TV / Passion of the Chris


Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night features appearances by his ego, his ‘turn off the guests switch’ and anecdotes by none other than Chris Moyles, writes Vincent O’Boyle.

I WAS PUZZLED too. Chris Moyles has a quiz show? Apparently so. Now the real question dawns on me. How terrible is this going to be? I hate turning to pessimism straight away. Some brief optimism is needed before the onslaught so I don’t feel guilty. Here it goes.

Channel 4 know what they’re doing when it comes to quizzes, or so it seemed. The hilarious and extremely popular Big Fat Quiz of the Year is one thing that comes to mind but that’s only on once a year. Can we trust Channel 4 for the other 364 days? I’d like to think so.

You’re probably expecting something like this: Chris Moyles staring out at you from the screen. Chris Moyles opening his mouth as if to say something entertaining. Chris Moyles unsurprisingly not saying anything of note. Dissatisfaction and irritation set in. Rinse and repeat.

This is not helped by Moyles ironically announcing that the viewers are in for a “treat for the next 45 minutes”. It’s not all Chris’s fault though. His producers are to blame too for the format of the show, some terrible guests and uninteresting questions which are almost entirely based on showbiz current affairs. They are the kind of questions you’d expect to find in a Now magazine crossword – not that I’ve ever done one!

The guests are similarly lacklustre. Davina McCall isn’t on form, Jerry Springer is out of his depth with no Americans from the Deep South to shout at and Alan Carr simply isn’t allowed to be funny. When I say he isn’t allowed to be funny, I mean he literally isn’t.

This is because The Chris Moyles Quiz Show is structured in a way that the guests are seated in a room with a video link to the studio. Chris, sitting in the studio has a switch which enables him to mute the guests. He does so mercilessly.

This device is particularly annoying on a few occasions when Alan Carr is on the verge of saying something hilarious before being switched off. What’s more annoying is that when he presses this switch, he does so in a very businesslike manner, as if saying “not on my watch pal”.

This programme is billed as a lighthearted quiz show. There’s no major prize at stake, just a DVD player in this case. These shows by nature are dependent on the charisma of their guests. If the guests aren’t allowed to entertain, then the show simply isn’t entertaining. Ratings will drop and the show will be cancelled.

Accordingly, this programme will continue the Chris Moyles cycle, as he retreats for a few years to lick his wounds, before returning to yet another soon to be cancelled show.

Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night is on Channel 4 every Sunday at 10pm.