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Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown

  • Episode:

    6 of 6

  • Transmission (TX):

    Sat 13 Feb 2021

  • TX Confirmed

    Yes

  • Time

    10.00pm - 10.40pm

  • Week:

    Week 07 2021 : Sat 13 Feb - Fri 19 Feb

  • Channel:

    ITV

  • Published:

    Wed 03 Feb 2021

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 9 February 2021.

Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown

Episode 6

Chaser, stand-up comedian and TV trivia genius Paul Sinha hosts the TV-themed comedy quiz show. Team captains Fay Ripley and Rob Beckett are joined by celebrity guests Josie d’Arby, Emilia Fox, Richard Madeley and John Thomson to compete head-to-head and test their TV knowledge.

Series overview

Paul Sinha hosts a brand new quiz show with a difference this January on ITV.

Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown sees two teams of three familiar faces from the world of telly do battle in the ultimate TV trivia quiz.

Hilariously witty Chaser, stand-up comedian and TV trivia genius Paul Sinha hosts this raucous, fiercely contested battle in which celebrities’ pride is at stake.

Each week, regular team captains Fay Ripley and Rob Beckett will go head-to-head with their respective teams, which include Emilia Fox, Adil Ray, Melvin Odoom, Laura Whitmore, Janet Street-Porter, Roman Kemp, Shirley Ballas and more.

Featuring clips from the best-loved shows, adverts and music videos from today and recent decades, Paul tests the teams’ knowledge of what’s on the box, from Blind Date to Bake Off and everything in between.

Round 1 sees contestants answer questions based on a clip. Round 2, they must identify a TV star based on a set of clues given by a celeb guest. In Round 3 team members pick a category and each answer a question based on that. The fourth round sees each panellist face their own set of questions in a quick-fire Q&A round, before scores are totalled and the winning team is announced.

It’s one thing to be on the telly - but it’s another to know your stuff about it!

A Livewire Pictures production.

***

HOST: PAUL SINHA

How did it feel to be the host of a quiz?

“It was quite extraordinary. Seeing your own name in lights is the most discombobulating part of the whole experience. That they’ve handed you this level of responsibility. I’ve only been part of stuff before, rather than driving it from the middle. I was surprisingly not nervous, but emotional.”

Did you seek any advice from anyone, such as Bradley Walsh?

“No, you’ve got to forge your own path and have your own ideas about what you want to do. If people give me advice, unsolicited, I’ll of course listen and listen very carefully. But this year of all years, the last thing I wanted to do was dump myself on other people. People are busy.

“Bradley’s so good, so is that really the best starting point for trying to learn? Or should you keep your ambitions a little bit lower? But you watch him again and again and again and you know why he’s good.”

How were the team captains Rob Beckett and Fay Ripley?

“Rob I’ve known for a few years and we knew we’d get on. There’s banter. It’s all in jest. Fay, I’d never met her before. She’s a force of nature, that’s for sure.

“They are surprisingly competitive given the nature of the programme suggests you shouldn’t take the scores too seriously. You realise that people in general are competitive.”

Did any of the celebrity guests surprise you in their knowledge?

“Yes, but I’m not going to say who it is…”

Were any of the celebrities competitive?

“Yes, every single one of them pretty much. They were all taking it seriously.”

Which round is your favourite?

“As a quizzer myself, I like the last round. That’s when reputations are made as each member of the team gets their own set of questions.”

Are you a telly buff?

“I used to be a telly buff, now I watch it because I need it for my job. I’m very good on 80s and 90s TV and less good on the last 20 years.”

TEAM CAPTAIN: Fay Ripley

Are you a telly buff?

“I think I didn’t understand the premise of the show… I understood I would be quizzed on the television that I watched last Tuesday... But apparently, it’s a back catalogue. My back catalogue, due to menopause, is not what it was. My back catalogue of anything. So I think it’s safe to say I’ve turned out to be the underdog. But I’m the underdog who thinks she’s a winner. It’s a terrible combination. Very competitive, but got no knowledge. It’s quite a bad combination.

“Whereas Rob has got loads of knowledge, but he’s very casual about the quiz. And of course Paul, it’s his life’s blood. You’ve got an odd combination and it’s a bit like a family on Christmas Day to be honest.

“All I had in my head was my own name and what I had for dinner. The answer to none of the questions was either of those two things. In one of the rounds when the spotlight was pointed at me and the rest of the room went dark and there was the sound of a beating heart, I thought ‘This has suddenly got serious’. But it was really good fun.” 

Do you watch a lot of quizzes?

“I mainly watch The Chase because of all the older ladies in my family who basically don’t really talk about anything else other than The Chase.

“I got asked to do Celebrity Chase and Celebrity Mastermind. I avoid that stuff as I know my limits. Being asked to do a quiz about telly I thought, hang on, this is my safety zone, I’m comfortable as hell with this. Not a problem. Turns out, it’s the same problem as Mastermind etc and remembering the names of people on the telly. It’s been a learning curve for me, but now when I watch the telly, in case I ever have to do it again, I make notes. I sit there literally with a paper and pen, it’s not fun, watching telly is no longer fun and I just have to revise.”

How did your family react to you working with Paul Sinha?

“I think it’s the greatest disappointment of all time - within the female, over 70s contingent in the Ripley family - that they didn’t get to meet Paul. I think it’s just as well, as I don’t know how Paul would have coped with the fawning. I think they would have gone beyond being welcoming and very sweet to being quite scary I think.”

Are you a box set binger?

“I mainly watch telly so that I’m not missing out on what other people are talking about. I never get there first. Never am I the person that says, ‘Wow, that’s just dropped’ – I believe is the expression – ‘have you watched so and so?’. I’m always the one that says, ‘I better watch that’.

“I love a reality show. If I’m in a Strictly or an X Factor camp, very much X Factor. People singing, I cry immediately. I’ll watch the dramas a bit because I have to. Although there are some I absolutely love – often the American ones – Handmaid’s Tale, stuff like that. But I flit from one thing to another. If in doubt I’ll just go for what is my easy option which is to watch other people watching telly on Gogglebox. And I’ll also watch a bit of Love Island. I used to watch a lot of cooking shows. I love Bake Off.”

What was Paul like as a host?

“I’ve never met another human being who cares about quizzes as much as Paul. Quizzing is very important to him. And, therefore, he’s doing the most perfect job. Because Rob and I were a bit like mum and dad, messing about, joking backwards and forwards and Paul was very much the grown-up in the room. He’s playing a quiz whether Rob and I are asking to go to the toilet or not. He’s like, ‘You’re not going to the toilet, you’re going to answer this question’. It’s a good fun combo.”

What’s Rob like as your opponent?

“He was annoying, obviously. Mainly because he won more than I did. I partly did the show because I’m a bit of a super fan of his. He’s such a funny guy. He is a real rarity I have to say. There’s a lot of funny people out there, but the thing that most funny people have to have is they have to be quite insular and quite selfish with their jokes and with their humour. Rob genuinely is an incredibly generous guy and he’s very warm and welcoming and he puts a big imaginary comedy hug around you. He was so lovely and it was such a lovely, fun experience. He brings everybody in.”

How did you find the different rounds, which switch between being clip-based and more straight Q&A form?

“It’s amazing how watching a clip can take you back to a time in your life. That’s what telly does. Whether it was when you were a kid, or first having your babies, it just takes you back to a time and you can just watch a bit of Ant and Dec from the archives and you go, ‘Oh my god!’ It’s really fun watching the clips. They’ve picked really great questions from clips you’ve not seen for a while and sometimes it’s not even from that long ago and you think, gosh so much has happened in the last year, everything seems like a long time ago. Some of them you’ve just frankly forgotten so you’re watching as if watching for the first time.”

Did any of your celebrity teammates surprise you?

“How about all of them? I really wanted them to do well, so that I could win… I’d say, ‘I can give nothing’, and they’d say, ‘But you’re the captain!’ And I’d say, ‘I’m aware of that…’. So some of them really brought their A-game. Chizzy Akudolu brought her A-game big time. Richard Madeley, he took the quiz very seriously, he really wanted to win, which was great for me.”

TEAM CAPTAIN: ROB BECKETT

What is it like working with Paul as host?

“I’ve done gigs with him for years. And I beat him on The Chase Celebrity Special and he’s never let it go. He’ll tell me questions that I got right in that Final Chase that I beat him on, and I’ve forgotten what the answer is now. I knew it then. He is all about details and facts. I think that’s why the show works so well as we’re all such different characters. I’m quite competitive and I like quizzes and stuff but I don’t really care too much about the detail of anything. And then Fay is so relaxed. It’s like she’s at a dinner party and forgets it’s a quiz and is laughing and joking. It’s such a good mix of people. It’s like a sitcom almost.

“Sometimes no one cares about the quiz at points. And Paul cannot understand a world where we all just don’t mind losing. He’s so competitive. Everyone’s like, ‘Ah never mind’. And he’s like, ‘What do you mean never mind?’ The questions are so easy for him that I think at times he can get frustrated that we don’t know. Like he can recite every I’m A Celebrity winner in a weird song he invented. He does like to do an impromptu rap.”

Are you a telly buff?

“Oh yeah, I love telly. I love it all. I’ll watch a documentary on BBC4 about Woody Allen, but then I’ll be watching Diva Forever with Gemma Collins. I watch anything and everything. I watched The Sopranos the day before I started secondary school. That’s not OK is it? I was 11. I love telly, I’m A Celebrity, Strictly I’ve got into now because of the kids. I’ll watch all of it.

“It was like another family member growing up, the TV, it was my childminder. All this training has finally paid off. All the teachers that didn’t believe in me, now I’m smashing the final round, all that training I put in.”

What is your favourite round?

“I’m alright until it gets to the 80s and earlier and I’m too young for it. That’s a lack of experience holding me back at that stage. That’s why it’s quite good as the celebs are varied with ages. They might say, ‘Can’t believe you don’t know that’ but then I’ll say, ‘OK, show me how TikTok works.’ It’s all relative.”

Were the celebrities competitive?

“Antony Cotton and Janet Street-Porter it was like a Tyson Fury/ Anthony Joshua press conference. Not actually angry, but it was brilliant. This game show is like when you play a board game at Christmas with your family.”

What are you like as a captain?

“I contribute well to my team. Fay had good days and bad days. I wouldn’t say she’s a natural quizzer. But she’s a great leader, great for morale and she was so funny. People at home will be able to join in and laugh along.”

Did any of the celebrity guests impress you?

“Roman Kemp was good. Antony Cotton was great. Chizzy Akudolu - she was the best. Shirley Ballas had a slow start but did herself proud at the end. She’s lived in LA – she said, ‘I haven’t watched British TV for years’. But she performs really well under pressure. The final round is like Mastermind – you have to answer on your own and quickly.”

[ends]