What the Hell Is Red or Black?!

RED OR BLACK: Saturday 3rd September, ITV1, 7pm – continues all week.

Simon Cowell’s new project arrives on ITV1 this Saturday and he’ll be hoping it’s a hit because it’s the most expensive gameshow ever created..
More Cowell? I thought he’d abandoned Blighty for the beaches of LA?
Well quite, but although this was his idea, his Cowellness won’t actually be appearing in it – which could work in his favour if the show flops. Apparently we’ll be seeing Jedward fired out of a cannon though..
Finally! I heard that even they don’t know which of them is John and which is Edward..
I’ve met them a couple of times and it wouldn’t surprise me..
So what’s actually going on here then? Is Cowell just going be making Jedward dance for money again?
It may seem that way, but Red or Black is actually one massive game of roulette in which 1,000 people are whittled down to one finalist each evening. Apparently the idea of ‘everything’ coming down to one spin has obsessed Cowell for years. The story of Ashley Revell, a British man who sold all his possessions and went to Las Vegas to gamble $135,300 on a single spin of a roulette wheel inspired him..
Whoa! Did this crazy fool win?!
Yes and in honour of his brave and exceptionally foolish gamble, the one remaining contestant will then have to play roulette choosing ‘red or black’. If they win, they get the cash. The real challenge is getting to that stage though. There were over 120,000 applicants and ITV randomly selected 7,000 to take part in the week of programmes. From there each of the lucky 1,000 contestants have to choose one side or the other, red or black, at the start of each night. Those who choose correctly are then entered into a tombola that results in 128 lucky winners each being given a so-called ‘Ticket to Ride’. These 128 contestants then progress to the next stage. They are put on buses to watch a series of games filmed in various regions around the country. They could be counting sheep in Yorkshire or counting transsexuals on Coronation Street..
That could take a while. Corrie’s full of cross-dressers these days..
..Well yes. Anyway after these live challenges presenters Ant and Dec will be left with just eight finalists who then appear in the live studio contest.
So there’s no talent involved in winning at all. Sounds like another one of Simon Cowell’s programmes..
That’s true, the only way to win a million is to make ten consecutive right guesses.. (the odds of doing that are 1024 to one apparently) But Cowell has spoken of his determination to create event television on a scale never seen before..
Event television? Wasn’t that the name of a sci-fi drama?
When he says ‘Event Television’, he means climactic programming which everyone discusses the next day at work and people don’t want to miss. Unlike C4’s ‘The Event’, this should be extremely watchable.
Will there be a much-delayed ‘results’ programme like in the X Factor?
How did you guess?! Yes the main show will be followed by a break of some sort (usually Corrie) and then the half an hour finale. On the opening night Cowell has actually jammed the whole thing around X Factor, presumably with the aim of creating a ratings typhoon.
So apart from the potential prize-money, what makes this thing so expensive..
All the glitz and fireworks that will be going along with it. Believe it or not, Jedward don’t come cheap these days and massive outdoor challenges that involve Rory McIlroy and Jensen Button have also upped the budget.
So ITV bosses are hoping that every finalist guesses wrong over the week and they hold on to the £7 million?
..They’ll deny it til the cows come home… but yes – probably.