Channel4’s TV Phoneshop, Deal or no deal and Come dine with me

Since I’ve been at home recovering from my brush with death. I’ve started watching a lot more TV. This has been a bit of shock for people that know me. He’s the ones I watch the most, weirdly there mainly Channel4.

Come dine with me

I love this series, its very simple. Take 4/5 strangers then every night a guest cooks for the rest of the group in there home. At the end of the evening, the guests mark the food and dining experience out of 10. At the end of the week we see who has the highest score and that person gets the prize fund of £1000.

The concept is so simple and works for strangers, celebs, sports stars, almost anyone. I’ve even heard that some of my friends have done a personal come dine with me with other friends. Although I got to say thats got to be one of the quickest ways to loose friends and cause massive rows.

The best part of come dine with me has to be the voice over which points how nutty the guests are. Its cheap throw away television but cleverly put together


This is a brand new series from Channel4, its only on episode 3 but I got to say its had me in stitches, mainly because the characters are simply crazy and I also know people who actually talk and interact in the same way. The South London urban accent and setting makes the whole thing even more funny. Specially since I spent a good few years there myself.

I’ve included a clip at the very top of the post, if you don’t get the humor maybe its just not for you.

Deal or no Deal

22 boxes, no one knows whats in the box. The player picks a box and picks off boxes till there is only two boxes left. Hopefully the player has picked a box with a quarter of million inside and opens it to find it. The external force is the banker which changes everything.

My ex-wife says this is a game for those who don’t understand probability but you know what I’m not so sure. I can only talk about the UK version (as like most game shows theres versions all around the world).

There’s a strategic point running through the game which the game kind of glosses over.

I first thought the banker would simply offer offers which were the average of whats left in the boxes, but thats not the case. In actual fact its a bit of a poker game, if the banker thinks the player will go on and believes in the box, the banker will offer higher amounts to put the player off. If the player seems shaky and a little nervous, the banker will put in slightly lower offers, hoping the player will go for it. So theres a bit of interaction from a far.

The game’s deceptively simple format has attracted attention from mathematicians, statisticians, and economists as a study of decision making under risk: It is an excellent instructive example of the application of utility theory.

In 2004, a team of economists played a scaled-down version of the game with 84 participants and compared the results with the expected utility hypothesis. The study received a great deal of media attention, appearing on the front page of The Wall Street Journal on January 12, 2006 as well as being featured on National Public Radio in the United States on March 3, 2006.

So its the game strategy which interest me about the gameshow.

I may also have a member of my family going on deal or no deal in the near future, so I’ll be filling them in on all the strategy behind the game.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and