Daytime TV is the home to a plethora of weird and wonderful quiz shows. Whether you prefer The Chase, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, or Eggheads, it is without doubt that TV quiz shows are a genre that is utterly adored. Here is my overview of the best quiz shows on TV.
The first quiz show that has to be mentioned here is The Chase. The Chase is a cut above the rest. Bradley Walsh hosts as four contestants compete against a professional quizzer, the Chaser, in order to win a shared cash prize. I will never tire of hearing sass from Mark “The Beast” Labbett and who can forget Bradley Walsh laughing hysterically at the name “Fanny Chmelar”? Seriously, what did we do to deserve Bradley Walsh? The Chase airs at an optimum time; at 5pm on ITV (or 6pm on ITV+1), which allows everyone, me included, to enjoy a meal in the company of Bradley and the gang. The simple format and fast-paced questions, coupled with the wit of the chasers and Walsh’s charm, is what makes The Chase one of the best quiz shows on TV.
First aired in 1962, University Challenge still remains one of BBC Two’s highest rated shows. Four members from a single university form one team and compete against four members from a different university. Providing us with some of the most memorable TV quiz show moments, like the contestant who said “hapax legomenon” (if you haven’t seen this, YouTube it), University Challenge brings joy into our hearts, while also being completely awe-inspiring. Not only is this quiz show entertaining, but it is actually really impressive. For most of us, answering just one question right is cause for celebration, and if you answer more than one, you can legitimately call yourself an intellectual titan. It baffles me that these students can often get five or six questions correct in a row.
“I have never heard of Pointless being described as ‘alright’; it’s either the best show you have ever watched, or it’s the worst quiz show on TV”
You either love or hate Pointless. There is no in-between. I have never heard of Pointless being described as “alright”; it’s either the best show you have ever watched, or it’s the worst quiz show on TV. Hosted by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osmond, Pointless contestants, in teams of two, have to find the correct and most obscure answer to general knowledge questions. The originality of Pointless is perhaps what makes attitudes towards the show so polarized. It is unique in comparison to all other TV quiz shows. Finding the least common answer may well appear, to some, to be... well, pointless, but the uniqueness of the show, alongside the awkward banter between the hosts is both completely adorable and strangely enticing. The Telegraph said that Pointless was “accessibly mainstream but smartly highbrow at the same time”.
These have been a few of what I consider the best quiz shows on TV. We all need a good quiz show every now and then; and with shows like The Chase, University Challenge and Pointless, we are well set to have our general knowledge thoroughly tested.