Game Show Memories – Three’s A Crowd.

Three’s A Crowd (BBC3, 2004)

This is a game show that is all about dating. Now this isn’t the type of show that I am usually interested in, but I remember seeing it one day and I thought that it was a rather quirky idea (based on a Japanese format) that in some ways is totally unfair. Three’s A Crowd was hosted by Claudia Winkleman (although the majority of her contribution was in voiceover). I couldn’t find any clips online unfortunately so for now here’s a publicity picture instead. Three's a Crowd 2

The main place where the action happens is at a flat in London. Three contestants take part, either one female and two male, or two female and one male. The gender of which there is one of them becomes the picker, and they will go on two dates (maybe doing something like bowling or skating), and I’m sure that they will be looking forward to them. I remember the continuity announcer informing us that one edition featured plenty of “flirting and bad hair”.

When they go on their dates, they choose who which one of the two it will be with by picking one of two cards. However, they don’t know who be it will be until they decide. They then go on the date, and the one who wasn’t picked has to simply watch on by themselves. There is then a second date with another random pick. This means of course that someone could not be picked for either date, which could be rather frustrating for them. All three then talk about their experience of the dates. Three's a Crowd

After all this, they return to the flat. The picker puts on the table the picture of the one that they would like to stay, the other one has to leave. Then comes the big decision. At 11:50pm, they have ten minutes to both come out of their room if they want to leave as a couple. Sometimes only one will come out and they will have to go back to their room disappointed, wondering what might have been. Ah, cue “When A Man Loves A Woman”…

If they do both come out though, they can leave, and the cycle begins again with three new people. Although the onscreen clock seemed to insist whenever this happened the second person always came out at 11:59:59. I know that they wanted to build tension, but I do find that a little hard to believe. If they both stay, the next morning, when according to Claudia they are “up with the lark”, they await a new contestant. Depending if they’re male or female, the picker could now become one of the picked!

Three’s A Crowd ran for a short time on BBC3 (although it was later repeated on BBC2 when they were trying out various new game shows in the 6pm slot). It was one of those dating shows where you could see romance begin to blossom between some people, and it was all put together in a way that made me care about the result more than most of these type of shows do. I feel they could’ve got at least one or two more series out of it.

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