Tom Allen’s Quizness is a real laugh a minute

Friday: Tom Allen’s Quizness; (Channel 4, 8pm)
Tom AllenTom Allen
Tom Allen

It’s easy to forget that Tom Allen is first and foremost a comedian.

The Bromley-born entertainer, who turns 38 next month, won the So You Think You’re Funny contest as well as the BBC New Comedy Award in 2005.

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Then, for the next decade he plied his trade on the stand-up circuit, supporting Sarah Millican, Josh Widdicombe, Romesh Ranganathan and Michael McIntyre on their tours, and making a splash at the Edinburgh Fringe with his shows Indeed and Absolutely, before embarking on his first solo tour in 2017 and 2018.

However, over the past few years, Tom has branched out to become a seemingly omnipresent figure on some of the nation’s biggest TV shows.

He’s appeared on the likes of, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice, Bake Off: The Professionals, Live at the Apollo, The Dog Ate My Homework, The Crystal Maze, Mock the Week, Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Little Brother, Ready or Not, The Apprentice: You’re Fired!, Hypothetical, Richard Osman’s House of Games, QI, Celebrity Catchphrase, Tipping Point: Lucky Stars, Dating No Filter, There’s Something About Movies, One Night In… Hamleys, and Tom Allen Goes To Town.

You could say his career move has paid off then, especially during the pandemic, and some viewers may go as far to say that he’s hardly been off our screens.

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Tom’s TV takeover shows no sign of abating just yet, and tonight he is back on the box hosting Quizness – Channel 4’s new Friday night series.

“I’m so excited to be doing this quiz show,” he says. “I grew up loving Larry Grayson and Bruce Forsyth and I love a show that tests the players abilities and their ability to answer a complicated question. I think audiences will love how this one challenges people’s knowledge to be bright and then translate their answers in a bizarre way for the sake of the game. I mean it’s hilarious and so much fun. The whole family will love it!”

Quizness sees members of the public playing for the chance to win £25,000, but the more answers our quizzers know, the dafter they are required to look to prove it.

“Contestants’ general knowledge is put to the test as they play for the chance to win £25,000,” the producers explain. “But the more answers our quizzers know, the dafter they must look to prove it. The show is an entertaining twist on TV quiz shows with rounds including Subbly Jubbly, in which contestants must substitute nonsense words into the correct answers. There’s also a unique and surprisingly difficult quick-fire round in which nearly every question has the same answer, and a multiple choice round which tests the quizzers’ speed of thought when they must answer a different question to the one they’ve actually been asked.”

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In the first episode, Fiona, George, Rosa and Paddy fight it out, facing tricky questions on subjects including egg fried rice and Katie Price.

Allen must surely be making a fair packet from his recent plethora of TV appearances – he has to pay for those smart suits somehow.

And for the next six weeks, the man who is obviously adept at making career and business decisions, will be taking care of Quizness.

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