Welcome to donduk. A refuge for those who enjoy Deal or No Deal, the hit Channel 4 gameshow hosted by Noel Edmonds. The award winning gameshow Deal or No Deal has become a big hit for Channel 4 and marks a sensational return to our screens of Noel Edmonds.

Deal or No Deal is enjoyed my millions of viewers daily, where the contestants battle with The Banker to try and win a jackpot of £250,000. Here at donduk you will find full daily reports of each show, as well Deal or No Deal news and specials. Deal or No Deal although initially appearing very simple in format of just opening a few boxes for the chance to win some big money prizes, actually has some potentially complex decisions to be made at points throughout the show, the contestants occasionally try complex or simple gameplay in an attempt to give them an edge in beating the Banker.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Controversy alert!

I realise I might ruffle a few feathers here, so I'll keep it short(ish).

First of all, I'm a big fan of the game (I wouldn't be contributing to this blog if I weren't.) Secondly I've nothing against Hilary and her win on Friday - she took a very brave/foolish decision, and came out ahead - brava!

That said, I'm very very suspicious about the end of Hilary's game. Why? Quite simply, she wasn't offered a swap. And not only that, Noel didn't even get any mileage out of waiting for the phone to ring to see if the offer to do so was coming.

Seeing as the game famously "squeezes a 15-minute game into 45 minutes", even if The Banker didn't offer a swap (though he nearly always does when it gets down to the last 2 boxes - can you remember the last time he didn't?) Noel would never lose the opportunity to wring out the last drops of suspense out of this game...

The Conspiracy Theorist in me says that it had been a particularly bad week for the game, and Endemol didn't want to see yet another player go home with a pittance, so a quick word with the Independent Adjudicator later, Noel gets a message in his earpiece to open Hilary's box sharpish and not give her the chance to blow it... OK, maybe they were running out of time, and maybe an offer to swap was edited out in post-production, but my faith in the game has been genuinely shaken...

If I've any kind of serious point to make here, it's the old chestnut about why anyone (i.e. the "Independent Adjudicator") needs to know in advance what amounts are in each box? Surely a monitored "triple-blind" system would be best e.g. the closed boxes arranged at random, then the 1-22 numbers attached at random, then allocated to the players at random. This would eliminate even the remotest possibility of game manipulation.

I'll be back with my weekly round-up shortly, just needed to get that off my chest...


Hywel said...

The reason the Indipendant Adjudicator needs to know what's in the boxes is that's the only way of assuring that no one's manipulated the game somehow between the box chosing and the start of recording.

In some versions of the show in some countries, they make a point of showing the adjusicator in the audience making notes as the show goes on.

As to the end of the show - I'm sure I've seen several shows skip the last offer/box swap. I've been puzzled by this but concluded that either it was lost in the edit or it was a foregone conclusion what would happen. Still puzzling though...

Jonno said...

Excellent thinking Adie... I was wondering why she'd not been offered a swap - and had also come to the conclusion that they had needed a big win for a long time.. but I hadn't put the two things together!

Like you, I'm a huge fan of the show, but certain things are ringing increasingly hollow. Did it strike other viewers as weird hearing Noel explain to Massimo, as the "outtake" started, that what was about to be done was because of "honesty", yet the rest of the programme was recorded as though nothing had happened, the incident never subsequently referred to?

These kinds of things would grate less were viewers not faced daily with the contestants' "shock" act, on hearing that they've been picked to play that day. We all now understand, just from watching the show, that they're told in advance, family members are brought in, strategies are discussed with other players the previous evening, and so on.

Since the game is more down to luck, and less down to control by producers, would it not make sense to maintain a more genuinely open approach to playing the game, and keep the theatrics stripped down to the wonderfully histrionic performances of Noel and the Banker?

Anonymous said...

I thought that too.

Other games I can think of where the swap hasn't been offered:

James (on a £10/£100 decision, so it hardly mattered)
Vanessa (on a £500/£20,000 decision, but the other box was held by Aileen, who had had a load of high numbers, so not offering the swap was logical)
Barbara (on a £1/£10 decision, which Noel got out of the way quickly so as not to prolong her upset)
Matt (on a £15,000/£35,000 decision, where apparently Matt said before the phone rang that he didn't want a swap, but this was edited out)
Janet (on a £1/£5 decision, which was done quickly in the same way as Barbara's)

Mister Al said...

I can remember a few times when the swap wasn't offered. Neither £1 Barbara nor £1 Janet were offered one, nor (from memory) Lucy. And let's not forget Vanessa's game at the start of February, who avoided Aileen's box like the plague (Aileen was the original 'black widow' and Vanessa was convinced her box contained a biggie). Was Vanessa given the chance to swap for what she thought was a bigger amount? Nope. (Good thing too, as it turned out. Vanessa won £20k.)

With such large sums of money at stake, surely it's much safer for both player and producers to have an independent auditor overseeing the whole process? If there were any hint of amounts being swapped within boxes, or any sleight-of-hand whatsoever (very difficult I know, but people can become very resourseful if £250k is up for grabs), then somebody needs to know where those amounts were originally in order that they can perform a fair investigation.

Aaron said...

jonno - you're wrong about the shock bit; players genuinely do not know when they will play; family members can be in the audience for days or weeks. Lucy's parents must have seen around 20 shows but missed her big day. That said most players are aware of roughly when their time is up (18-26 shows or thereabouts).

I expect what happened in Massimo's case was that they recorded the rest of the show without referring to the incident since they weren't yet sure whether or not they would keep that in the edit - though it was common sense to do so since obviously what happened could hardly be kept under wraps. Appparently there was a break of around an hour before the game began again.

The swap is unsatisfactory, I agree, and the lack of swaps for Hilary and Gaz (especially after Tom's comment on Gaz's show) does seem suspicious. It is possible that, like Matt, they made clear they didn't want one. By the way, Lucy was offered a swap; they edited out her asking for (and getting) a sweep as to whether or not she should! If this trend (no swap = big win) continues then players who are offered the swap may be more tempted to take it...

Anonymous said...

She was offered a swap - it was edited out

Anonymous said...

I saw both this game and Gaz's game and can tell you that both were offered and refused the swap. Stop being suspicious and enjoy!!