – if they can stay there until the end of the show then they could win a life-changing sum of money.

However, one wrong answer or spin and they’ll be back down, and they might never return.

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The contestant chooses a category they want to take on, and with the help of one of the celebrities, they answer a question on it.

If they gets it right, they add money to the prize pot and stay in the centre of The Wheel.

But if they get it wrong, they are sent straight back down and we may never see them again.

Once all seven categories have been completed, whichever contestant is in control of The Wheel faces one final question to try and take home a huge sum of money.

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They have just 30 seconds to discuss the question with their chosen celebrity expert, before they lock in their answer.

If they answer correctly, they will take home the cash.

Get it wrong, and they’re off The Wheel, opening the door to one of the other players.

We did say it can be a dangerous game, this Saturday night TV.

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