More fun and games with In for a Penny
Saturday: In for a Penny; (ITV, 7pm)
Their latest run of Saturday Night Takeaway proved, once again, that Ant and Dec are the undisputed kings of weekend telly.
Sadly for its millions of fans, that ended a fortnight ago, and the popular show has been replaced in the schedules by Vernon Kay’s Game of Talents.
But if that has failed to capture your imagination, fear not because one of Ant and Dec’s old pals is back on the telly tonight.
Stephen Mulhern returns with a new series of his silly game show In for a Penny, with the likeable host heading onto the streets of Sheffield to set members of the public more silly and unusual challenges.
Mulhern’s showbiz career kicked off when his father began teaching him magic tricks before bedtime. His enthusiasm led to him becoming the youngest member of The Magic Circle, and he went on to win The Big Big Talent Show, which bagged him a spot at the Royal Variety Performance.
His presenting career kicked off when he fronted Saturday Showdown on CITV alongside Holly Willoughby, as well as Finger Tips with Fearne Cotton, and magic show Tricky TV. Then, in 2010, he moved away from children’s television, hosting Dancing On Ice spin-off show Defrosted, making frequent appearances on This Morning, and bagging a gig hosting Catchphrase.
This led to his spot on BGT spin-off Britain’s Got More Talent, where he built up a friendship with Ant and Dec.
Stephen, who turned 44 over Easter, now presents The Big Quiz, as well as stunts and features on Saturday Night Takeaway, and his own celebrity game show Rolling In It (which is returning for a new series at some point in 2021).
However, arguably his biggest success has been In for a Penny, the half-hour long game show, which begin life as a segment on Takeaway.
For those who haven’t seen it before, the programme consists of a number of different games, giving members of the public the chance to win cash prizes. They include Pump It Up, in which Stephen challenges drivers to dispense exactly the correct amount fuel into their vehicles, and Mum’s The Word, when people are asked to call their mum and describe a word without saying it.
In Check It Out, the host gets supermarket shoppers to guess whether one item is more or less expensive than the last, and Weigh To Go is a challenge involving suitcase scales at airport check-in desks.
Finally, In for a Penny, In for a Grand is the show’s finale and sees Stephen get contestants to take part in five rounds with £1,000 up for grabs.
Of course, it’s not all about the games and prizes, and Stephen will be sharpening his trademark banter and innuendo skills to use on the residents of the South Yorkshire Steel City tonight.
“It’s a show that all the family can watch,” he explains. “If you like having a good laugh then you’re going to love it. We play games throughout the show with members of the public and anybody can play as long as you’ve got a penny. They’re just fun games and at the end you can win a £1,000 on the spot. None of the contestants are cast, we literally hit them on the spot so you never know what you’re going to get. I didn’t realise what people would do for £1,000 – but you’re soon going to find out.”
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