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, July 23, 2006

The Last Round-Up: Season 1 By The Numbers

Well, that’s it for the first season of DOND – 234 games, and we’ve sweated over nearly all of them… The Banker, meanie or not, has given away well over £3,000,000, and I thought it might be worth having a quick run-down of how the season panned out now the dust has settled…

Top 5 Winners
1) Jennifer (18th November) - £120,000
2) Gaz (2nd May) - £100,000
=3) Germaine (7th March) – £75,000
=3) Kirsty (4th April) - £75,000
5) Brenda (9th February) - £57,000

The 7 Members of “The 1p Club”
Nick (3rd January)
Trevor (1st March)
Fadil (14th April)
Dave E (25th April)
Sally (14th July)
Connell (17th July)
Giorgio (22nd July)

Number of players who “Beat The Banker” (defined as winning more money than The Banker’s highest offer): 11 (just 5%)

Number of players who “Beat The Box” (defined as accepting The Banker’s highest offer, which also turned out to be higher than their Box value): 70 (30%)

Average Win: £16,004
Average Highest Offer: £26,329
Average Value of Contestant’s Box: £20,399

Number of times £250,000 was in the Contestant’s Box: 8
Number of times 1p was in the Contestant’s Box: 9
Most “popular” Box: £1 and £10 (16 times each)
Least “popular” Box: £75,000 (6 times only)
(NB statistically each number should have come up 10.6 times)

So can we learn anything from all this? Well, most players go too far, and by the time they’ve realised it, they’re on a collision course to the endgame, where even the fact that statistically the last box is 25% higher in value than the average win makes no difference…

OK, that’s (probably) my lot for the summer, so just time to give a shout-out to my fellow reporters and contributors – Bal, Bairy, Chris, Georgia, Olivia, Randomthoughts, Steve, Toby, and of course to all of the players, especially those who have joined in!

Finally I naturally have to include Grand Poobahs Iain and Sue. Good work guys, it’s (been) a pleasure to be in your company – sorry this looks like it’s coming to an end for you, but keep in touch and well done on getting this all started.

Happy Summer to you all and “No Deal!”

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Giorgio's Game Report

This was the final show of the first season, Noel recommended sky-diving for the excitement, lion-taming for the drama, and laxatives for the ‘other thing’. You’ll miss us won’t you? The audience said ‘yes’, but they sounded tired, and God knows Noel must be, I certainly am. [Please read to the bottom of this report for some important news!]

At the end of the series only the £250,000 has not been won – could today be the day? Probably not with those odds. Today’s player was Giorgio, with box 6. A very dapper retired member of the Carleone mafia family, complete with hat and moustache. From Assisi, Giorgio Fellucini (?), described himself as a lucky man (having recovered from a bout of confusion with Noel about being unlucky). ‘A little kid’ found out that Giorgio was playing and gave him a letter with the numbers to choose – this was what he was going to use. His fiancée was in the audience at times such as these I am reminded that our vocabulary is just not good enough – I mean people in their forties should not have girlfriends and boyfriends, and retired people should not have fiancés, and fiancées – there should be other words, more meaningful than ‘partners’, and less …youth-oriented. Anyway, back to the game.

[By the way, I have missed a few of the names below because I have not been able to watch the program recently and so when Noel has not announced them, and I have not been able to read their labels, they have had to remain nameless. If you know any of the missing, then please let me know, thanks.]

Round one: Khanny, box 1 - £15,000 – that’s alright’ in the voice of whatsamatternow Luigi. (?) box 3 - £5000. Sal, box 8 - £250. Lindsay, box 9 - £3000. Box 12 - £50,000. Giorgio suspected/hoped that the banker thought he was crackers – the banker agreed with this assessment. The banker left a gift for each of the contestants, a book mark with the words ‘ the next member of the 1p club’. The offer was £6800. Giorgio didn’t think twice – ‘no deal’.

Round two: Otis, box 5 - £100,000. Giorgio hadn’t a clue where he was, he just laughed and clapped. Steph, box 16 – 50p. Sarah, box 18 - £20,000. The board was already looking sparse on the red side, the music was down in the piano’s bass area. Noel thought it looked bad, ‘so what are you thinking?’ he asked. Giorgio looked back at him, ‘I dunno, give me a hint’. The banker’s offer was now £3400. Again Giorgio responded instantly – ‘No deal, Sir’, said with charm and a nod of his head.

Round three: Mark, box 17 – 10p. Sharon, box 7 - £250,000 – ‘oooo, it’s a biggun’, said Giorgio. Noel was astonished that despite month after month of this game, no-one was winning the big one. Matt, box 9 - £10,000. The board was down to three reds already, but the £75,000 was still there. Lance suggested in a very plumy voice, that this could still be a great game, he advised Giorgio not to pick his box – it was ‘spooky’. The banker’s offer was now £1700, immediately Giorgio said ‘only one thing to do – no deal’.

Round four: Sandra, box 19 - £10. Bill, box 22 - £500. Noel got the audience to start chanting ‘blue’, so signalling a break. Afterwards, Barbara opened box 4 - £75,000. Noel reflected that a run of destructive games was going to end the series. The board contained two reds against 6 blues, with only the £35,000 between Giorgio and oblivion. The offer now was £425, at no stage had Giorgio been given a decent offer – and again he needed no time to think about it – ‘no deal’.

Box 15 - £250. Box 21 - £5. Ashley, box 10 - £1000. A better round, giving renewed hope, but this was now a one box game, four blues against a single red. The offer now was £2500. This time Giorgio thought about the offer – and even when asked the question took his time – but he was a brave old man – ‘no deal’.

Round six: Paul, box 2 - £35,000. ‘That’s it, we have crashed’, said Noel, suddenly looking very pale. Lance, box 11 - £1 – nothing spooky about that Lance. Giorgio was no longer laughing. Helen, box 20 - £750. Giorgio could not smile, his eyes were scanning the floor and ceiling, the law of Omerta was strong in this Italian. The offer now was £25.

He didn’t want to be there anymore. The fates had taken a little, old, Italian man, and tortured him mercilessly. The banker offered the swap, Giorgio refused it, and Noel opened Giorgio’s box on 1p. This had been the banker’s best week ever, there were now seven people in the 1p club, and two of them joined this week. Noel referred to the book token, Giorgio took it from him, shrugged his shoulders and said ‘I shall frame it’.

So there it is, the last program of the first series had ended on the lowest note possible. The problem with Giorgio’s show was the feeling of inevitability that pervaded it - at no stage was Giorgio given an offer that made him think, it reminded me of Geordie’s game so many months ago – there really wasn’t a point where I felt Giorgio could do anything except continue.

You may have noticed that over the last few weeks, regular articles such as the top ten chart, have fallen further and further behind – this is because I am running out of bandwidth. Today’s report is likely to be the last game report that either Sue or I do, as work commitments have finally caught up with both of us. The blog has become extremely popular and we are very grateful to Adie, Bal, Bairy, Chris, Georgia, Olivia, Randomthoughts, Steve and Toby for their game reports, to all of the ex-players who have contributed, especially Pat, Gaz and Tan, to all of you who have sent in comments, and to the rest of you for taking the time to read it – a really big thank you to you all!

We intend to put the blog up for sale on E-bay (so it will hopefully continue when the new series starts) - proceeds from the sale will go to Cancer Research, so please let your friends know. I will post more details about this very soon.

In the meantime, from me (Iain) and Sue, have a great summer.

Giorgio won 1p

Friday, July 21, 2006

Naqiyah's Game

Todays speech is about how its been a bad week, how Chris the dealer found extra courage but still got beat by the banker and how it's his week.

Noel is wearing the dond cufflinks - could that be lucky?
He's also wearing a shirt that's had a 3 year old crayon'ing it. It's black with plant-like shapes on it.

Today's player is Naqiyah (female) with box 20. She's 22 with a degree in business & psychology. She tells the banker she could find him a job if he likes.
She'll split winnings in 3: 1/3rd of winnings to friends family. The others weren't specified.
She likes the number 7 and multiples of it.
Thankfully she seems calm. A welcome break after yesterday.

Round 1
She wants to keep Sal to the end cos she has 7. Will the first offer be a swap then?
  • Bill - Box 21 - £1
  • Mark - Box 1 - £100
  • Helen - Box 2 - £5,000
  • Ottis - Box 13 - £35,000
  • Georgio - Box ? - £250,000

Call: Banker picks up on her business & psychology. He has a fondness for Naqiyah. Accepts she may be a problem. He's picked up on her sister saying she's "extremely unlucky" and has fallen in love with her.
Offer: A swap. Who'd have thought it!
Naqiyah believes in fate & destiny. If she's likely to leave with lots she will.
Result: No Swap.

Round 2
  • Sarah - Box 22 - £500
  • Carny(?sp) - Box 19 - 1p
  • Adam - Box 3 - £100,000

She claims she's usually accurate when guessing the banker's offers.
Offer: £7,777
She repeated it to herself but had already decided.
Answer: No deal.

Round 3
  • Lance Box 10 50p
  • Maddie Box 12 £250
  • Ashley Box 17 £750

Call: Naqiyah would like to talk to the banker, he says yes. She comments how he sounds exactly like Lance. The banker tells Noel she's made a terrible mistake though no details were given.
Offer: £14,014 - I bet the folks at wikipedia love explaining these 'unusual' offers!
She seems to think about it though I think she's just padding time.
Answer: No deal.
Call (yup, again): She looks slightly concerned as the Banker tells Noel that she's made 2 really bad mistakes: not taking the swap and not taking the £14k which was "almost the mean". He's playing psychological games, clearly.

Round 4
  • Sandra - Box 9 - £75,000
  • Barbara - Box 5 - £3,000
  • Emi - Box 4 - £10

3 blues, 5 reds the highest being £50k.
Call: The banker is "worrying for her because he thinks she'll have to go to the end." She says "That's not worrying, that's the game." She's bright!
Offer: £4,949.
No real thought needed.
Answer: No deal.

Round 5
  • Nev - Box 6 - 10p
  • Paul - Box 16 - £10,000
  • Lindsay - Box 11 - £1,000

£5, £50, £15k, £20k, £50k. The mean is around 17k.
Call: Nothing really said.
Offer: £7,777
She states she's here to play the game and showing real determination. As Noel is asking the question...
Call: The banker calls back saying he was returning to offer 2, now he's returning to offer 3.
Offer: £14,014 - I was gonna say the £7k offer was really low considering what's left. Even the £14k seems quite low compared.
Another discussion and.... another
Call: The banker called just to say he's looking forward to hearing the answer, more mind games.
Answer: Deal!

She says she's happy and it's 7-8 months worth of work.

Round 6
  • Nick - Box 14 - £15,000
  • Sharron - Box 18 - £50,000
  • Steph - Box 8 - £50

Call: Nothing said
Offer: £4,949

In her box: £20k in box 20.
Box 7 which she didn't swap to and loved has the remaining £5.

Well, after yesterday's frankly annoying game, it was nice to have a quiet civilised one that just ran at it's own pace. The mind games were slightly amusing though that phone ringing so much wasn't. He rang back to offer the 14k after she talked up about playing the game, I'm not sure if he'd have done that anyway - given the board at the time I'd say he would have done therefore she came away with the best offer she'd had all game even if it was the second time she was offered it.
Tomorrow is the last game before summer break.

Naqiyah won £14,014

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Chris's game report

DOND trundles on and Noel reminds the loyal viewer of the disastrous week enjoyed by the week's three contestants. Just £350.01 has been given away so far. Nevertheless, it is time to welcome another player to the "loneliest chair in..." well, Bristol actually.

The Jerry Springer Show comes to DOND as Chris saunters down the catwalk with box 8, pausing only to shake her ample posterior at the West Wing, then the East Wing. She then wiggles said bottom at the audience, as the camera manages to catch a look of sheer horror on the face of a young, impressionable man. Christine Bailey is a part-time school cleaner from Knottingley, West Yorkshire. She has been standing in the West Wing for 24 shows and is determined to enjoy her moment in the sun by shrieking not just loudly, but really, incredibly loudly, through her show.

Noel asks Chris to describe her photographs. "Well Jerry," begins Chris, before remembering where she is. "I've been married to Ken for 27 years and these are my kids." The "kids" turn out to be very grown-up indeed, but they still live at home. Presumably they can't find houses with the required decibel level to seem like homes. Chris asks the audience to make some noise. The assembled masses fail to match her squawking loudness.

The audience will be clearly be a subsidiary part of this show: as with Jerry Springer's human menagerie, the main attraction is the approaching car crash on the stage. Chris manages to refrain from calling any of her fellow contestants anything which requires bleeping out, but even the most zealous anti-censorship campaigner would struggle to justify her attire. Noel's rather sober striped shirt pales into tastefulness compared with Chris's monstrous top which bears a garish, indeed loud, pattern.

Round One
  • Chris begins with Helen and box 12: £15,000.
  • Forgetting her place, Chris decides to welcome new player Barbara to the game. Noel is miffed - this is his job, after all! - but Barbara opens box 1 to reveal £50.
  • Noel makes himself comfortable next to a pretty young woman in the audience. Chris chooses Naqiyah and box 2: £35,000.
  • Sarah is next with box 7: £100,000. Two of the "Power Five" have been eliminated in the first round.
  • Chris finishes off the first round with Khanny and box 11. I inadvertently re-named Khanny as Khalid last week as there was no close-up on him: apologies to the man and to you, readers. Jerry Springer producers approach him for a show entitled People always get my name wrong. Box 11 contains £100 and Chris gesticulates wildly.

Finally noticing that Noel is no longer beside her, Chris tells him: "You can come back now." Foolishly, he does. The banker calls and offers Ken £2,700 which represents £100 for each year of his suffering. He is not there to accept it, but Chris deftly rejects it on his behalf: "No deal."

Round Two

  • Chris picks Ottis and box 5: as he reveals the 10p, she begins a bizarre "chant-and-clap" combination which tests the patience of all but the most hardened Jerry Springer viewer. For the avoidance of doubt, Chris is not a transvestite pole dancer.
  • Asking for a break, Chris picks Lance (When fat men go mad), who describes her as a "wonderful woman". Well, one out of two ain't bad. Noel refuses the break request and box 4 contains £750.
  • Now we do have our break: the perfect opportunity for viewers to have some respite from Chris's racket. Giorgio is still wearing his hat indoors, a sure sign either of bad manners or of a mis-shapen head. Box 19 eliminates the £250.

An all-blue second round produces an offer of £12,000. Chris considers this; after all, she has been one of the most vociferous advocates for dealing when offers become larger. She asks Nick for advice; he believes there is one more deal on the board at least. She obviously concurs as she replies confidently: "No deal."

Round Three

  • Chris chooses Steph and box 13: £1,000.
  • Nev opens box 10 to reveal the £1.
  • Another excellent round ends with Paul (An alien stole my real hair and now I'm left with this?!) opening box 3 and showing the 50p. Chris dances around the desk with Noel.

The banker calls. Noel chats to him and asks, "Was that a rhetorical question?" Clever camera work catches Chris mouthing the words, "What does that mean?" at Nick. Noel asks her how much she wants to go home. £250,000 is the obvious reply. The offer has reached £18,000. Mark reminds Chris of her advice to Connell and Sally when their offers reached similar proportions. Noel slips behind Chris and tucks in the tag in her blouse lest everyone see where it was bought and she be invited to take part in All my clothes come from Asda but see if I care!

A sweep of the wings reveals a split opinion, with a small majority favouring the No Deal. Chris reluctantly agrees: "No deal."

Round Four

  • Sandra opens the fourth round with box 9: £3,000.
  • Maddie (When support tights go bad) is next with box 14: £5,000.
  • After the second break, Sharron opens box 17 and reveals £10,000. The three lowest remaining red sums have all been eliminated in one fell swoop.

The offer is sure to test Chris. It is £25,000 and there is consternation. Lindsay frowns, Nick stares at the board and Chris mouths "Help" at nobody in particular. Noel approaches someone vociferous in the audience: she is named Clare and she is convinced that Chris has the £250,000 in box 8. There is agreement and violent disagreement (albeit not violent on the Springer scale) as Chris takes her time. Noel asks the question and she responds with an ear-splitting "Deeeeeal!"

Round Five (after the Lord Mayor's show)

  • Sal (I like to appear on TV dressed in a pink leotard) opens box 22 to reveal £250,000 and produce the perfect next box after the deal.
  • Lindsay is next with box 18: £10 is inside.
  • Emi is the last choice in this round: she opens box 20 to reveal £75,000. The two highest sums have both gone straight after Chris accepted the deal.

The offer would have sunk to £8,000. Chris confides that she would have accepted it, worried about what was to follow.

Round Six (as it would have been played)

  • Adam opens box 16 and reveals £5.
  • Ashley is next with box 21: £500.
  • Chris is in a tricky situation if she wants to beat the banker: she has 1p, £20,000 and £50,000 left on the board. She must find the £50,000 to be sure of doing so. She chooses Mark (My head is shaped like Phil Mitchell's) and box 15, but he reveals the 1p.

The banker would now have split the difference between the remaining sums and offered £35,000. Strangely, Chris says she would have gambled at this stage, though I am not sure I believe her.


Noel opens box 8 and reveals that Chris was sitting with the £50,000 all along, although she will go home with half that amount. Nick opens box 6 to prove that he had £20,000.

Chris goes home just before the summer break, allowing viewers to restore the factory volume setting on their televisions. She claims to be happy with her £25,000, though a look in her eye tells a different story. She opens a small red box which she had placed beside her to present Noel with a puzzle bearing the legend "I Screwed the Banker". Now that is an entirely different, more adult show which even Jerry Springer might not be willing to broadcast.

Chris won £25,000. Have a great summer.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

John's game

Countdown to the summer hols it’s Wednesday already, I feel like one of the children still at school. Does this mean a non-uniform day on Friday for Noel – I vote for a floral dress as his first choice.

It’s John’s turn out in the arena. He bows deeply as he fetches out box 20 with a couple of beautifully wrapped (in Robbie Burns check – not tartan) pressies from Colt Bridge where he works. A Scottish £1 note is included in the gift to the banker. His photo’s are of his 2 boys and Sarah his wife. Sarah is in the audience and he is the house husband of the family as she works full time.

Before John can choose his first number Noel is in his old place on the East wing doing a terrible impersonation of him offering advice.

Round 1
Nikkea? box 13 - £10,000
Maddie, box 14 - £15,000 - shocked silence
Nev, box 1 - £5,000 – not a good start
Sandra, box 8 - £500 – huge supportive cheer
Otis, box 5 - £50,000

Stunned is the only way to describe the reaction in the studio to this appalling start from John. As they listen to Noel waiting for the offer, an ice cream van is heard in the background – the studio bursts into nervous laughter. Back to the serious business, the banker has a word directly with John asking if the Scottish dosh is a bribe – denied by John. Noel is busy opening his pressie which appears to be fudge of some sort. The offer at this stage is £6. Sick squid I think – not commented on by the studio did they miss an obvious joke from the bank?

Round 2
Lindsay, box 7 - £20,000 ‘extraordinary’ from Noel
Helen, box 2 - £35,000 there is a gaping hole on the red side of the board already.
Sally, box 11 is asked to stop the rot – nope - £250,000 appears and disappears back under the table. In this game only one blue has gone from the board and all but 4 reds. Laughter is heard loudly via the phone – the offer is £1. John is determined the game is not over yet and refuses to be beaten at this stage. Noel agrees by reminding him the offers can’t get any worse than this. No Deal.

Round 3
Nick, box 3 - £1000
Emi, box 12 - £100,000 Can there be any lower reaction – still only one blue off the board
Box 22 - £5 - the cheer for a blue matches one as though he had won a packet!
The banker is hugely enjoying this – the offer is £1,000 and I think he should be tempted he has £3,000 and £75,000 left on the board in red. No deal says John which elicits lots of encouraging applause and cheers.

Round 4
Lance, box 6 - 10p
Paul, box 4 -£750
Chris, box 17 - £5
Relief exudes nervously across the studio, dare they hope for a last minute reprieve for the condemned man? The offer is issued with a challenge £2,800 for John to leave. John goes into the audience to seek Sarah’s counsel she is confident in his decision. Back to the chair and the question with a quiet no deal in reply.

Round 5
Gorgio, box 21 - 1p another winning choice
Adam, box 19 - £250
Ashley, box 9 - 50p
Two all blue rounds pulled out of John’s hat he now has £1, £10 & £100 on the blue side, £3k and still hanging in there £75k. The offer is £5,600, which is fair according to John. Noel thinks it is a budget exit and Mark thinks it should have been around the £9k. Difficult decision here – John’s is a very brave no deal.

Round 6
Sarah, box 15 - closes him down completely - £75,000
Mark, box 16 - £10
Khannie box 10 - £3,000
The options now are £1 or £100 the final offer is £26. Ce la vie declares John – no deal.
Noel reveals the contents of John’s box 20 which is - miniscule compensation - £100.

John’s final words of wisdom state that money has no value compared that which he puts on his wife, children and family in Scotland.
Braveheart away ye gan hame. (shut up spellcheck)

John won £100

Have a great Summer

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Debbie's Game

Hi everyone, is it hot in here or is it just me? It’s Adie’s last Tuesday game recap before the Summer break, and I’m sweating cobs (as my Mother would say), so hope it’s a little cooler where you are… anyway, that probably wasn’t an issue when this edition was recorded back in May-time, so let’s move on… Noel’s resplendent in a lilac striped shirt today and reminds us (in case we needed reminding) that it’s been a bad week and that the memories of the 2 recently-inducted members of the 1p club will have to force today’s player to draw on some extra courage to beat The Banker…

A quick intro to latest new boy Ashley later, and we meet today’s contestant, Debbie Crook from St. Helen’s on Merseyside. She’s got Box 8 and gives the now-traditional curtsey to the wings on the way to the chair. Though not quite the archetypal “chirpy scouser”, she’s bright and bubbly, and seems genuinely excited to be there. She’s been with her husband Graham for 19 years and they met over a meat & potato pie at the pie shop opposite her place of work, Graham being impressed that she was an actual “Wigan Pie Eater” (as they are apparently known.) On being asked for any other romantic anecdotes, she quotes Lance with a jaunty “ding dong!” in the Leslie Phillips style (and BTW, I know it’s unfair for us to play favourites, but I’d really like Lance to get his game before the summer break…)

Anyway, Debbie’s also completely besotted by her dog Rufus, of whom more later. Noel atypically skips over the photos and a poem (albeit temporarily) so we can get straight on, but Debbie insists on getting out two lucky pennies, one found by Chris, another blessed in church by Nick. Describing herself as “a nice girl, very shy,” Debbie instantly and cheekily proceeds to hoist up her bosom in the Les Dawson gossipy neighbour fashion, and we’re off!

Box 12 (Paul) 1p
Box 19 (Nick) 50p
Box 17 (Emmy) £50 (“a stunner” according to Mrs. Adie)
Box 1 (Mark) £35,000
Box 3 (Maddie) £75,000

The perfect start and instant reveal of the 1p soon turns sour with 2 of the big 5 going too, but Debbie’s in good spirits, asking the players and the audience if they’re happy... the audience are obviously too happy as she suspects they can see her bum, leading us into a surreal interlude in which it’s revealed that Ottis likes big bums, and how this came up in a conversation about his wife… one way or another I think Ottis is in trouble with Mrs. Ottis here… Debbie also takes the opportunity to read out the good luck poem from her parents before The Banker calls with his “meat and potatoes” offer of £5,900, which despite being “alright” is instantly rejected…

Just enough time for Debbie’s photos of Graham and Rufus the dog, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bob Carolgees’ puppet dog Spit… Tiswas fans might insert their own “custard pie” pun here…

Box 10 (Giorgio) £1 and big cheers for the cat in the hat…
Box 2 (Adam) £750
Box 5 (Helen) £250,000

“Don’t worry,” says Debbie on seeing The Big One, “I’ve still got the £100k, £50k and £20k left…” True enough, but after recent events, the audience isn’t feeling the happy vibe here… The Banker’s pun dictionary is clearly opened to “Pie” as he states he’s going to make “mincemeat” out of Debbie before offering her £3,142 (3.142… pi… geddit?!) An instant “No Deal” is greeted with cheers of “Come on Debbie” as we head forth into…

Box 14 (Khani) £20,000
Box 4 (Lance) a gentlemanly £5, and a less than gentlemanly request to see “A big wobble” from Debbie…
Box 21 (Sandra) £500

Noel hoped The Banker would eat some Humble Pie this round (groan!) but the £20,000 is another setback to Debbie’s game. A fondle and a smell of the lucky teabag later, the offer comes in, £10,000.01… not bad with 4 blues against 7 reds including the £100k and £50k, but a quick sweep shows nearly everyone recommending she carries on, and “No Deal” it is!

Box 16 (Sarah) £100,000, and the dream is crumbling,
Box 15 (Sharon) £100, literally a thousand times better,
Box 9 (Lindsay) £3,000

Debbie’s chances of keeping the top 2 boxes were around 50/50, but her luck wasn’t up to the task... £50,000 is now the target, but The Banker goes in for the kill with an offer of £5,000… John says it’s “still reasonable”, but one sip of tea (with an implied slug of brandy) is all it takes for Debbie to make up her mind, and it’s “No Deal”…


Box 6 (the ever-popular Chris) £15,000
Box 18 (Ashley) £5,000
Box 11 (Steph) £50,000

Scarily enough, Steph had said all along that she felt she had a big number in her box, and so it proved, leaving the £10,000 as Debbie’s best-case scenario, despite Debbie leading the troops in some massed lucky box-rubbing… Debbie’s not bothered, she’s made some great friends, and the “emergency” offer of £999 is instantly rejected with a cheeky smile…

Box 7 (Nev) £10,000
Box 20 (John) £10
Box 13 (Ottis) £1,000

And the dream is over, but “it’s alright, I’m not crying, I’ll save it for later…” Noel throws away the “lucky” teabag in disgust, and we’re left with 10p vs. £250. After just a little thought and encouragement from the wings, The Banker’s offer of £99 is rejected…

No swap is apparently offered, though we’ve had this debate here before and we’ll assume it was edited out (NOTE TO ENDEMOL – leave the swap offer in, we get suspicious when it’s left out!!) Noel opens Debbie’s box to reveal… £250! Naqyah reveals the 10p in Box 22 and that’s the game!

As Noel says, Debbie had rotten luck throughout, and a big win was never in sight. Debbie’s fine about it, and only starts to cry when she talks about all the friends she’s made, and once again it really comes across what a great personal experience DOND can be for the players, regardless of what they win (or don’t…) Debbie was sparkling and bubbly and gave us good entertainment, and it’s a shame she won’t have more than £250 to show for it, but I’m sure she’ll be fine.

Noel says we’ll have a “Totally Rampant” Banker on our hands tomorrow after such a disastrous few days, and it’s hard to argue with him… will this season end with the worst ever week for the contestants? Stay tuned and find out!!

In case this is my last report for a while, thanks for reading, enjoy the rest of the summer, try and do something useful with the 45 minutes you’ll save each day :-) and see you in the Autumn… ‘til then, “NO DEAL!”

Debbie won £250.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Connell's game

The show starts today with a quick reminder from Noel in a sober beige shirt telling us that this will be the last week before the summer break. What happens to all these guys who have stood on the sidelines for several weeks already?

Connell is selected after 24 shows he carries his box 22 over to the table. Connell is 33, his wife Tracy in the audience, they have four beautiful daughters who accompany him photographically. He has some orders (drawings) from the family to win enough to go to Disneyland.

Round 1
Maddie, box 17 - £1000.
Helen, box 1 - £3,000
Khannie, box 5 - £100,000
Sandra, box 3 - £15,000
Debbie, box 15 - £250

Connell and Noel both agree the banker will be a happy bunny at this start. The offer is £6,600 – surprisingly. We all think this pretty good considering the dodgy start. However the answer is still a predictable - no deal.

Round 2
Steph, box 11 - £100
Chris, box 21 – 50p, she is going to miss rubbing and kissing Connel’s head - a daily ritual apparently.
Sarah, box 13 – we go to break, Noel calls Chris over to the table for a last opportunity to demonstrate the slaphead worship.
Box 13 contains £1

Football seems to be Connel’s main interest outside his family – he coaches Coventry ladies team who his daughter plays for. The back of his shirt carries the slogan ‘courage’ I suspect the banker will pick up on that one. He does of course mention it with his offer of £13,200. Lance’s opinion is sought and fended off smartly. The decision is - No Deal

Round 3
Kieren, box 19 - £20,000
Nev, Box 18 - £500
Lindsay, box 20 - £75,000

It’s a very quiet studio right now – the tension is building as Noel takes the call and Connell studies the order for the trip to Disneyland. The temptation from the banker this time is £18,000 - enough for the trip of a lifetime is £4.5k for each daughter, nothing left for Mum & Dad. The phone rings with an extra £4.50 thrown in for good measure. A huge round of applause resounds when Connell makes his decision – no deal.

Round 4
Gorgio, box 12 - £5
Mark, box 16 - £50,000
Emmie, box 14 - to the break – back to reveal £35,000 - Straight to a one box game.
The new offer comes with the statement that he has just cost 2 of his daughters their money - £9,000. Tracey is called down for her opinion. After some whispered discussion she tells him that she, and their girls will still be there at the end of this, the money may or may not. Connell’s decision – No deal.

Round 5
Mark is instructed to sit in front of the big one shielding it from being chosen – unsuccessfully.

Nick kicks off this round with - £250,000. Silence reigns.
Paul box 8 - £50
John box 2 £5,000
The still silent studio hears the offer of £900 and the swift reply – no deal.

Round 6
Lance, box 10 - 10p
Otis, box 6 - £750
Sharon, box 9 – 1p is called for - £10 is found – to the huge delight of the studio.
Connell is left with 1p and £10,000 – he has seemed resigned to going to the end since the £250,000 was wiped off the board. Now we see if his slogan is a fashion statement or not with an offer of £2,000 – The banker clearly wants to see the gamble.

It’s ‘no deal’ from a slightly subdued Connell and Tracey has her head in her hands. The phone is ringing before the applause ends to offer the swap – Connell has already told us his lucky number is 7 – the box still out on the wing not the one in front of him. He gives the nod and Noel carries away box 22 he sincerely hopes he is not bringing the 1p to the next member of that exclusive club.

Noel then opens the swapped box - number 7, to reveal - 1p.
Two new members have joined from the last 3 games.

Tracey is there to support her other half and it seems they are completely united despite going home with nothing. I suspect they will one day take their girls to Disneyland – a happy family I think.

Connell won - 1p

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Buddy's Game Report

Buddy was Saturday's player, taking the walk of wealth with box 19 - a seasoned gambler, he felt he was 'flookie' - Kenneth McKellar was alive and well and sitting in front of Noel. Buddy, was David Wilson from Twickenham, he had dreamt about the banker chasing him, but he woke up before finding out what happened. Buddy spoke with a husky east-end accent, somewhere between the Kray Brothers and Michael Caine.

Round one: Nev, box 2 - £250,000, the audience sighed, and immediately Buddy changed his plan. Lindsay, box 22 - £750. Steph, box 8 - £500. Sandra, box 20 - £1000. Paul, box 14 - 10p. The opening offer was £1300 which Buddy understood and rejected immediately.

Round two: Helen, Box 18 - 1p. Adam, the new guy, box 4 - £100. Sharon, box 17 - £15,000. The offer was £13,000, surprisingly high. Mark, Khanny and Sandra advised to continue, Buddy mentioned that 13 was his lucky number - and then he said 'No deal'.

Round three: Georgio, box 12 - £20,000. Nick, box 1 - £50,000 - 'uh we are going to pieces now', said Buddy. Connell, box 15 - £250. But the board was still stong, six reds against 5 blues. Buddy thought the banker would stick, and certainly that seemed optimistic given the round that had just gone, but the offer was actually £16,000. 'I like to play the game, thats my trouble', said Buddy, and he added 'no deal'

Round four: Lance, box 10 - £5. Monica, box 5 - £75,000. Nagiyah, box 7 - £5000. The board now showed four reds against four blues with £100,000 as the highest red. The banker claimed to be irritated by Buddy speculating that the banker might drop down to £1300, the offer was now £13,000. Connell thought this was 'a bit of a hard one', Sarah felt he should gone on. Buddy was clearly giving it thought, but ended with 'no deal' and then he had to stand.

Round five: Sarah, box 11 - . Otis, box 6 - £10. 'One more' begged Buddy. The audience started to chant Buddy. Chis, box 15 - £50. Buddy was smiling from ear to ear, 'what a good time to do the perfect round' said Noel. The banker wanted to know what was in the book, and Buddy let him - Buddy was looking for £50,000. The offer now was £27,500. The board had four reds against one blue. 'I don't like that number...27...nah'. Buddy gave this offer a lot of thought, the camera had time to close in on his face - 'no deal'

Round six: John, box 3 - £10,000. 'Two more', said Buddy like Frank Butcher. Debbie, box 9 - £1 - no blues left - lowest was now £3000. Straight away he went to Khanny, box 21 - £35,000. The gambler was now left with a choice between £3000 and £100,000, now we would find out if Buddy was a professional or an excited amateur. The banker said 'in this situation I am powerless'. The offer was now £50,000, the banker was calling his bluff. 'I am here to play the game' said Buddy, puffing and drinking his tea. But BUddy was a professional, he dealt, good for him!

Noel opened Buddy's box, he only had £3000. The £100,000 was in Mark's box 13.

This game reminded me of games of old; not as great as Gaz or Morris, but Buddy played in a steady manner, he stayed in control and the audience reactions seemed to be much more in proportion to the events as they unfolded - I actually enjoyed that!! The banker, having been told Buddy's desired amount, had indeed chased him - funny things dreams.

Buddy won £50,000

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sally's Game

Noel's shirt today looks like someone was sick on it. Not as distracting as usual but really not great.

His speech is basically saying he was trying to describe a perfect game of dond. He came up with "Serendipity" which means 'Happening on something lucky quite by chance'. I'm not sure how that description relates to a perfect game, to me it just describes any game as they're all lucky to be there. But anyway...

Today is Sally's game. She's the current cute one that they like to keep on rotation. Noel struggles to put his tounge back in as she takes the walk.
She's Sally Kettle from Surrey. A Freelance speaker - she gives motivational speeches. She's rowed east-west (UK > US) across the Atlantic twice and would do it again.
Aside from ocean rowing she enjoys dancing naked saying she likes to jiggle the wobbly bits. The inuendo flies and an almost-embarrassed Noel shuffles about trying to think of something appropriate to say.

She's the last player with one of Ron's good luck gifts. Though she doesn't believe in fate as such she displays it out of respect for him.
Her game system is a reference to the boats in her rowing race.

Round 1
  • Box 21 - £3,000
  • Box 19 - £10,000
  • Box 1 - £50
  • Box 12 - £5
  • Box 9 - £35,000
21 and 19 weren't in the race and the audience suggested she get them out the way first.
The logic with the other three being 1, 12, 9 all capsized so were all first out.

They speak about when the irish guy's boat capsized. The back of the boat got pulled off. Noel asks if they forgot to remove the mooring rope then does a pretty good irish impression vaguely making fun "Oh dear the back of the boat's gone. Ah well at least we've still got the front". From his slight nerves I'd actually say he was trying to impress her as much as make a joke.

The call - The banker sees Sally as formidable. I'd agree.
The offer - £8,800. Despite losing 10k and 35k that's a crackin start.
It's fair to say she'd decided she was going on even before the offer was stated.

Round 2
  • Box 2 - £750 - The last of the capsizers.
  • Box 15 - £5,000
  • Noel's pun of the day is "Make yourself a cup of tea. Oh, no you can't cos we've got the kettle [her surname]". Quite.
  • Box 11 - £50,000 - Boat 11 was her boat.

There's now a couple of big gaps in the red block.

The call - Noel just listened in silence for a bit and no comment.
The offer - £18,800

She's very intelligent in this game. She did have a little think about it and stated she knew what he was doing: "Throwing in a big second offer because he thinks I'll go downhill". It proves she's really paying attention and thinking about this game.

Round 3
  • Box [missed number] - £100,000 - Who couldn't see that coming!
  • Box 5 - £10
  • Box 18 - 10p

The call - The banker has noticed that not only does she mention numbers but also mentions the people in the boats. He sees her as being selfless and admires it.
The offer - stuck at £18,800 despite the loss of 100k.
She does her own "sweep" (ended up as just 4 people) - Lance says she has luck all over her face, 3 others agree. She states she's here to play the game and quickly answers with no deal.

Round 4
  • Box 17 - £75,000 - top 3 values are now 250k, 20k, 15k
  • Box 13 - £250,000 - She's deflated, the studio sits in silence.
  • Break time and she's visibly upset, presumably realising that she's not seeing anywhere near 18.8k again (well, 1 in 9 chance of 20k in her box)
  • Box 16 - £1,000

The call - The banker found it wonderful to sail the cape of 75,000 and round the island of 250,000.
It's now 6 blues vs 2 reds (and the 1p is still there)
The offer - £1,829. It was explained why the 829 but Lance was too quick and quiet for me to catch it.
Sally says he's forcing her to play on. With 6 blues : 2 reds I think she's playing a risky game.

Round 5
  • Box 10 - £1
  • Box 4 - £100
  • The tissues come out as the game starts to get to her.
  • Box 22 - £20,000 - only 15k left on the reds.

The call - The banker states that the 4 members of the 1p club will be scrubbing the phonebox clean ready for her.
The offer - £1,111
She's re-iterated that she's here to play the game whatever the outcome.

Round 6
  • Box 14 - £15,000. Just the 4 blues left.
  • Box 20 - £500 - she tells how they were French and had both lost their legs and wishes she had half the courage they did.
  • Box 8 - £250

Just 1p and 50p left. She wants the 1p now so at least she has the story / hall of fame entry.
The call - The banker talks to Sally direct for a minute and as another tissue gets used, Noel listens to the banker then repeats his words. The banker accepts she's had relentless bad luck. The general implication is that she could have taken him for a heap had she had good luck.
Noel actually forgets what the offer is requiring the banker to call back, but it's really just a formality as everyone knows what she's going to do.
The offer - 21p. Is that the lowest in-play offer ever? I think it is.

Well she wants the 1p and ... she has it. She's the happiest she's been all show! I suppose it's a dream of sorts.

As a sidenote we find out that the values (which are raised for some bizarre reason) are printed on cards that are velcro'd in, as Noel rips out the 1p card and gives it to her upon her request.

To summarise: Sally rowed across the Atlantic twice for charity. She seemed a lovely girl willing to give credit to all the other competitors. We often hear how the players deserve the money for one reason or another but in this case I think she really really did. She was focused throughout and knew what she was doing and that made her a real contender. It was just a shame that the boxes didn't come out for her. On the other hand, being the first female 1p winner will give her a touch of fame and she did geniunely seem pleased with it - or at least, she accepted and made the most of it where other players may have just sank and cried (mind, she is a motivational speaker). That gave the end of the game a lighter feel at least.

Sally won 1p.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lynda's game report

There is an air of the end-of-term party about DOND at the moment. We know the show is about to take its summer break, which perhaps explains the sense of almost-completeness in the studio.

Today's player is Lynda, whom I have variously likened to Hattie Jacques and Myfanwy-the-lesbian-barmaid-from-Little-Britain. In case this is insufficiently explicit, this is an opaque reference to the fact that she is a larger lady. She wears a salmon top (that's the colour, not a top made out of a salmon...) and sadly, she has few other discernible features. Lynda curtseys obligingly to her fellow contestants in the wings as she makes her way to the front and struggles to manoeuvre her ample frame into the chair.

Lynda is 34, is married to Ian and has a young son named Luke. She tells us that her family means the world to her, which is understandable given that she is a credit controller. Her job entails retrieving money owed to her employer. This is obviously fascinating work as Lynda fails completely to gush about it.

For reasons she does not disclose, Lynda would like to go to Reykjavik. As she fails to say anything else of interest during the remainder of the show, Björk (famous and Icelandic) will therefore be the theme of this report. Apropos of absolutely nothing (other than a vague bit of low-rent name-dropping), my mate's mate used to do Björk's PR. That is actually true.

Alarm Call

  • The game starts with Sharron and box 8: 50p.
  • Lynda describes Debbie as "my friend", presumably in the hope that this frightening woman will be nice. Interesting tactic. Box 2 contains £100.
  • Naqiyah is next with box 3: £750.
  • Lynda chooses Helen and box 5: £10.
  • Noel again tempts fate by pointing to just two previous all-blue first rounds. Lynda hopes this does not place a hoodoo on her but chooses box 9: Chris reveals £100,000. That's a hoodoo.

The banker calls and speaks to Lynda, who puts on the telephone voice she uses when speaking to slow payers. "I do need to get the money in in the next 45 minutes," insists Lynda. "I've heard it all before," she continues before handing over the receiver to Noel. He informs us that the banker claims his dog ate his money. He offers £7,100. Lynda doesn't take long before deciding: "No deal."

Possibly Maybe

  • Lynda picks Mark and box 7: £1.
  • Next is Giorgio, who is still wearing his hat. Box 20 reveals £15,000.
  • Lynda chooses John and box 10. Predictably, we have a break. Lance's voice announces the viewer competition in the kind of overly sombre tone last heard when Radio 4 announced the death of the Queen Mother. We return and John informs us that he is jittery about his box being picked. I hate it when this happens: the game is entirely random. Nevertheless, Lynda changes her mind to Nick and box 22, which reveals 10p.

John advises Lynda that he is worried about her game. "Everyone has aspirations, and until they're realised, aspirations are just aspirations," he says. As philosophy goes, this is not especially enlightening.

The banker calls and offers just £4,000 despite Lynda's strong round. Through Noel, he says that John's nervousness has influenced the offer. Ominously, Lynda says that this has made her decision easier: "No deal."

It's In Our Hands

Sealion-like applause emanates from Lynda as she moves on to the third round.

  • She chooses box 18: Sandra reveals £20,000.
  • Box 12 represents son Luke's birthday, says Lynda. Buddy reveals 1p. Lynda inexplicably thanks her son for being born on the 12th day of the month, failing to realise that she had more to do with it than he.
  • Finally, she opts for spiky-haired Paul and box 21: £1,000.

Noel teases Lynda with the offer: "You were disappointed with £4,000. How about £2,000? £8,000? £10,000?" He continues with this charade until he reaches £20,000. Lynda cries. Her sister Andrea comes down from the audience and issues the non-committal advice we have come to expect from the players' nearest and dearest. Sally points out that even with the worst possible next round, there would still be up to £35,000 to be won. John tries to make amends for doing down the second offer by referring to seven "disposable" amounts.

The banker calls again and offers Lynda the money in an envelope with "Lynda, Ian and Luke" written on it. Lynda insists she has already made up her mind and is therefore not listening. Noel poses the question which is met with a relieved "Deal."

Lynda apologises for accepting the deal. Hey, if someone had just presented me with £20,000 tax-free, I should not be apologising. She says that her head told her to go on while her heart wanted her to think of "her boys" and to take the deal.

There's More To Life Than This

We return from another break to find out whether or not Lynda did a great deal.

  • Lynda picks Ottis and box 13: £35,000. So far, so good.
  • Sarah is next with box 16: £500.
  • Finally, Lynda tries the new player who is introduced too hurriedly and without a close-up shot, although his name may be Khalid. Box 6 contains £75,000.

With Lynda having removed two more of the "power five", the offer would have been £11,000. Lynda insists she would have accepted this.

Violently Happy

Lynda thinks she has done a good deal at the right time. We continue to find out whether she is correct.

  • Sally opens box 1: £250.
  • Lindsay is next with box 11: £5. There is now only one blue figure left, against five reds including £50,000 and £250,000.
  • Steph opens box 15 and reveals £3,000. Lynda's face crumples.

The offer would now have reached £37,100. Lynda again says that she would have accepted this, despite having accepted two earlier offers!

It's Oh So Quiet

All together now: "Shhhhh. Shhhhh." Anyone who saw Janice Battersby from Coronation Street become the world's worst Björk impersonator on a (very minor) celebrity version of Stars in Your Eyes will never forget the sight. It was anything but quiet in that studio as she brought the house down for all the wrong reasons. The DOND studio, however, is silent as the last five boxes are £50, £5,000, £10,000, £50,000 and £250,000.

  • After her earlier change of heart, Lynda finally decides to choose John and box 10: £5,000.
  • Lance opens box 4 to reveal £10,000. This ought to be more gut-wrenching than it is.
  • Lynda tries to avoid the car-crash scenario with Nev and box 14. He finally opens the lid on the mighty £250,000 and the studio breathes a collective sigh of relief.

The offer now would have been £15,000 which Lynda again says she would have accepted. She would, in fact, have accepted all four serious offers in the show.


Box 19 contains just £50. Lynda comes out with the usual stale platitudes about her fellow contestants and the hospitality of the crew: she is another to inform us that she has had "the best experience of her life". Whilst this proves that Lynda was well brought up by her parents, it hardly makes for gripping television. Yes, one ought always to thank one's host, but surely not quite as publicly as this and in such gushing, embarrassing terms?

Connell is again left till last. He is either very popular, very unpopular or it's perhaps that people like to rub his baldy head for luck. Box 17, of course, contains £50,000.

Is Lynda the most boring person ever to play the game? Despite accepting the first serious offer which came her way, it's not necessarily the fact that she dealt early. It's just that once she had enjoyed her "credit controller" telephone banter, there was precious little else for her to talk about. She is, however, impossible to dislike. The money will clearly make a real difference to Lynda's life and it is obvious that it will be spent or invested wisely, starting with that holiday in Reykjavik. Luke: that's why Mum's going to Iceland.

Lynda won £20,000.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sue's Game Report

by Olivia

The boxes arrive on the scene and we join them. Noel welcomes and points out that there has been no quarter mil winner yet, but Noel wants to be positive on this Wednesday and is hoping we have the first one today.
Sue takes the walk of wealth today. A very calm looking woman who looks like she’s got her head set right. She strides across to the ‘crazy chair with a wide smile on her face. Does Sue have the formula for success? She carries on the usual routine and shows us some pictures of her ‘appy days’ but does not spend to long on them, maybe not trying to give to much away.

Sue is a gambler and that must be why she so calm she has her lucky coin with her and she’s ready to go.

Sue has box 16 with the unknown amount and in round one Steph has box 3. Steph’s box contains £10 and is a good start for Sue's game. Connell is next with box 21 chosen because Sue's daughter will be 21 soon. Sue's daughter cost her £100,000 so Sue changes the system but any parent should know that daughters aren’t cheap. Sue threatens to have a scrap with Connell but is distracted by Noel and goes on to choose box 5 containing 5,000. Next, box 4 held by Sarah who gets a grilling from Noel contains £1,000 Box 6 held by Simon has £100. Not a bad round apart from the £100,000.

Sue loves gambling and she does seem pretty calm on this one.
But she only gambles what she knows she can afford to lose, maybe the banker will pick up on the fact that she’s a practical woman

A brief mothers meeting chat from Noel and the Banker and we find out that the Banker is in fact is taking icy plunge baths, along with lance. (Sorry you must give me a moment I am currently trying to get rid of terrible images!!!) The Banker has latched onto sue saying that she only gamble s what she can afford. And he offers £6,400 not the best offer but ok for the board and the Banker thinks Sue is a smart cookie. No deal of course

Next round stats with Buddy and box 18, 10p - great cheers. Mark 8 had 100,000 yesterday and has 75,000 adding himself to Sue’s hit-list along with Connell and maybe, by the end of this game, the banker, if he’s stupid enough to mess with Sue.
Giorgio from the east wing starts our break for us with a very foreign accent ha. I always thought he was just faking it. Back to the game and Sue looks nervous and asks noel where he wants to go. Sue lives at number 13 and wants to choose box number 13.She should know that her house is blessed as box 13 contained £5.mNow there is a slightly strange moment in Sue’s game which I honestly didn’t expect! Sue has found a beetle on her table and she along with Noel has decided it must be named as it is a lucky beetle and the beetle knew name is Neal short for Neal or no Neal. Not recovering from the insanity the banker calls and tells us all about his pet beetle who was name Ringo, how very interesting. After that rather unusual moment the banker tells us his offer is £9,400. – Not bad. Sue looks serious but she is not disappointed and says no deal to 9,400

Next round.
Helen and box 7contains £1. Lance and number 10 give the £35,000 his number does not match his shirt. Chris and Box 12 take £50 out of the game. Noel can’t read Sue, which I’m guessing is the point for Sue. She has got her head set in the right place
For luck she sniffs Noels lucky tea bag after some persuasion Noel confirms that this is a new teabag. My question is how can it be a lucky teabag if he changes it!!??! The banker is offering 12,4000 there is some reaction from Sue but again difficult to tell whether this is good or bad. Sue is brave with a grave face and says no deal to £12,400.

Lindsay with box 2 has 1p well done says Noel to Sue you’ve got the formula,
Telling people what they’ve got in the box. Noel has a go and tells us that Box 20 will have 50p. Box 20 holds £10,000 not bad, but not 50p Noel! I don’t think the formula works for him. The game seems to be taking its toll on poor Neal (the bug) so for Neal’s sake Noel calls a break. Awww poor Neal it must be difficult playing deal or no deal when you’re a BUG!!!

Neal is still working his magic says Noel. This is getting ridiculous but I shall try and embrace the madness until the end of the game. Box14 contains the 50p, received by loud cheers.nThe banker calls for a chat and is bewildered about what the hell is going on. He certainly isn’t the only one. He is empathetic for poor Neal, who is currently wriggling around with his feet on the air, and offers a quid to get him back on his feet. The offer is £18,401. Oh Dear God!! The tension is suddenly built to a peak as we wait to see, not if Sue takes the deal but if poor Neal who has stopped moving is in fact alive not. The whole room is watching in utter terror to find the outcome of the new game, Neal or no Neal. Luckily the outcome is Neal and everyone can relax as Neal begins to wave his feet in the air again. The poor fellow is still upside down.

Paul with box7 steals £250,000 from the game. Neal stopped and so has the game. It’s now on for the £50,000. Linda and box 22 take £750 from the game greeted by cheers.
Next Sharon and box 19 take £15,000 from the game but Sue says it’s ok. The banker is quick to call and the offer is now £8,401, keeping the Neal back on his feet fund going. However he wants it back if Neal dies before the end of the show. Sue deals but, has she put her gambling tactics to good use and proved that a good gambler knows when to stop?

She is now trying to take out £50,000 and chooses box 15 with Giorgio.
It’s £3,000 and would have been a good start. The applause is tentative. But she moves onto box 9 from Deb which contains £250.This would have been perfect. She has her last chance to get £50,000 out but picks Box 1 holding £500. This would have been the dream scenario for the gambler who went too soon, the offer would have been £34,401 but she would not have stopped there. Finally we open Sue’s box, she could have won £50,000 if she had actually carried on but Sue looks ok, she’s got the deal or no deal duo, Noel and Neal, to keep her company. Otis ends the game with the £20,000 in his box.

Now, the question is, out of the bug, the coin, and the teabag (yes I know this sounds strange!!) which one was the lucky one?!?! If any??

I do not want to end this report on a bad note but I am sorry to say that Neal, the lucky beetle, ended his life on Wednesday the 12 of July. Neal was a good bug and only ever did his best.

Sue won £8,401

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Monica’s Game

Hi everyone, it’s Tuesday so this must be Adie’s game report, good to have you with me. Noel’s in a pink flowery shirt today, and informs us that this is a game about control… to be specific, controlling your greed, your nerves, and (but of course) The Banker!

Today’s contestant carrying Box 12 and giving a nice curtsey on the way to the chair is Monica Waterman from Essex (do I always get the Essex girls?) She’s a director of her son’s software company and is described during today’s game as both “severe” and “menacing” which I can’t really improve upon, except to possibly add “milk-curdling” to the adjectives list, not that she’s unattractive, just… well… “stern.” Anyway, she’s been married for 37 years to Michael who’s with her in the studio. 14 years ago Michael nearly died when a heart valve failed, leaving him on life support for 11 days with all his vital functions failing, though he seems in the best of health now. Like Linda recently, Monica used to run a ladieswear market stall, and also like Linda had a man amongst her customers (maybe it was the same man?)

Monica’s photos are of her 3 children – Robert, Nicola and Johnathan – and she confides that Robert suffers from Crohn’s disease, and a big win today will go towards taking him to the US for treatment… another photo is of her grandmother, a gambler, and she goes to great pains to tell The Banker that there’s a gambling streak in her family… enough clues to The Banker already, let’s play!

Box 8 (Lance) £750
Box 17 (new boy Nev) £5,000
Box 2 (Naqyah) £50,000
Box 4 (Steph) 1p
Box 10 (Sharon) £1,000

Not a bad opening round, the loss of the £50,000 balanced by the removal of the 1p early on. The Banker refers to Monica as “a powerful presence” and reminds us that her advice to previous players was always to “No Deal”, offering her a swiftly rejected £8,012 (the extra and soon-to-be-recurring “12” simply a reference to her box number…)


Box 11 (Linda) £100
Box 7 (Sue) £3,000
Box 1 (Sally) £1

A great round, with the top 8 remaining intact other than the £50,000, making this a strong board. Invitations by Noel for Monica to jot down her target win are brusquely but politely dismissed, the politeness acknowledged by a “terrified” Banker who appreciatively offers an excellent £19,012 to a huge round of applause, but which is nonetheless swiftly rejected… onwards!

Box 14 (Lindsay) £20,000
Box 15 (Monica’s “very best friend” Chris) a definitely un-friendly £75,000
Box 18 (Sandra) £10

Hmmm, we’re now down to 5 of the top 7 left intact, though the top 2 are still in play, which is the only explanation for the raised offer of £20,012, given despite the loss of the £75,000 (stick around, it gets better/worse!) Noel, never at a loss for hyperbole, swears that this is a “totally extraordinary” game, and Monica thinks she might be falling in love with The Banker. Some nice bits of business with hubby later the deal is rejected and we’re into…

Monica asks for Michael to join her, and Noel promptly gets him a chair to give us our first ever double-contestant (look for this to become a regular thing soon, mark my words…)
Box 21 (John) £500
Box 13 (Mark) £100,000
Box 19 (Connell) £5

Monica had less than a 50% chance of keeping the top 2 boxes, and she didn’t beat the odds. The Banker has a “good feeling” about this game now the £100,000 has gone, but in one of those “… the hell?!” moments, actually raises the offer (again!) to £21,012! Now if that had me wondering if I was missing something, the fact that Monica rejected this offer actually had me throwing things at the screen – c’mon Monica, you’ve seen this show, you must know how it goes from here… oh well, onto…

Box 16 (Debbie) £250
Box 5 (Nick) £250,000
Box 22 (Otis) £50

And almost inevitably, there goes the £250,000 and the one-box game has evaporated into a (still generous) offer of £12,000, “a good sum of money in the circumstances” we’re told. A look at the picture of her grandmother and a few bits of advice from the wings later, as Lindsay bites her lip, Monica says “It’s a deal!” (and thank god for that!)

Box 3 (Giorgio, with hat) £10,000
Box 9 (Helen) £35,000
Box 20 (Buddy who inevitably hums “can you spare a dime”) 10p

Well there goes the £35,000, so Monica’s deal is validated, though I’m amazed to hear her and Michael brazenly say they would have rejected the £7,000 offer – is it me, or would £7,000 towards their son’s medical treatment be better than going home with 50p?

With 50p and £15,000 remaining, Noel opens Monica’s box to show… £15,000! Paul reveals the 50p in his Box 6 and we’re done. Monica didn’t beat the banker, and (for my money) was lured by The Banker into behaving like the reckless gambler she’d presented herself as, and subsequently went on further than she should have… not a bad game, though hardly classic, and at least Noel’s “sorry to see her go” and invites us to see who’s in “TV’s loneliest chair” tomorrow.

Hope you enjoyed that recap… I’m sure I speak for all the other reporters when I say we love getting your feedback, and I’d also be fascinated to know why you (yes, you!) read these reports – did you miss this game and want to catch up, are you keeping track of the boxes throughout the series, do you just enjoy reliving the whole 45 minutes next day with a cuppa…? Thanks anyway, and ‘til next time, “NO DEAL!”

Monica won £12,000.

Its good to talk

Donduk chat has been under test now for about three weeks, and while basic, it does its job.

As well as chat you can play a version of countdown (because most of us watch countdown while waiting for Dond to start) - one person (the Lynham) produces 9 random letters, and then the others enter words using the CDown button. At this point all you see is a number for each player - how many letters are in that person's word - when all the players have entered a word, Lynham enters '/countdown' to reveal all the words that were entered, and the winner of the round gets the points.

The problem we are having is that people are arriving at the chat at different times and so missing each other, can I suggest you all come to the chat area at 4.00pm, i.e. 15 minutes before Dond starts, and then chat during the game, or for the More 4 show at 6.00pm.

If you find the chat area clunky, thats because its like me and I wrote the code, and if you have ideas on how it can be improved then don't hesitate, ìnsults don't affect me, I've been trained by experts.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Pierre's game

Pierre’ game box 18
Pretty Pierre is in the spotlight and grasps the sudden opportunity to boast about his champion qualities in martial arts.
An Italian personal trainer who actually thinks that people who want to work out all day are nutters, strange? Girlfriend Laura sat in the audience will be the one he looks to when he needs to come back down to earth.

Round one
Otis 17- 1p (unlucky in Italy)
Box 13- £50,000
Sandra 1- 10p
Giorgio 3- £1000
Paul 11- £15,000
Bankers offer- £10,000
An offer that the banker thinks resembles the weight of his head!
Pass the sick bucket as Pierre blabbers on about respect in life, someone remind him it’s a game not relationship counselling and while doing so tell him to SIT DOWN!

Round two
Lindsey 22- £3000
Linda 7- £5000 ( his left hand companion)
As I don’t watch every episode religiously, It maybe me just being ‘special’ but who the hell is Rita?
Sally 8- £250 (after exposing her secret dreams about a minority of the studio)
Bankers offer £18,000

Round three
Helen 4-£100
Sue 19- £500
Chris 12-£35,000
A good round not a major blow with that third as he still has the top three, a stable board.
Bankers offer £24,000
The banker is intimidated by Pierre as he shamefully admits that karate means empty hand and he is scared and thinks he will end up with one.

Round four
Connell 9- £20,000
John 10- £250,000 (ooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuups)
Lance 14- £10,000
The banker’s feelings have changed dramatically and he is no longer scared but confident in his financial fitness. Ha ha ha did you get that little joke that he subtlety slipped in there.
I can’t help but think he is being seriously influenced by that thing he has latched on his left shoulder there. She is obviously influencing that and has really let him no that he wont be very popular if he says no deal
Bankers offer £7000 DEAL
O how smug she looks as he does what she wants him to do, what a wimp!

Round five
Mark 15- £50
Buddy 20-£5
Sharon 5- 50p
He was so due a blue round and after that I really think she should be in the dog house. As she stands there it really annoys me to look at her I mean how far is she shoved up her own……..
Bankers offer£24,000

Round six
Monica 15-
Debbie 2 -£100,000
Nick 21- £1
Bankers offer- £30,000

His box 18 was £10 and to conclude the £75,000 was in box number 6. I really feel quite sorry for Pierre because it seems to me that he would have gone on and he seems to be a really nice guy. I think that his game was snatched by her turning it into Laura’s since she left her seat in the audience. I think everyone reading will agree with me that the money he has just won will be snatched also when they get home, she looks high maintenance to me!
A good game to begin the week, lets hope that the rest aren’t so influenced.

Pierre won £7,000


More "glass half-empty" views

I really do like DOND and hate to sound pessimistic, but by its very nature the show gives itself a limited lifespan. Compare it to Countdown, that other teatime gameshow stalwart, and this becomes clear. Countdown has an equally simple structure, it's a game that anyone can play, with a set number of rounds and basic gameplay rules - make the longest word you can, get the target number, solve the conundrum. The reason it could easily stick around as long as the medium of television lasts is that a substantial level of skill is needed to properly succeed - in this sense the game is not simple at all.

Format-wise, very little has changed on Countdown. They've moved it around the schedules a few times, recently extended it to 45 mins and obviously had to make an enforced change of presenter, but even then the gameplay itself has not changed - the producers know they can't alter the core of the show because this is from where its popularity stems (and viewers have hardly taken to the above changes with universal enthusiasm).

DOND is a game of pure luck. As we know, the only possible element of skill is in attempting to receive higher offers by positively influencing the banker. It's an amazingly simple concept, and Endemol have cleverly packaged it in such a way as to make the programme highly addictive. But it's a concept with a sell-by-date, because however well they choose the contestants and however much you end up rooting for them, there are only so many times you can watch such a simple game without getting bored of the inherent repetition of it all. You can't play along in the same way as Countdown. The structure of the game absolutely can't be changed because this is what made it so successful in the first place, unfortunately this is also its greatest weakness. Giving the show a cosmetic revamp would be the proverbial deckchairs on the Titanic scenario (although that music isn't half getting on my nerves).

Endemol have arguably hastened the show's demise by pushing it too hard (I've certainly yet to find a person who thinks Double Deal week was a good thing), this is symptomatic of a modern culture where anything popular has to be relentlessly exploited for maximum instant gain, and long-term planning be damned. I suppose they might argue that if the show does have a limited shelf-life then they are simply milking their cash cow while they can. If you asked most viewers though, I think we'd rather see the show cut back to 2 or 3 episodes a week in order to try and get some of the old excitement back. There's still the promise of a 250K win to keep a lot of us tuned in. Once that goes, it really could be time to call it a day.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Can Endemol get DOND back on track?

Double deal week has been like a super volcano, where effects continue long after the event. We are struggling to develop relationships with contestants, when they walk to the front, I am almost left wondering if I have seen them before. Noel is exhausted, his phrases tired; players too seem battle hardened and weary, jaded responses to losing power 5 boxes saying it all.

In the Atlanta Olympics the UK team kept losing and saying it didn't matter, they'd had a great time and that was what counted - we the great British public said 'NO - they were there to win, they had failed, and that was what counted!' We needed our athletes to win victoriously or feel desolute in defeat. So it is with DOND - it was heart-breaking to watch Clare crying her eyes out as she left with £1500, but it was complelling. Watching Gaz win £100,000 was fantastic because of Gaz's courage and the reactions of Gaz, his wife, the audience and everyone else; the program finished and I walked around with a good feeling for the rest of the night. But now we are in the land of mediocrity and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

What makes DOND different is the relationship that builds between the contestants and us the audience, and this has largely been achieved through Noel's mastery of the art of compare. But now Noel is tired, and the show is tired, and we are tired - we probably need a break, and we certainly need something to restore the tension and excitement of shows earlier in the year.

Hit Parade - Chart 17

Its not the top of the chart that sparks most interest this week, but the bottom - can Noel really be on his way out of the top ten? Even my own sweet mum said this week that Noel has become 'boring, because he is always saying the same things'....poor Noel. (Sue reckons it was the double deal week that did for him). Other than that we lost Jo and regained Raj while the Banker continues to work on your dark side, all of which just goes to show how immemorable contestants and shows have been recently.

1. Dave W (Dave W)
2. Lucy (Lucy)
3. Kirsty (Kirsty)
4. Banker (Pat M)
5. Pat M (Banker)
6. Becca (Becca)
7. Joseph (Noel)
8. Suzanne (Suzanne)
9. Raj (Jo)
10.Noel (Joseph)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Nick M's Game Report

Its Noel in a deck-chair (his shirt) – according to Noel Roy taught contestants not to be psychologically beaten by the banker – he showed them all how to keep going. ‘Do me a favor’ said Noel in his best Essex, ‘lets make our first quarter-of-a-millionaire on this Saturday night’.

Tonight its Nick M, his head specially shaved for the occasion, he nonchalantly walked down the aisle with box 16. Nick Martin from Blackpool cares for his wife Di following a serious car accident. Di was in the audience; ‘such a privilege and honour to be here’, she said. Noel said that he had not been looking forward to this game; Nick was an ominous looking character. Nick claimed to be a nice guy; a tall, lean, muscular man with a quiet voice and a dark goatee beard, surely the first hit-man to play DOND. He had a target and a comment to put in the book.

[Chris was back from her migraine.]

Round one: Pierre box 22 - £5. Nick D, box 5 - £750. Otis, box 1 - £500. Surely Noel would say something, but he didn’t so the karma was still strong. Nickea, box 7 - £1000. ‘As good as blue’, said Noel, he had to say something didn’t he, then Lance, box 3 - £50,000….of course. The audience took a while to clap, like an old car starting up. Nick showed pictures of his four children (two were his and two Di’s from an earlier relationship) and of course the pre-requiste pit bull terrirer, the preferred tool of any mechanic. The banker reckoned the contestants cost him £24,500 yesterday, and he wanted it back. The offer was £7700. ‘No deal’ said with confidence and steel.

Round two: Georgio, box 12 - £100. Steph, box 10 - £15,000, again the audience were unsure, and even when they clap its not convincing. Linda, box 14 - £50. Nick hated the weather in Blackpool, he wanted the money to buy a bar in some hot climate. The banker was tired of looking at Nick, his offer now was £15,000. Noel, without prompting, asked some of the contestants, Debbie said, ‘its a good offer, but there is more on the board’. No deal said Nick, and the audience got a little louder, but we were still in Countdown territory.

Round three: Sharon, box 11 - £3000, Sandra box 18 - 50p. ‘Starting to get into unsettling’, said Noel. Lindsay, box 19 - £250,000. ‘Gutted’ said Nick; Noel looked to Di – ‘Gutt’d’, she (almost) repeated. The offer was now £10,000. ‘Good offer’ said someone from the audience. Noel asked if Nick needed help, ‘I don’t think so…no deal’ said Nick quietly.

Round four: Monica, box 20 - £100,000. Paul, box 4 - £35,000. ‘What an unbelievably destructive round’ said Noel. He said it as if he thought it was the end of the round, in which case he would have been right as the last three had all been from the power five, but of course the £250k was in the previous round. Mark, box 8 – £1. Noel made fun of Nick’s attempt to select another box, apparently oblivious to his own mistake moments earlier. The board now had four blues against four reds with the £75,000 at one end, and one 1p at the other. The offer now was £6123. Nick was a cool as a cucumber – ‘No deal’.

Round five: Sue, box 21 - £10. Debbie, box 6 – 1p – Nick was finally becoming animated, punching the air with his fist. Chris, box 1 - £75,000. Nick unflustered. Top prize left was now £20,000. The offer was £5001. Nick calmly looked at the board. Noel asked Di to come down to join him – ‘five toosand is a lot of money’, said Di in best Glaswegian. Nick agreed, but said ‘no deal’. Di whinced.

[Point of order – not all Scottish people speak with a Glaswegian accent, not even all Glaswegans. I get very irritated by shows such as Casualty and The Bill, having drunks and thieves portrayed by actors who can only attempt Glaswegian - they should be able to do Aberdonian and Scouse too!]

Round six: Buddy, box 9 - £10,000. Two blues against two reds. Sally, box 2 – 10p. Could Nick avoid the £20,000? Connell, box 15 - £5000. So now we were left with £250 and £20,000, the offer was £8500. Here was the moment of truth. ‘Had a great time, ready for the question’, said Nick – ‘Deal’. Nick’s eyes were glistening, almost tearful, the banker had finally found his mark.

Noel opened Nick’s box, it contained - £250. John had the £20,000 in box 22. His comment was that he wanted enough money to pay for the bar bill and a de-tox clinic after he left the hotel.

This was not a great game, Nick had worked hard on his image as a hard man, saying he was actually ‘nice’ was a bit like Don Carleoni saying he was ‘just a good fella’, it left me unsympathetic to his game, almost anti in fact.

Nick won £8500.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Roy's Game Report

It's Friday and almost the weekend (Does Pete Tong still officially start the weekend at 6pm on radio 1?).

Unfortunately I didn't see the first couple of mins but I expect it was Noel waffling on about courage and all the rest of his usual speech.

Today's player is Roy from Stoke-on-Trent. He's a self employed painter & decorator. Being self employed it's fair to assume he's lost 2-4 weeks work by being on the show.
He has a wife, 4 kids + 6 grandkids.
He has box 3.

Round 1
Roy says Lance usually has the first box and he (Lance) doesn't want Roy picking him first.
Noel gives Lance the right to reply and Lance says "we-we-wel-well-well I don't mind". Noel comments it's like a Paul Whitehouse impression and Roy reminds him it's his show. Noel slaps his wrist and quietly sits in the audience knowing his place.
Roy seems to be quite brave on this game.

  • Box 13 - John - £10
  • Box 17 - Nick M - £1k
  • Box 1 - Nikki - 5k
  • Box 22 - Debbie - 35,000k - There's a thump of the table by Roy on that one
  • Box 12 - Georgio with his hat - 10p - polite applause for all except the 35k

Noel does the a pre-call quiz and it's revealed that Roy doesn't really do horses, but he does regularly do the lottery and his biggest win has been 7.5k.

The call comes - Banker says Roy is a coward - a dealer and he'll be easy.
The offer matches the lottery win, £7,500.
A little thought but no real hesitation - no deal.

Round 2
  • Box 4 - Pierre - £75,000
  • Box 18 - Mark - £500
  • After the break: Box 2 - Nick D - £10,000

The call - Noel talks it up about the banker being upset that some of the big numbers are still in.
The offer is £12,500 which Roy calls 'serious money'.
Roy comments that he's seen 12.5k be the biggest offer a few times and that he should excerise caution, but it's obvious he's already made his mind up. Noel tells him to 'give a memorable game', almost trying to sway the decision.
Again, a little thought but not much - no deal.

Round 3 and Roy opts for a quickee.
  • Box 21 - Lance - £250,000. The quickee deflates
    Roy "knew he should have kept that". Noel quizzes him on it and Roy says "Lance has had a lot of blues and I just thought...". Noel says about how Roy had a premenition that he shouldn't have gone there and since he has a good feeling about his own box he might be right.
  • Box 10 - Lindsay - 20,000
  • Box 6 - Absent Chris - 50p

Just before the call Noel re-iterates how Roy was right about 21 so he might be right about his own.
Call - The banker noticed how Roy looked really down after the 250k. Noel says he noticed it too. Combined with the desk thump after the £35,000, it seems obvious Roy is after something big.
The offer is £5,021 (the extra being because box 21 had the Q/M)
It's a .... No-deal.

Round 4
  • I missed the missed box number - Paul - £1
  • Box 9 - Ottis - £100,000. Groans all round
  • After the break: Box 14 - Sally - £250

Call - Roy and the banker have a chat and the banker advises Roy to 'take it'.
The offer is £3,500. A sweep of the audience reveals everyone saying 'no deal'.
A little thought and a semi-sigh later, it's a no deal.

Round 5
  • Box 8 - Buddy - £50. "Two more blues" says Noel, so Roy complies:
  • Box 15 - Sharron - £750
  • Box 11 - Connel - £5

Remaining: 1p, £100, £3k, £15k, £50k

Call - The banker accepts he won't get Roy cheap however it seems he doesn't fancy the expensive route either,
The offer is £7,500 (same as first offer). Roy asks the audience to stand if they'd deal and a few stand up this time.
A minute's thought and various sighs from Roy later - no deal.

Round 6 - 'This is the biggie'/'This is massive' says Roy.
And I would agree - many many games either end up as the lowest 3 or the lowest vs highest left. With 1p vs 50k in play it's a big gamble...
  • Box 5 - Linda - £3,000
  • Box 16 - Monica - 1p - She thought it was low and it was. That's two predictions correct today.
  • There's a tension over box 7. He likes it but doens't know whether to keep it or open it. He keeps it going for Box 20 - Didn't catch the person - £100. Good choice!

The gamble paid off and then some, with just 15k and 50k left.
Call - The banker believes that the audience made him go on, if he'd gone 1 to 1 with Roy he'd have got him to deal. I'd agree with that, Roy seems quite twitchy.
Roy has a 'big' problem. He said he would always play to the end.
Personally I'd go for it at this point. Though £27.5k is more attractive than 15k, 15k is still very good as a backup. But then he has pushed his luck quite far...
Just a minute of thinking plus the obligatory tension delay and it's a Deal.

Roy says he feels good about box 7 (not his box) and if the swap was offered he'd have taken it. The phone rings and the swap is offered. Noel swaps and in box 7 was the £50,000.

The layers of predictions was a little spooky.
First Lance's 250k (should have left it in throughout - would've been a 100k+ offer!),
then the 1p with Sue saying "it's very low", and
Roy twice with his good feeling about his own box which had 15k,
and the other box which had 50k meaning two things: 1. Had he chosen that box the offer would've been down in the 3-7.5k range. 2. With him not choosing it, if he'd no dealed and swapped as he said he could have had 50k. So in effect he was brave but not quite brave enough.

It was obvious he came for the big money and he got quite a sizable chunk out of it, in a game that was obviously quite a challenge for him.

Roy won £27,500.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Vic's game report

Thursday again, old bean, and up steps Old Vic (obviously I couldn't resist that), the dear chap. He trips down to greet Noel, carrying box 6. With his suave moustache, it is easy to imagine a Young Vic in the military or perhaps as a junior airforceman. He retains a full head of white hair.

Vic Hammond is 83 and lives - perhaps inevitably - in Eastbourne, the Sussex resort where time has stood still for decades (but only because its arthritis makes movement difficult). He has three women in his life:
  • daughter Lynne, who has skilfully avoided her dad's TV appearance by becoming a missionary in Nigeria;
  • Pauline, his partner of 11 years;
  • Sophie, the 12 year-old dog. This is not an insult: she is actually a canine.

Inevitably, Vic shows us pictures of his XX-chromosomed triumvirate. He clearly possesses an eye for the ladies and has the distinguished yet faintly disreputable air of Leslie Phillips about him. Astonishingly, at 83, Vic still works! He is a salesman for what are mysteriously described as "health products". If this is shorthand for a little blue pill which someone keeps e-mailing me about, I shouldn't be remotely surprised: Vic is remarkably sprightly for a man nearly as old as my grandparents.

Nobody watching can fail to notice that Vic is wearing white shoes with his dark trousers and blue shirt. Surely white shoes are synonymous with Essex, not Sussex? This is clearly a man who likes to stand out in a crowd, albeit one who is not afraid to shop from mail-order catalogues offering the Alan Partridge sports casual look. We envisage him with a peaked cap spending a morning on the golf course before chatting up the young filly behind the bar in the clubhouse.

Vic demonstrates his sales technique, urging the audience to join in with his odd mantra whilst waving their arms maniacally: "I'm alive, I'm well, I feel great. I'm alive, I'm well, I feel great." A self-conscious audience humours this bizarre old man by joining in half-heartedly. He then commands everyone at home to do likewise. Sorry Vic, I confess that I changed the words: "I am barely alive, I haven't slept in weeks thanks to this damned hayfever, it's gone onto my chest, the taste in my mouth suggests I've been licking the floor of a taxi, I don't feel too good right now, but thanks for asking. I suppose things could be worse: I could have something nasty, not just a little infection, and it's clearing up quite nicely with these antibiotics and a bit of Benylin. Anyway, let's just get on with the game, you weirdo."

Not a bit of it: Vic waves a chain above the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 on a bit of paper. This is not mysticism, this is nonsense from a Christmas cracker. Please choose a box now, Vic.

Vic still refuses to start his game and instead teaches the audience another chant: "Vic to pick all the blues and low-money reds to begin with." What ho, chaps, I do believe he's got it! The Leslie Phillips look returns as he catches the eye of some right saucy bit of brisket in the audience. As Mr Phillips appeared in four of the films, it is hard not to cry "Carry On Vic!"


Finally, we start as some members of the audience start to doze.

  • Vic chooses Mark and box 4: £500.
  • Lindsay is next with box 8. Vic has clearly taken a shine to this attractive young woman and she revels in his geriatric attentions for a moment before revealing £1,000.
  • Proving his lack of superstition (he walks under ladders too), Vic opts for Sandra and box 13: £5.
  • Lance sounds increasingly like a camp John Le Mesurier, whose credits do not extend to Carry On. Box 14 contains £100.
  • Vic thinks for a very long time and then chooses Nick and box 9. After his long deliberation, amazingly the £250,000 is uncovered.

The banker is understandably thrilled by the final box and gushes down Noel's ear: "I'm alive, I'm well, I feel great!" He offers Vic £1,234, as presaged by his peculiar chain manoeuvre. Vic is unimpressed: "No deal."


  • Inevitably, buxom Lynda has to be likened to Hattie Jacques as her matronly figure opens box 7 to reveal £750.
  • Chris (Joan Sims) has a migraine so Roy steps in to open box 18: £10,000.
  • Vic picks Ottis and box 3. After the break, however, he has forgotten his choice and opts for Roy's own box 19 instead: it contains 50p. In the right light, Roy could be taken to be Charles Hawtrey.

A good round is rewarded with an increased offer. Vic suggests it might be £4,321 but in fact, it is £9,000. This is respectable and, indeed, respected. Vic has clearly come to play the game: "No deal."


Noel inexplicably offers Vic a lucky tea-bag to sniff. Vic does so, several times.

  • John opens box 16 and reveals 10p.
  • More winking from Vic greets Sally: "God, she's lovely!" Sally shows she is unimpressed by this as she opens box 22 to show the £75,000. "That'll teach you to treat women - sorry, wimmin - as objects for your personal gratification," was the phrase I was taught by a very feminist girl I dated at uni. Sadie put me off women for life, but I never thanked her for it. Well, Sadie, if you're reading... here are your thanks.
  • Vic and Giorgio exchange some words in Italian. Giorgio is wearing a hat, perhaps a trilby, although we are given no explanation. Box 11 contains £20,000.

The conversation returns to English and the banker rings with a repeated offer of £9,000. The consensus is that Vic ought to play on. Above the hubbub, Lance authoritatively says that he would do so. Vic agrees: "No deal."


  • Naqiyah opens box 15 and shows the £1.
  • Sue is next: box 17 represents Vic's birthday. It is also the number he has left before hitting 100. Even so far into the recording, he is remarkably bright. Sue eliminates the £3,000 from the board.
  • Noel commands Buddy to remove the seal from box 12 before we go to the break. We return to see the £35,000. Vic returns to his mantra about blues and low-money reds. The round heading could be so widely applied that I shall leave its application to the reader's imagination.

The offer is still £9,000. The response is still "No deal."

Up The Khyber

The fifth round is where so many games go pear-shaped. Would it be "Up The Khyber" or "Carry On Girls"?

  • Monica (who can only be likened to Barbara Windsor with Nick and Connell on either side of her, looking like the Mitchell brothers...) opens box 5: £250.
  • Sharron is next with box 2: £100,000. The Khyber approaches.
  • Finally, Paul opens box 1 and reveals the £15,000. Two of the three highest remaining sums have been wiped out.

Inevitably, the offer drops - to £4,321, as Vic had predicted after his strong second round. The response is a decisive "No deal."

Don't Lose Your Head

Five boxes remain: 1p, £10, £50, £5,000 and £50,000.

  • Vic returns to Ottis, from whom he changed his mind during the first break. Box 3 contains 1p. Well helloooooo.
  • Scary Debbie is just about the only woman to whom Vic opts not to tip a wink. Wise move, buster: she has the look of death in her eyes. Box 10 contains £50.
  • Vic has two boxes left in the wings. He opts to toss a coin. Legend has it that W G Grace was a terribly bad sport. When facing a coin-toss in the Victorian era (with VR herself on one side and Britannia on the other), Grace would bark neither "Heads!" nor "Tails!", but "Woman!" - thus guaranteeing himself the win. Given his peccadilloes, Vic might be expected to follow suit, but opts to discard Pierre's box 21 with Heads and Connell's box 20 with Tails. The coin lands Heads and Pierre reveals £5,000.

With £10 and £50,000 left, the banker clearly decides that he cannot take the risk of Vic refusing the offer. It is a decidedly generous £19,000. Equally, Vic decides that he cannot take the risk of his partner Pauline's wrath. He issues a relieved response: "Deal."


It looks as though Vic couldn't care less about the whereabouts of the £50,000. Noel tries to create some tension by pretending that it matters, although Vic is obviously very content with his £19,000. Box 6 in fact contains the £10, whilst Connell (a younger, balder Bernard Bresslaw... now would I would say that to his face?) opens box 20 to reveal the £50,000.

Vic made the perfect deal at the perfect time, selling his £10 box for precisely £18,990 more, and charmed a few ladies in the process. All ends up, a perfect game.

Vic won £19,000. Ding dong.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Linda's Game Report

[Tonight's report is by Olivia and Sue - unfortunately Olivia was delayed and missed the first 20 minutes, so this was added in later by Sue, many thanks to both of you - Iain]

Noel in an amazing lemon and pink creation for a shirt. The show theme appears to be –change, -your mind, small- and of change of life. The random selection is a change of position for Linda who is delighted carrying over her box no 11. Linda E has been in position for a total of 23 shows, husband Jim is in the audience for support. She has 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Home now is Ramsgate but she was born a true Eastender. She is very bubbly, has earned a living amongst other things doing market stalls in Orpington. Noel already has the panel allocated characters from Eastenders the soap.

No system to follow but a few special numbers she will keep in reserve.

Round 1
Lance, box 16 is first up to the crease with £100
John, nox 3 - £50
Buddy box 4 – 10p
Vic box 12 - £750
Box 2 - £1000

A truly brilliant start with an almost all blue round. We see Linda’s pics Matt age 18 and Taylor aged 12 and Olivia and Gracie are all her grandchildren.
The phone call comes with an offer of £14,000 which is rejected by bubbly Linda who is keen to play on.

Round 2
Linda B, box 7 - £500
Georgio box 10 £100,000 from the Italian in the jaunty angled trilby.
Sally box 9 – takes us to ‘rotura’ from Georgio which is Italian for break. Sally has £35,000 in her box.

Not such a good round, Noel, Linda and Jim are all agreed but still optimistic. The offer is £11,000 – swiftly despatched without reference to anyone – no deal. Noel declares her jollity to be infectious.

Round 3
Otis, (Newbie, who looks remarkably like Johnathen from BB) box 22 - £50,000
Debs, box 13 - 1p
Lindsay, box 5 - £10
There is some suggestion regarding the contents of Linda’s dond mug. The banker thinks she is hammered. The offer is £16,000 at this point. Jim in the audience is asked for his thoughts. He advises his wife to carry on. No deal is the decision.

OK – over to Olivia who had a nightmare trying to get back in time for the whole of last night’s show.

After teasing noel for a bit with her facial expressions Linda no deals and with some positive energy we are looking forward to round 4.

Round 4: Linda’s choice is box 21 with Pierre; he produces 15,000 with a mixed reception and some people not quite able to make up their minds about this number it is decided that Linda can afford for 15,000 to go. Next she chooses box 8 with Monica and notes that in China number 8 is a lucky number but then comes to her senses as she realises that in actual fact we aren’t in China. Box 8 produces £3,000 that was fine for Linda.
Linda next chooses Mark with box 15 and as we all could tell from Noel and his flowery patterned shirt that he was going to call a break. I hate when Noel does this because usually there is a bad number after break which often kills the game but we arrive back on the deal or no deal scene and all is calm as Mark produces £10,000.A pretty decent round. It’s a scary game says Noel but the banker offers £20,000 which isn’t at all scary in fact it’s lovely says Linda. I see the words deal in Jim’s mouth, literally, and looking quite shocked that the words came from her mouth Linda deals at £20,000.

Round 5: Linda chooses Paul with box 20 and gives us the £75,000, if she hadn’t have dealt this would have been a bad start but it’s a good start for Linda. Chris with box 6 gave us the £250 but Linda does need to find the quarter mil.
Linda’s next choice is Nick with box 18 he takes £5 out of the game, not what Linda needed to go. This would not have been a bad round.
The banker is thanking Jim again for encouraging Linda to deal at this point the offer would have been £30,000 and the offer that was denied to her the first time was taken from her grasp again and she would have got away with it too if it wasn’t for that pesky Jim! Sorry this is not Scooby Doo this is deal or no deal.

Round 6: Sue starts us off with box 1 and the 50p wouldn’t have been a bad start. Next is box 14 which holds the £5,000. It is now absolutely crucial that Linda gets the quarter mil away from the board or this would have been the perfect game and she chooses Connell to be the man to do this for her and he does his job well as the £250,000 slides from the board. Well done Connell.

If she played on, all that she would have had left would be £1 and £20,000 and the offer would have been £9,000. Interestingly to match her offer Linda has £20,000 in her box but the question is has she beaten the banker or not?
Anyway, all Linda ever wanted was £20,000 and that’s what she got. As Noel states, everyone is happy.