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Week 17 2023 : Sat 22 Apr - Fri 28 Apr
- Wed 12 Apr 2023
The 1% Club
Award winning comedian and actor Lee Mack is back to present another series of the hugely popular, award winning prime-time quiz show The 1% Club on ITV. The success of series 1 has seen Lee receive a nomination for a 2023 BAFTA for best Entertainment Performance.
Produced by Magnum Media, the 8x60 minute series will once again challenge everyone of all ages and backgrounds to find out what % they really are. The 1% Club, unlike most quizzes, shows you don’t need to swot up on general knowledge to do well. All you need is logic and common sense.
In The 1% Club, 100 contestants begin every show - but to make it to the end and win the top prize of up to £100,000, contestants must correctly answer a question only 1% of the country would get right.
Each contestant starts with £1,000 but, if they answer any question incorrectly, they are out of the game and their £1,000 goes straight into the Prize Pot for everyone get the chance of winning. The show starts by Lee asking a question that 90% of the country got right (based on a sample of answers given by 1,000 people across Britain) and then go on to ask questions that smaller and smaller percentages answered correctly.
Each time contestants flunk their answers the prize money swells. As the questions get harder and the contestants numbers dwindle, host Lee breaks the tension with his quick-fire wit, teasing the contestants as their brains do somersaults in the battle to make it to the end of the show and a shot at the prize pot.
Lee Mack said: “If, like me, your lack of general knowledge frustrates you when doing quizzes, then watch The 1% Club. That way, like me, you can instead be frustrated by your lack of logic. Great contestants, loads of cash to win, and guaranteed ‘I can’t believe you couldn’t work that one out Dad!’ moments to cause family disputes. I love it.”
Q&A with Lee Mack
What appealed to you about making this show?
“What I really liked about it was the people making it were a company I’ve worked with before and I know they don’t dumb down. It starts like most quizzes do, gentle and a little bit easy, but the fact it then goes on to asking a question only 1% of the population knows is great. Quizzes like Millionaire, which is a brilliant quiz show, are great, starting off fairly easy and yet towards the end most of us haven’t got a clue what the answers are… which is handy otherwise they’d have to give a million pounds out each show.”
What sort of quiz shows are you a fan of?
“I like quizzes that are tough. I watch University Challenge knowing that if I’m lucky I’ll get a couple of questions right and I’m more than happy with that because when you get it right you feel great. That’s what I really liked about The 1% Club, producers shared some questions with me and if I’d been able to get them all right, I probably wouldn’t have done the show. But I quickly realised, if someone gets these right, they’re a proper brainbox.”
“This is what I like about it, most quizzes use traditional questions, general knowledge style. You either know them or you don’t straight away, but what’s good about The 1%Club is the questions are about logic, if you don’t know straight away and your brain is quick enough, you can try to work it out in the 30 seconds you have to answer.
What was it like hosting a show with 100 contestants, did it feel like a stand-up gig sometimes?
“What was interesting is the people on the show were both contestants and the audience and given my stand-up background, even though I haven’t done it for 7 years, that ability to work with the audience and joke with them, never goes away. But this is slightly different, comedy can be difficult at the best of times, never mind when someone is thinking about a difficult logic question. It’s about trying to get the balance right, £100k is a life-changing amount of money so I did make sure there were no jokes towards the end.”
Did you try some questions out at home with the family?
“There’s a very strict embargo on knowing what the questions are, with lots of security in place, there were very few people that knew the answers. But I showed the kids after we’d filmed it and they played along with it and were really engaged in the questions and loved it. Interestingly, playing for real in the studio, I also found that the % was normally spot on. For example there was a 50% question that I thought was easy but sure enough only 50% of the contestants got it right, so they’re very well researched on what people are capable of getting right.”
How do you think you’d do if you were playing for real?
“I would say it’s like when you have an IQ test and there’s no general knowledge, it’s different types of questions…intelligence and knowledge can be quite different things, people that aren’t academic can have high IQ’s and this is more logic based than just remembering facts. I’m not going to lie – I went through the whole series without getting a 1%, the best I did was a 5% question. I always thought I would be a contestant that wouldn’t go for the option of taking a grand and ending my go, but as the series went on I realised it was too hard and I changed my mind. I’d have snatched the grand off them! It’s great that the show gives the contestants that option. The other good thing is if you do go out early, you’re still part of the show.”
What were the audience/contestants like to work with?
“This is another reason I loved doing the show, my two favourite types of contestants are the impressive ones that stay all the way to the end and we get to know more about them and see how clever they are being able to get that far and being very good at it. Or the complete opposite, the people out at the beginning and just really enjoy the whole experience and are there for a laugh, there to enjoy themselves and have a night out. They know they’re not going to win but love the experience anyway. I like the two extremes this show gives you.”
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