Deal Or No Deal
The rehabilitation of Noel Edmonds should come as no surprise to anyone. In TV’s nuclear winter you can be sure of two things: pessimistic weather forecasts and a successful Edmonds light-entertainment vehicle. Viewers bungee-jumping to their deaths, the failure of Crinkly Bottom theme park and the de-Smashy and Nicey-fication of Radio 1 have not diminished his uncanny ability to get himself and his shows on the box. One of TV’s cockroaches, he seems to be able to effortlessly adopt winning formats despite having no personal charm or anything even his agent could call star quality.
"He is just about identifiable as a male of the species though you can picture him having no genitals and being folded up at night in a big Action Man box."
He barely seems like a human being, in fact. He is just about identifiable as a male of the species though you can picture him having no genitals and being folded up at night in a big Action Man box. He is only identifiable through his beard and jumper. He looked 50 when he was 21 and now could be any age in between.
His stewardship of the Endemol production Deal Or No Deal must have surpassed even his expectations. Amazing what you can do with a quarter of a million pounds and 22 identical sealed boxes.
He quizzes the contestants about their attitudes to destiny and fate – he wants to know just what kind of player they’ll make. Will they cut and run on the first offer or keep pushing their luck to the max as the baying audience cheers them on? He’ll introduce the wife, Uncle Will, pictures of the kids – giving them a history so the audience will empathise – a smart move.
"That’s why the broke-ass cracker scum on Bullseye struck a chord with the viewers – they’d never even seen a dishwasher before and that car really meant something to them."
He works it like a pro, cranking up the tension. Like Chris Tarrant on Millionaire, Edmonds realises that it’s not the number of noughts on the end of the cheque that counts, it’s the human drama. That’s why the broke-ass cracker scum on Bullseye struck a chord with the viewers – they’d never even seen a dishwasher before and that car really meant something to them.
The anonymous BANKER rings up at regular intervals on an old fashioned dial phone to make his offers to buy out the contestant. This faceless invisible adversary playing hardball with the player is a stroke of genius and Edmonds can’t resist shamelessly hamming up his reactions to the BANKER’S pronouncements. As Edmonds chews the scenery we wait with the breath of the baited to hear the verdict.
Edmonds rolls back the years to Noel’s House Party as he engages in banter with the box holders. He is in touch with the common man – the kind of bloke you meet on holiday who’s worth knowing because he knows where everything is but you wouldn’t want to spend any time with him when you get home and will spend the following 12 months pretending to have gone into witness protection. A cross between Ned Flanders and Alan Partridge, he is an entity forged in the white heat of light entertainment ratings wars.
"A cross between Ned Flanders and Alan Partridge, he is an entity forged in the white heat of light entertainment ratings wars."
Despite not being one, Edmonds understands the man in the street. And as Sid Vicious once noted "I’ve met the man in the street – he’s a cunt.". And Edmonds is a cunt – as brazen, unapologetic a cunt as you’ll find. And it doesn’t seem to matter. Unlike, say, Robert Kilroy-Silk, he is not physically painful to watch. He seems to set his frequency at precisely the pitch of audio visual wallpaper – allowing your conscious mind to absorb just the information and general tone of his blabber.
He’s an object lesson in beard trimming, blow-drying banality. And this is not a bad little show.
The best thing about it: The BANKER
The worst thing about it: Nobody really seems to win that much
The verdict on Deal Or No Deal: At least nobody’s died this time.
Marks out of 10: 7