5 UK TV Quizzes That Never Caught On

They should've been around for longer, so what went wrong?

Courtesy of Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow, we’re currently witnessing some gems of TV past get the phoenix-from-the-flames treatment. Thank God there are some quizzes that won’t ever see the light of day again, yet there’s a small handful that were suddenly given the chop for no good reason. Unfortunately, both the public and TV execs know what they dislike, so let’s take a look.

  1. 1

    The Machine (2002 - 2004)

    Hands up who's heard of this? Thought not. We're kicking off with possibly the most obscure entry on the list, but surely the most socially-distanced. Asking the questions was "The Machine", a hologram of a female robot, who in a vain attempt to replicate The Weakest Link, seemed to take great pleasure in belittling contestants. One by one, they took their turn to be strapped into a chair and answer quick-fire trivia. Still, they almost always seemed to laugh it off because, let's be honest, how many people were even tuning into ITV just before midnight on a Tuesday?

  2. 2

    Friends Like These (1999 - 2003)

    What do Ant and Dec and Ian Wright have in common? Where do we start? On a serious note, they both had two-year spells at presenting this weekly battle of the sexes. Two teams of best mates, five girls and five boys (except in the case of Steps, in the above celebrity edition), took turns to compete in a set of individual challenges, with the winning side going through to put their friendships to the ultimate test and hopefully win a luxury holiday. Ant & Dec? Ian Wright? Battle of the sexes? Doomed, I suppose.

  3. 3

    The Deadly Knowledge Show (2005 - 2006)

    Maybe its weekday morning slot didn't do it any favours, but the fact that this short-lived C4 offering, hosted by Absolute Radio's Dave Berry, doesn't even have an entry on Game Show Fandom speaks volumes. This alone however, could mean that it's possibly the most underrated programme of its kind. The format seemed to work, the questions were of just the right standard, but its attempt to inject a dose of pop culture at the same time was possibly where it came undone. Not great viewing for OAPs on a Monday morning, to put it mildly.

  4. 4

    One To Win & 100% (2000 & 1997 - 2001)

    Two for the price of one here, as both came in the early days of Channel Five and came to an end in 2001. Robin Houston was the man at the helm, although in the case of 100% it was his only his voice that could be heard, which is something to be remembered for in itself. This one had the longer run of the two, which can only mean C5 bosses thought that poor old Robin didn't have a face for TV - how dare they?!

  5. 5

    Jeopardy! (1983 - 1984, 1990 -1993, 1995 - 1996)

    A strange inclusion, as it's quite the icon in America, having clocked up in excess of an astounding 8,000 episodes. Its current syndication alone has been running since 1984, with many of these currently available on Netflix, if you have the inclination. To-date, it's been given three bites at the cherry here in the UK, so the mystery as to why it's never quite taken off continues...

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