Michael McIntyre is swapping standup for Saturday night telly, creating and starring in new BBC One quiz show The Wheel.
Fresh off the back of his latest Netflix special, the new primetime show sees contestants play in the centre of a ‘human roulette wheel’, calling on the help of seven celebrity experts to win big.
The show launches next Saturday in the run up to Christmas, with the comedian having recorded ‘10 shows a week’ during lockdown on a socially distanced set.
But how did he first come up with the idea? Naturally, in the bath.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk and other press, Michael said: ‘I was thinking for a while about the evolution of entertainment television. There’s been so many talent shows. I just thought there hasn’t been any brand new formats for game shows and quiz shows.
‘They’re so well loved and they always do so well when people revive old formats. I thought [of the idea for The Wheel] in the bath literally within moments.’
The show features celebrity ‘experts’, all assigned different categories to match their strengths. Carol Vorderman, for instance, takes numbers. Gemma Collins, on the other hand, is an expert in all things Essex.
As the wheel spins with each question, contestants have a one in seven chance of landing on the expert or being thrown off completely, combining skill with the random luck of the spin.
‘A human roulette wheel was my first thought. It’s obviously something that’s been used very many times in game shows. I just thought of putting people on the end of it,’ Michael said.
The stand-up star is pleased with the format, but it’s the spinning set itself that he seems most proud of. ‘It looks insane. I mean, it looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before,’ he said, revealing that he ‘based the chairs on the Jedi Council’ from Star Wars.
It’s a big move for the Bafta winning comedian, marking his first foray into quiz show hosting.
‘I didn’t want to be a game show host. I just wanted to be me hosting a game show,’ he said. ‘I’ve taken it very loosely, but I’m ribbing myself a lot about getting things wrong. It’s me trying to make it as much as an entertainment show as a quiz show.’
The comedian was surprised by the ‘excitement and the camaraderie’ on the show, but also spoke about the competitive edge among the celebrity experts.
‘Obviously, the experts are very nervous about getting their own questions wrong and being shown up,’ he said. ‘All the experts play along secretly on keypads. So we collate their scores and then I reveal the rank order of how they performed from the best celebrity expert to the worst… it’s very, very stressful.’
Michael admitted the lack of a live audience in the studio has taken some getting used to. He does, however, hope the show can give viewers ‘something to smile about’ at the end of a strange year.
‘This is my very small role to play in this really, really tough time that everyone’s going through,’ he said. ‘It’s just to distract you for a little bit of time. I’m trying to make just a very, very silly, fun, escapism television just for an hour.’
Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel launches on BBC One at 8.30pm on November 28.
Credit: Original article published here.