Michael McIntyre: 'I'm used to viewers being cynical'
Michael McIntyre came up with the idea for his new TV show while sitting in the bath.
Surrounded by bubbles, soothing music and pina colada-scented candles (if his baths are anything like ours), the comedian developed the basic format for his new BBC One game show The Wheel.
在泡泡、舒缓的音乐和菠萝蜜香味的蜡烛的环绕下(如果他的浴缸和我们的浴缸一样)，这位喜剧演员为他的新BBC One游戏节目The Wheels开发了基本格式。
"I was thinking about the evolution of entertainment television, and how there have been so many talent shows," he explains. "And I just thought, there haven't been many brand new formats for shows, and they're so well loved. So I thought, I'm going to try and think of one.
"So I thought of two in the bath," he says. "Literally within moments." One of them was The Wheel, which begins on Saturday. "I also had another idea, not so good, that one didn't go anywhere. But that's on the back burner!" he laughs.
Usually at this time of year, McIntyre would be gearing up for a new series of his Big Show; the phenomenally successful variety programme which has been a staple of BBC One's winter schedule since 2016.
通常在每年的这个时候，麦金太尔都会紧锣密鼓地准备一档新的《他的大节目》(His Big Show)--这档大获成功的综艺节目自2016年以来一直是BBC One冬季节目的主打节目。
It's a huge hit with viewers, and you can understand why. McIntyre's endearing, family-friendly personality, fused with some ingenious features like the Midnight Gameshow, Send To All and Unexpected Star of the Show, make for a hugely enjoyable format.
But, the 44-year-old explains, the impressive viewing figures the show gets mask scepticism from some members of the public.
"I'm used to cynical viewers with the Big Show," he says. "I don't think I've met a single person who believes any of those things are real. They're always like: 'Come on, those Unexpected Stars know [what's happening], you tell them don't you? You tell them on Send To All, they know.'
"And I'm like, they know! We're not allowed to do that, and it would be too difficult to set up anyway. There's always a slightly natural cynicism."
Send To All sees a celebrity send an embarrassing message, written by McIntyre live on stage, to every contact in their phone book. Unexpected Star, meanwhile, involves a member of the public being lured to a particular location under false pretences, only to find out they'll be performing live to the nation at the end of the programme.
Send to all看到一位名人在舞台上现场直播，向他们电话簿中的每一个联系人发送了一条令人尴尬的信息，由McIntyre现场撰写。与此同时，《意外之星》讲述的是一名公众在虚假的借口下被引诱到一个特定的地点，结果却发现他们将在节目结束时向全国进行现场表演。
The Big Show sadly cannot return this winter because having a full live audience currently isn't possible. Other TV shows have tried to persevere without one, with mixed results. But the Big Show's format depends so heavily on surprising or playing tricks on audience members that it can't operate in the social distancing era.
And so McIntyre's new series is effectively taking its place. The comedian recalls: "It came to me as a sort of human roulette wheel. A wheel is something that's been used very many times in game shows anyway, the randomness and excitement of where it could possibly land. So I just thought of putting people on the end of it."
Celebrities sit on the outer ring of the giant wheel and try to help members of the public, who sit in the middle, to win money by answering general knowledge questions.
The great and the good of the celebrity landscape make up the guest helpers. Gemma Collins, Roman Kemp, Professor Green, Stacey Dooley, Chris Kamara, Pat Sharp, Maura Higgins and Richard Madeley all appear as the celebrity experts.
It looks like an enjoyable show to have filmed, which was confirmed by one of McIntyre's sons who rode the wheel during a set visit and declared it "the most fun he'd had in ages".
McIntyre jokes: "Having cancelled two Orlando trips this year, it's turned into one spin of the wheel on a television set at Bovingdon Airfield."
Saturday night television is, of course, notoriously difficult to get right, as the BBC's former director general Greg Dyke pointed out in 2018.
"The problem for both BBC One and ITV is that getting a new show to work in such a competitive slot is incredibly difficult," he wrote in The Radio Times. "Which means Saturday nights are mainly filled by old favourites like Casualty, Strictly and The X Factor, and new shows are usually doomed to failure."
He continued: "If you look back to Saturday nights over the decades, only a few entertainment shows have taken off and then stayed... It's hard to come up with a [successful] programme that was created in the last decade, with the possible exception of The Voice UK, which has been a moderate hit on both BBC One and ITV."
他接着说：“如果你回顾几十年来的周六晚上，只有几个娱乐节目起飞后又留了下来……很难想出一个在过去十年创作的(成功的)节目，可能除了英国之声(Voice UK)，它在BBC One和英国独立电视台(ITV)都是温和的热门节目。”
It's certainly true to say that the TV schedules are still littered with old favourites like Family Fortunes, The Cube and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? However, newer game show formats have launched recently and enjoyed moderate success.
The Hit List, presented by Rochelle and Marvin Humes, went down well with viewers when it debuted in 2019 and is now in its third series, while the Stephen Mulhern-fronted Rolling In It was recently commissioned by ITV for a second series. Whether any of these newer formats will stand the test of time, of course, remains to be seen.
这份热门榜单由罗谢尔和马文·休姆斯提供，在2019年首次亮相时很受观众欢迎，现在已经是第三季了，而由斯蒂芬·马尔亨(Stephen Mulhern)主演的罗林(Rolling In It)最近受英国独立电视台(ITV)委托拍摄了第二季。当然，这些较新的格式中是否有任何一种能够经受住时间的考验，还有待观察。
McIntyre says he was hugely relieved that The Wheel's format worked when it made it to the studio. Before that, during the planning stages, he says: "I was worried about everything, these spinning celebrities, how fast it would go, are there motion sickness issues and how does this thing even get built?"
He's equally as concerned about viewer cynicism as he was on his Big Show. "I'm so worried that people will think in any way that The Wheel is fixed, because it's completely random... The game works when it's completely random," he says.
"And that's why it frightens me, I said to the producers, 'So we're doing 10 shows, what if nine of them have no winners and it's a disaster?' But it's the same thing on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, what if everybody only gets a grand? What if everyone is in the 1p club on Deal or No Deal? It is what it is, you've just got to see what happens."
Kate Philips, the acting controller of BBC One, says the series came along at precisely the right time, as network execs attempted to find formats which comply with current guidelines.
BBC One的代理总监凯特·菲利普斯(Kate Philips)表示，这部电视剧的推出恰逢其时，因为电视网高管试图找到符合当前指导方针的格式。
"A few months ago, when Michael McIntyre and Dan Baldwin (of production company Hungry Bear) brought us this show, we loved it straightaway," she says. "But little did we know then it would be the perfect series to make in socially distanced times. Because that's what it is, the set really allows that."
她说：“几个月前，当迈克尔·麦金太尔(Michael McIntyre)和丹·鲍德温(Dan Baldwin)(制片公司《饥饿的熊》的制片人)带给我们这个节目时，我们立刻就喜欢上了它。“但我们当时并不知道，这部剧会是在社会距离时代拍摄的完美剧集。因为它就是这样，布景真的允许这一点。”
The biggest drawback for McIntyre has been not shooting in front of a live crowd. "There is a studio audience but they're not with us, they're all in masks behind a wall," he explains. "It's a very bleak situation, I'm so grateful to them for coming.
"I love audiences, I did the Big Show in a theatre for that reason. I don't want to be in a studio, the more people laughing, the more relaxed I'm going to be."
Like every other celebrity currently promoting a TV show or film, McIntyre highlights that entertainment can be the perfect "escapism" from the ongoing pandemic.
"You look at how amazing Strictly is, it's like a national service that TV show coming back on air and giving people something to smile about, nice warm colours, smiling faces, competition, and all the things that make that show so wonderful," he says.
"This is my very small role to play in this really tough time that everyone's going through, just to distract you for a little bit of time."