Anorak | Good Riddance To Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? A Pointless Spectacle Of Greed

Good Riddance To Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? A Pointless Spectacle Of Greed

by | 1st, November 2013


FIFTEEN years ago and it seems much, much longer than that –  Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? first aired on our screens. And now, it is set to end following Chris Tarrant’s decision to leave the show.

He said: “It’s been a huge part of my life for fifteen years and I’ve loved every minute of it, but it is time for me to move on from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It’s been the most remarkable journey and I consider myself very fortunate to have been associated with Millionaire from its inception.”

And good riddance.

Why? Well, while it has had its highlights –  Judith Keppel winning a million in November 2000 and Charles Ingram blinking and coughing himself out of his jackpot and getting a suspended sentence instead for the most part, Millionaire has been a blight on television.

This may seem a bit strong, but listen: Millionaire almost killed off any semblance of fun in the televised quiz show.

This show changed television and light entertainment forever. Before it, TV was on your side. Hosts and producers wanted to help the general public who weren’t used to being on the box, before an audience or under the spotlight. It put an arm around you and said, c’mon, all this is ridiculous what have you got to worry about?

Then, with low rumbling synthesizers, interrogation lighting and the threat of how much money you stood to lose, forcing you into being greedy, Millionaire came along and trampled on the good times.

Sure, it was campy fun for a while, but the format soon spread like wildfire. The Million Pound Drop and others like it entered the fray, dangling huge sums of money in front of poor people and egging them on, not to win, but to lose as much as possible. TV whispered ‘go on.. gamble… go on… gamble…’ over and over until the dizzying amounts of money became conceptual. £50,000? That’s not enough! We’re just one question away from MORE!

Gone were

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Posted: 1st, November 2013 | In: TV & Radio Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink