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.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

James won £500

Its Sunday night, I am having to watch DOND's repeat on More4 as I missed the original screening yesterday - Channel 4 please stop mucking around with Saturday's slot for DOND!

Anyway, here we are, Noel is wearing a Bordeaux red velvet evening jacket, or maybe its from Butlins? Tonight it was James taking the 'walk of wealth'. Another very popular contestant amongst his peers, he reminded me of the gangly kid from Eastenders who couldn't dance and yet got to the finals because all the ladies wanted to mother him. James Thirkettle, a training consultant, aged 25 but he looked 13. He had been in banking for five years before taking up his current role. His wife of six months - Claire - was in the audience. I often wonder if the contestants go through make-up before the show, however it was clear from James' complexion that he was wearing very little; his face was already flushed - reddened checks and neck as he endured the opening banter with Noel.

Round one: Claire, box 4 - £50,000, Noel decided she had become the new 'black widow', but Claire replied, rather selfishly I thought, 'If I am still the black widow when I am sitting up there then I'm not bothered'. Noel also noted that the left side of the West wing seemed to be where most of the reds are stored. Pat opened box 22, and everyone had a chance to cheer - 1p. Tan, the new guy, was seriously living up to his name, he opened box 7 - £3000. Dot had box 16 - £10. James adams-apple was prominent and jumping, only one more to go for the round. He settled on Dave W (formerly known as smiler) with box 21 - £250,000 - the audience groaned, James' wife bit her nails. Dave W had drawn the big one four times in the last 8 games, maybe he should be renamed 'grim reeper'. James had selected Dave W precisely because the odds of him having another £250,000 were so low. A brief pause in James progress, but he was soon focused on the £100,000 and prepared himself for the banker's first call. The banker's offer was £1,100, James thought this was 'alright', but who would accept that at the end of round one, even if he had selected the entire power five? 'No deal', a formality.

Round two: Massimo started the round, box 5 - 50p. Next box 14 from Dave E. 'Why?' said Noel asking about James' choice of box. 'Why not!' replied James. But there was a reason why not, it was £20,000. James then went for Richard. Noel doubled checked the choice after the break. 'Always positive' said James, and then the lid was lifted on box 11 to reveal £100. James had a photo of himself with his sister when they were very young, 'a time when decisions didn't matter', said the old head on young shoulders. The banker suggested this player could be a 'baby-faced assasin', so his offer was interesting - £8000. Contestants were asked for a single word to describe the offer: Richard - 'good', Raj - 'average', Pat - 'minging'. James' eyes widened - 'Minging?', he repeated in disbelief, and Pat looked horrified. She didn't know what the word meant and so she corrected herself and replaced the word with 'generous' - you've got to love Pat. James was not really thinking about the offer, no-one left at the end of round two - No deal'

Round three: Hilary box 19 - £100,000. I can imagine that when it becomes Hilary's turn, the banker will use the term 'minx' again. Hilary was another woman with a bright glint in her eye. Noel seemed to know something, he went to her. 'You don't smile much do you?' She looked at him nonchalantly, 'I smile when I have good reason'. Noel was digging, 'When was the last time you smiled? Hilary laughed at his question (or perhaps a memory) - 'I am not telling you on national TV', she was laughing. James selected Gaz, box 12 - £750. Sarah was next. An 'ooo' was heard from one member of the audience, it was Sarah's mum - 'awwww'. Eventually she opened box 1 - £1. The banker gave James a message 'take this offer', he then offered £5000. Noel asked wife Claire what he should do, 'its up to him', was the reply - good for her. James was then asked and immediately said 'No deal'. The banker phoned back, he was not happy that James did not give his offer more thought - in puerile tone he wished James would leave with 10p.

Round four: Simon (still not smiling), box 17 - £250 , Raj (competing with Tan for tan) box 10 - 10p, this was looking much better. James went for 'poet' Morris with box 6 '...dumb-de-dumb-de-dumb, lets have another blue in box number 6', but it was £75,000 - almost a reflection on how bad the poetry was, I mean we are getting close to Vogon here. The offer was £3000. 'That was a fair offer', said James, he asked Simon for his view. Now this was the first time I could recollect hearing from Simon, he spoke with an air of authority, like a banker or management consultant (my advice is always to do the opposite of whatever they say). Simon felt that it was 'a very tricky board', but advised him to continue. James was serious now, his face scarlet, the advice from an older, authorative figure perhaps pushing him on - 'No deal.

Round five: James went for a quickie. Emma B (now that is a thought), box 15 - £50. Francesca box 20 - £10,000. Patrick, box 2 - £1000. The banker then asked to speak to the player. James held the receiver and listened for a couple of seconds before bursting into laughter - 'sounds like a dirty phone call'. This was probably a mistake; James was in no position to upset the banker. The offer was £6000 which was almost half of the average left on the board. Emma B advised to 'Deal again' - she meant go on, but it could have been interpreted the other way, ah the newbies. And why was James taking advice exclusively from one of the newest members of the contestants pool at such an important stage of the game? Maybe he felt that he should not have allowed himself to be swayed by Simon at the end of the last round. He was thinking this time, but he couldn't take his eyes of the £35,000 - 'No Deal'.

Round six: Susie opened box 13 - £15,000 - this was now a one box game. Emma D next with box 18 - £5, the fifth time she had done that. Fingers crossed through the studio, lots of hope, expectation even, James needed to find a blue, he needed to avoid the £35,000. He scanned the wings, veins pulsing, his face a glowing, smiling, beckon of red. Standing up in his chair he went for Max and box 8. The lid opened and the luck, what there was of it, seemed to ebb away - £35,000. James slumped back. An air of resignation filled the space, Noel's face expressing a pain which one might expect to be painted on after 100 shows, but it seemed real enough to me. The offer was £2000. James seemed to have made his mind up before knowing the offer - 'No Deal'. The smile had been swallowed. The phone rang again - 'I don't want it', James repeated. The banker perseveered, offering the swap, and James stated that he had long since decided he would never do that - Noel wasted no more time, opening the box as James looked on in shock - it was £500. Sandy had £5000 in box 3.

Finally James reflected on his time as a contestant, and described meeting so many people from so many backgrounds as the big win. Poor James, he played bravely, but the numbers were not going with him and the banker's offers kept driving him on. Perhaps he should have dealt at the end of round five, but the average at that point was over £11,000, so the offer was low. In the same circumstances I would have reacted in the same way...I hope.

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