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TV review: Limitless potential for new Ant and Dec quiz

Ant and Dec's Limitless Win.

Will Ant and Dec’s Limitless Win (ITV) finally give the much-loved presenters a primetime quiz show they can call their own?

Despite winning truckloads of television awards over the last 20 years, the pair don’t really have a strong track record for successful quizzes.

Of course, the hits they do have – Saturday Night Takeaway, Britain’s Got Talent and I’m A Celebrity – are absolute ratings juggernauts, so it’s not like they’re complaining, but what about Red Or Black, Pokerface and Push The Button?

Does anyone remember them?

I do think they might be on to something with Limitless Win, though. Let’s get one thing out of the way first – that gimmicky title.

Technically, the money ladder is limitless, but when you see how the game plays out I find it very doubtful contestants will manage to stray far from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire-level prizes.

Limitless Win.

That’s mostly because of the rules, which when I first heard them I thought
I was going to need a pen and paper to keep track.

I’ll try to explain: Every answer is a number – how many sails and flags are on the Blue Peter badge? – but if the players guess over the correct answer, they’ll be eliminated. If they guess under, they stay in the game but lose a life for every digit they’re below the correct answer. And if they guess the correct number they bank the money and keep moving up the infinite money ladder. Simple. Ahem…

In the first episode, likeable NHS workers Will and Kathryn managed to bank £500,000 and you’d need to have nerves of steel not to feel the tension as the prize pot grew and grew.

If every episode (there are four to go) has that level of drama, I think Ant and Dec might finally have captured that most elusive of beasts – a quiz show that gets a second series.

Euphoria has shocking amounts of heart

The new season of Euphoria (Sky Atlantic) will not win over viewers who were turned off by its high-stylised depiction of LA high schoolers, but for fans of the show it was a gloriously giddy opener that seemed to taunt those critics who complained that the last series was just a non-stop barrage of sex, drugs and violence.

Those three things were front and centre throughout the episode – along with the requisite blood and nudity – but to only focus on that would be missing out on the other thing Euphoria has an abundance of – heart.

Zendaya in Euphoria

The tragic story of 17-year-old drug addict Rue (played by Zendaya) and her struggles for love are what anchors everything and pulls the viewer past all these other excesses.

Long-winded look at killer nanny case

The makers of The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It? (Channel 4) must have been taking their lead from Netflix, because this was yet another true crime doc that had no reason to be so long-winded.

For three drawn-out episodes we were thrown back into the 1997 trial of Louise Woodward, a British nanny who was accused of murdering Boston baby Matthew Eappen.

Louise Woodward

The case divided public opinion back then and this documentary probably won’t have changed anyone’s view about Woodward’s role in the death.

It’s undoubtedly a fascinating case to explore, but my interest was flagging before the end of the first episode. I’m sure the same story could have been told in a tight hour.

Making a connection

We’re now at the point in Only Connect (BBC2) when no amount of head-scratching will get me to even touching distance of most answers. But that doesn’t matter at all.

We’ve now spent so long with these contestants that part of the pleasure comes from rooting for your favourites.

And – not mentioning any names – wishing ill on those who are grumpy or rude to their teammates.

Film of the week: Boiling Point (available to rent online)

Although films like Sam Mendes’ war drama 1917 give the impression that we’re witnessing one continuous take, they rarely are.

Boiling Point, starring Stephen Graham, is the real deal though.

Boiling Point.

The film takes place over 90 minutes inside a trendy London restaurant as Graham’s character, head chef Andy Jones, goes through a nerve-shredding personal and professional crisis.

Workplace dramas like this stand or fall on their authenticity, and this feels totally real. You can almost smell the aromas as Jones juggles rude customers, food inspectors, hapless staff and personal issues.

It won’t be a surprise to anyone that Graham shines, but without the safety net of a director yelling “Cut!” the supporting cast have to be equally sharp, and they all are.

A real feast for film and food fans.

 

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