Game Show Memories – The 1% Club.

The 1% Club (ITV, 2022-present)

I thought for a change that I would look back at some of my game show highlights of the year so far. One of the things that attracted me to The 1% Club was that the host was Lee Mack. Now I have enjoyed a lot of his comedy shows over the years, and he has also featured in a few comedy panel games, but this is the first time that he has really hosted a game show with people playing for prizes.

100 contestants take part, who all start with £1,000. There has been a survey of the public, and how many people got the questions right has helped to calculate their difficulty. But they weren’t general knowledge questions, they were (mostly multiple-choice) logic questions like “what comes next in this sequence?”. This is something of a cross between Whittle (hosted by Lee’s mate Tim Vine) and Test The Nation.

The first question was got right by 90% of the poll. Contestants are then given about 30 seconds to choose their answer. Whoever gets it wrong is eliminated, their £1,000 goes into the prize fund, and they can also receive a mild ribbing from Lee. Their light also turns blue, so it’s odd seeing him talk to someone who appears to have changed colour.

Whoever gets it right though progresses to the next question, which was got right by a smaller percentage of the poll, and is supposedly more difficult. The questions are well balanced enough that a huge amount of people aren’t eliminated at an early stage, or Lee would end up having to fill rather a lot of time. By the halfway stage of the game, there are some twists.

Contestants can pass on one question, although they will lose their £1,000. And at one stage they can take their money, although they will be eliminated from the game. As the questions do get rather hard, the tension mounts, and few remain, Lee adopts a slightly more serious tone, as it is clear that these people do know their stuff. If there is anybody remaining by the time of the final question that just 1% of the poll knew, then they have a few options.

They can either not play the question, and take a guaranteed £10,000. Or they can play the question for the prize fund (although if more than one contestant gets this right, the money is shared). But if they do get this question correct, as well as the money, they have the honour of joining The 1% Club, which is very elite and only accepts the smartest people around. This all did rather well in its Saturday Night slot, and the forthcoming second series should be equally enjoyable.


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