Deal Or No Deal 80s Love Mix (Channel 4, 2012)
Deal Or No Deal was a long-running show, and it is rather clear that Channel 4 got the most out of it. There were over 3,000 editions, only Countdown exceeds this number for UK game shows. This means that sometimes there were opportunities to do something different, such as having themed weeks. These were rather creative, with the contestants wearing costumes and make-up, a change to the set design, and maybe even some bonus prizes on offer too.
In February 2012, there was the 80s Love Mix, which took the chance to embrace some of the most memorable pop culture from that decade, so naturally this caught my attention. And it’s weird to think that this is almost a decade ago in itself. By this point, Deal Or No Deal had been extended to an hour from the original 45 minutes, and the proceedings could sometimes become a little insufferable. As always, the host was Noel Edmonds, with a horrible shirt (but then isn’t it always).
We begin with the 1982 Channel 4 symbol, and Noel is surrounded by the studio audience in brightly-coloured headbands in a Top Of The Pops style (even though he’d stopped hosting that show in 1978). We then go into a reworked version of the opening sequence, with a synth version of the theme, and a pink and yellow background with added visual effects, and then we enter The Dream Factory.
There is a rather tasty £250,000 on offer, and they’ve even changed the colour of the usually red boxes. What contestant will be chosen today as they try to take on that pesky Banker? Well it’s Jim, who seems to be a cast member from Miami Vice. He is clearly up for this. Before the game, there’s a segment with a cassette tape on a necklace, and the recipient could win a holiday.
The glitterball comes down as Jim makes his choice, and then they do a dance to Spandau Ballet’s “True”. Noel can’t believe it and is overcome. Now it’s time to play. A screen that says “Loading…” appears before the 22 money amounts are revealed. There are all kinds of strategies on offer, and Jim won’t use any of them. The first offer is £4,590, accompanied by an old computer game-type noise. No deal.
Then the man himself Freddie Mercury (well probably) opens the box. The next offer is £9,045, and again it’s no deal. Then someone who looks suspiciously like Siouxsie Sioux opens the box. I don’t know if that’s who she is supposed to be done up as, but either way I never expected that to happen on a daytime game show, and I imagine the contestant didn’t expect such a thing either when she applied!
And then we go to Adam Ant (?) who opens the box to reveal 10p, meaning that The Banker, who loves it when the contestants win small, won’t be given the pleasure by Jim! He’s losing all of his little ones, which is a good sign. The next offer is £17,000, and it’s no deal again. Now we have the mildly surreal sight of what appears to be Annie Lennox opening the box, and it’s only the £250,000! Jim’s game is in tatters! Oh, Annie.
The offer is £13,000 for another no deal. There are now eight boxes remaining, so Jim must go wisely. Can he recover? The next offer is £3,000. And now it’s his friend’s turn to open her box. If she can predict the amount inside, she’ll win a holiday. But no, she doesn’t. How disappointing. And now the offer is £1,000. After a long time thinking, Jim finally says deal. Was that a good choice?
When two boxes are remaining, they are both blues, including the 1p (could he have joined the others on the barge) and £250, so suddenly the deal was a good move. The final offer would’ve been £19.99, and he had £250 in his box all along. As Noel finishes off another show by waffling on about courage as usual, the credits appear in an old-style computer font which is a nice touch. Jim could’ve turned that grand into a million by now, but probably not.