Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (TV Series 1998– ) Poster

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It is a 50/50 show
mm-394 November 2004
When visiting my grandmother my wife and I watch this show! My wife and grandmother find the show intriguing . Myself, I get bored half way through the show. All the um's and the contestant talking to himself becomes tedious. Just make a decision already! Like Homer says boring! I like the faster paced contestants, who stick with a decision. At least the viewers would not have to wait until tomorrow to see the results. The final sound to signify the end has to be redone. It has got to be the most annoying sound. Do they do that on purpose? the first questions are so easy and anyone that uses a life line on those questions should not even be on the show. My wife gets so mad when they do that. My grandmother can hardly wait to see the next winner. It is like a soap opera for her. 6 or 7/10
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Used To Be Essential Viewing
Theo Robertson9 December 2002
When WWTBAM was first broadcast in Britian it was the main talking point in the country . What a brilliant but simple idea for a TV quiz , answer 15 consecutive multiple choice questions with the difficulty in questions going up alongside the money . The nation started copying Chris Tarrant`s catchphrases: " Phone a friend , 50-50 " etc and what a quiz master Tarrant was as he continually put the contestants off :

Nervous contestant : I think it`s B Chris . I`ll play . B

Tarrant : You sure ? You`ll lose 15, 000 pound if you`re wrong . You`ve still got two lifelines left . 15,000 pound . You`ll loose that . Two lifelines you can use them if you want

Then the nervous contestant would waste his last two life lines

Tarrant : Final answer ? The correct answer is B . So you were right all along

Cut to nervous contestant who`s just realised Tarrant has cost him his last two lifelines .

Yeah this was a great show as was its format of being on 8 consecutive nights then off air for about 6 weeks then on for another 8 consecutive nights but then ITV decided to put on 3 times a week from late Summer to late Spring WWTBAM never seemed to off the screens which meant a lot of people including myself became very fed up with it . The producers vainly tried to spice it up with charity editions and couples editions before switching to showing only one episode a week , but too late they`d milked the idea for what it was worth and that`s what killed the show along with Tarrant spending too much time talking to the contestants and it`s only a matter of time before it`s cancelled for good

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A good formula but they killed the goose that laid the golden eggs
bob the moo10 July 2004
From a group of ten contestants, the quickest to answer a simple question is selected to come to the middle of the studio and play for a million pounds. Starting off with a question worth £100 the money doubles (more or less) with each question – but they also get progressively harder and harder. If the contestant gets a question wrong he drops back down to either £1000 or £32000, depending on which he has passed, however to help him he can select 50/50 (two of the four answers disappear), ask the audience (the audience chose the answer for him in percentage terms) or phone a friend (the contestant can ring someone to ask him the question). As if that wasn't tense enough, Chris Tarrant never lets it lie for a second.

I'm not a big fan of this show because, like many viewers I just saw it too many times. However, at its peak it was the show everyone wanted to be on and was the one everyone watched. The questions start with the obvious and build to the increasingly more difficult and the TV audience generally start out going 'well durr' before then entering the stage where they shout the right answer at the telly and then eventually taking guesses and muttering 'don't risk it, don't risk it' like some sort of mantra under their breath. It makes for riveting viewing even if the first 4 or 5 questions are always pretty dull. The formula is simple but the UK presenter Chris Tarrant is responsible for making it as successful as it was.

Tarrant may be a little smug for my personal tastes but here he found a vehicle that he could use his smarmy character to good effect. 'Are you sure' he repeatedly asks with a rather self-satisfied smirk on his face while the contestants suddenly suffer a crises of confidence and the audience holds its breath. Combined with the atmospheric music, low lighting and the constant heartbeat effect it made it an enjoyably tense quiz show even if it was hardly anything like Mastermind in terms of intellect. However, when ITV found they had a hit on their hands they made the decision to ride it as hard as they possibly could and in fairness I suppose that this was the best decision in the short term. It would be off for a few months while people rang in and sponsors jockeyed for position and then it would be everywhere for a few months – on almost every night of the week, on several times a day at Christmas time etc and this continued for quite a while. But then viewers started to get too used to the formula and turned off. ITV countered with the twists of couples taking part, celebrities, father/son etc but eventually they dropped it down into a teatime slot and now it appears to occasionally turn up on a Saturday afternoon (but I think it is all repeats). I can understand why ITV did this – it gave them a sudden massive boost in the ratings, they were selling advertising space for as high a price as they could and it looked like it would never end – and then it did.

Overall this is not a great quiz show. The questions are not so hard that most people with a good general knowledge couldn't get to £32k without too much stress and really it is only the atmosphere created by the music, lighting and the host that really made this as successful as it was. It was easy to veg in front of this show and think 'I could do that' and also enjoy seeing people get stressed and a) risk it all and win, b) risk it all and lose, c) just take the money or d) cheat and get taken to court! Fun but basically killed off by ITV chasing as much cash as it could get as quickly as possible.
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In the end, too much of a good thing.
tjhyb113 November 2014
Without doubt one of the greatest quiz shows of all time unfortunately ultimately spoilt by a combination of over-exposure, ITV's obsession with celebrity versions of every game show they have, and constant fiddling with the format in the final years. First reducing the number of questions from 15 to 12 smacked of dumbing down. Changing the amounts to win made some of the steps drastically uneven. Dumping the Fastest Finger Round in favour of off-screen auditions because it was thought older people were at a disadvantage robbed the show of the chance selection of contestant. Then finally, and in total contradiction to the earlier change, the introduction of time limits in the very next series which, more than any Fastest Finger, penalised the older contestants. In the end, it was these "improvements" and Chris Tarrant's increasingly irritating habits - the sharp intake of breath seemingly after every sentence, the repetitive "jokes" about people looking "frightened to death" - which killed the show off. That, and the suspicion that some contestants may not have been selected entirely at random as claimed. With the benefit of re-runs on "Challenge", it's surprising how many "randomly selected" contestants were veterans of other quiz shows. If you're not convinced, ask yourself how it was Charles Ingram followed not only his wife and brother-in-law into the hot seat but how he and his wife had featured in a married couples' special some months earlier. Maybe a change of host and a return to the old format would have been advisable. Who knows? Can I 'phone a friend?
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One of the few programmes worth watching on Saturday evenings
chris_gaskin1237 February 2005
I have watched Who Wants To Be a Millionaire since it first started in 1998 and is now usually shown only on Saturday evenings and is one of the very few things worth watching on Saturdays. The problem is that it usually clashes with the only decent Saturday evening programme, Casualty. What I normally do is set the video for Millionaire and watch it another evening.

Chris Tarrent has hosted it from the start and his catchphrases like "We don't want to give that" have become very well known.

Four people have won £1 million since it started and no doubt there will be more millionaires in the future.
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An excellent quiz show
Atreyu_II12 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" is arguably the best TV game show ever. It's simple, very interesting, quite entertaining and always pleasant to watch. But what really makes this so distinguish from other game shows is that it is all about culture. The aim of all those questions isn't just to offer unbelievable cash prizes, they also teach us many things.

Another reason why this is my favorite quiz show is because, when I don't know the answers to the questions, I can "take risks" and try to guess the answer. Sometimes my choice is correct, sometimes it isn't. I might not win anything, but I've also got nothing to lose. Life is a game, you know? C'est la vie!

There is no limit time to answer the questions. Contestants are given the chance to think for a while and make decisions. They can try to guess a question and take a risk (with lots of suspense before knowing if the answer is right or wrong), they may chose not to try and give up (and receive their cheque) and they can use 3 helps: Fifty-Fifty (50/50) (the computer eliminates two of the incorrect answers, making things easier); Ask the Audience (the contestant asks the studio audience which answer they think is correct and their votes appear on the contestant's and host's screens); Phone-A-Friend (to phone somebody who might know the answer to a question).

I don't agree with some of the game's rules. For example, I think it's unfair that, before reaching the next level, if a contestant fails the answer he/she loses all the money won and only wins a certain sum. The best part of the questionnaires are when a certain sum of cash is guaranteed.

I appreciate the way how the host makes the contestants feel more comfortable in public and in front of cameras and lights, so that they feel less nervous (by talking a lot and saying some jokes and laughing). This is a great challenge. Contestants must answer correctly 15 multiple-choice questions of increasing difficulty to win the maximum prize in cash.

Overall, a brilliant quiz show. Definitely great, interesting, original and one that everybody should watch.
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Ruined by its very annoying presenter
DavidYZ25 April 2017
This is a good idea for a quiz show format, but it was a big mistake having Chris Tarrant as its presenter. He's at his worst here: very annoying and smug. He wastes a lot of time asking the contestants irrelevant things about their personal lives. When the actual quiz questions start, the first few are ridiculously easy. After those pointless starter questions, Tarrant often takes a ridiculously long time between the contestant giving his/her answer and revealing the answer.

Another problem is the lifelines. 50:50 just reduces the risk of being knocked out from 3 in 4 to 1 in 2. Ask the audience is only useful early on, because most of them have a severe lack of general knowledge. It's common for the majority of the audience to choose the wrong answer during that lifeline.
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This Show Needs No Introduction
Big Movie Fan3 May 2003
I'm not going to talk about what the rules are for this show. Everyone knows it's about answering fifteen questions correctly to win £1,000,000.

This has been going in the UK since 1998 and it has spread all over the world. It is presented by the charismatic Chris Tarrant who has a great rapport with the contestants and provides plenty of entertainment. There have been some wonderful contestants over time. Some of them have been reckless gamblers, some of them have been cautious and some of them have just been damn strange.

I like the show because it's not easy. People really have to work for their money. The first few questions are easy but after, that, they are really hard.

There's several puzzling things about the show though. Why are the audience so stupid when a contestant 'Asks The Audience?' Why does 50/50 always leave the least obvious answers? And, why when Chris Tarrant phones the contestants friend, is the phone never engaged?

It is now 2003 and the show has been running for nearly five years. And it's set to get bigger thanks to the notorious 'Millionaire Fraud Trial' where British Army Major Charles Ingram, his wife and another contestant were found by a jury to be guilty of cheating to get to the million. Whether they did cheat or not will be debated for years to come? What we can be certain of is that the publicity arising from the trial will ensure Millionaire's continued success for years.
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You've still got your 50/50 and your phone-a-friend! hehe
sixstringscouser7 September 2001
This was a good show. It started off and for like the next 6 months it ROCKED! But, unfortunately ITV obviously milked this show too much by putting it on too often! The show became very monotonus and predictable (stand up Chris Tarrant! lol) My theory is that ITV should have sheduled this show at like once a week (maybe on a Saturday!) then people like me wouldn't have got so bored with it so easily. Shame. 8/10
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The greatest show on earth !
Knoxy30 September 1999
I watched this show from about it's third episode and from then on I've been transfixed. Of course now its gone on to America where it will probably become most famous but it started right here in the UK where its still the best, in the US the questions are far too easy. The worlds greatest game show ever !
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Who Wants to Be a Millionnaire
jboothmillard28 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
They have done many specials, e.g. twins, mums and dads with their kids, and celebrities for charity, but most of the time, I like the original award winning game show. There is no-one in this country, or the world, who doesn't already know the answer to the question given in the title. Chris Tarrant has presented since 1998, and it is still going strong. So far there have been four known Millionnaire winners with the £1,000,000 jackpot. Three of these are the first winner Judith Keppel, the obvious fraudster Charles Ingrim with his coughing friend, and old father Ingram Wilcox. I doubt this is going to end for a couple more years, because there are still so many Brits, and people in the world wide show who still want to answer yes to the question and play the game. Chris Tarrant was number 38 on TV's 50 Greatest Stars, the Christmas Special was number 69 on The 100 Greatest Christmas Moments, and the programme was number 16 on ITV: 50 Greatest Shows. Very good!
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Good Game Show but showing its age
Izak8616 January 2008
'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' was totally revolutionary when it first aired in September 1998. The opportunity for someone to become a millionaire by just answering 15 questions was really exciting.

The show originally aired for roughly 10 consecutive nights but later changed to a Saturday night slot.

For the first few years, it was fresh and good to watch, answering the questions along with the contestants was also quite a challenge but as time went on, the show lost some of its character. Underneath the exterior that promotes the chance to win a £million, is basically a bong-standard quiz show. The idea for the show is great but it could seriously do with a complete overall to last another ten years.

Other quiz shows such as 'Blockbusters' and 'Weakest Link' are more competitive and are more exciting to watch.
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