Game Show Memories – Two Tribes.

Two Tribes (BBC2, 2014-2015)

This has certainly got to be the best game show that shares its title with a chart-topping single from the 80s. Richard Osman is someone who had worked behind the scenes in TV for many years, being a format devisor, producer, comedy writer, and so on, before becoming the co-host of Pointless. He wouldn’t have been too familiar to many viewers at the time, but after showing off his knowledge and wit, he did definitely become popular enough to go it alone.

Two Tribes (not to be confused with The Tribe of course) featured seven contestants (on a studio set that had a lot of greens and pinks in a rather nasty colour clash). They have had to answer a lot of personality questions beforehand, such as “I like football” or “I’m a daydreamer”. One of the questions is picked, and based on their answer, either “yes” or “no”, they are split into two teams, or “tribes” as they are called for this show.

Richard talks to one or two of them about their choice. There are then 60 seconds of general knowledge questions, with one point for a correct answer. If they give a wrong answer though, it is passed down to the next contestant, until a right answer is given, and then everybody is back in play. But if everyone gives a wrong answer, the round ends immediately. The highest-scoring tribe all go into the next round, whilst someone from the lowest-scorers is eliminated.

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This is then done again with the six remaining contestants, with a new personality question chosen. This means that someone in the “yes” tribe in the previous round could now be in the “no” tribe for this one. This is then done once again with five contestants. When four contestants are remaining, this changes to a buzzer round, with the first tribe to score five points making the final.

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There are 60 seconds on the clock for the two remaining contestants who are asked questions alternately, using the chess clock format. When a contestant runs out of time, the winner is declared, and they win £1,000 in vouchers of various things. There was a format change from the second series. The final was reduced to 45 seconds, with the winner going through to play an additional round.

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In this, they had to put four famous people into into tribes. If they do this successfully, they win £1,000. But if not, the money rolls over to the next edition, and a few contestants won over £5,000. Two Tribes was a well-received show where we found out more about the contestants than most, and this was also helped along by Richard’s wit. This replaced Eggheads which usually appeared in this evening slot, but this was much better than that one, although for me just about every game show ever made is.


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