Deal or No Deal (UK game show): Wikis


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Deal or No Deal (UK)
Format Game show
Created by Endemol UK/International
Starring Noel Edmonds
The Banker
Country of origin  United Kingdom
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 1,270
(as of 11 March 2010)
Producer(s) Endemol West
Running time 50 minutes (including adverts)
Original channel Channel 4
Picture format 16:9
Original run 31 October 2005 – Present
Related shows Deal or No Deal

Deal or No Deal is the United Kingdom version of the Endemol game show, which was first broadcast on Channel 4 on 31 October 2005. Presented by Noel Edmonds, the show is normally broadcast from 16:10 - 17:00 on weekdays, with Sunday times varying.



Contestants can win prizes ranging between 1p and £250,000 (although very occasionally a top prize of £500,000 has been offered, usually on milestone or anniversary shows).

The game is played using twenty-two identical sealed red boxes, each with an identifying number from 1 to 22 displayed on the front. Inside each box is a label showing a different amount of prize money. All the boxes are sealed by an independent adjudicator; the value inside each box is not known to Noel Edmonds, the contestants, The Banker or the production team before the game.

At the start of each episode, one of the 22 contestants, each standing behind one of the red boxes, is selected to be that episode's player. The selection appears to be random, though this is never stated and in fact selection is done by the production team[1] (indeed, by 2007 it was being explicitly mentioned on the programme that contestant selection was non-random). In any case, the contestants themselves do not know who is to take the seat until it is revealed at the beginning of the show[citation needed]. Usually players will appear on around 15-25 shows before they are selected to play. The player then takes their box and walks to the centre of the set, taking their place at the main table, in what Edmonds often refers to as the "crazy chair". Once sitting down the player introduces themself, and after confirming that they selected their box at random, the game begins.

The player's box contains their (potential) prize. One at a time, the player chooses one of the 21 boxes remaining (other than his own) to be opened, eliminating the value inside it from the list of possible amounts in the player's box (displayed on a large screen opposite them). Clearly it is in the player's interest to uncover smaller amounts of money, hoping that their prize is a larger amount. Boxes are opened by the remaining 21 contestants; these contestants are also regularly spoken to by the host and offer support and advice to the player, though they play no active role in the game. These contestants, however, return for the following episode, along with a new contestant replacing the previous episode's player, so that all contestants eventually play the game, and the returning contestants build continuity between shows.

There are six rounds: in the opening round the player opens five boxes, then three in each subsequent round. After the required number of boxes have been opened in a round, The Banker (an unseen character who acts as the player's antagonist and whose money is notionally at stake in the game) offers to buy the player's box. The specific offer is made dependent on the remaining box values: if several larger amounts are gone, the offer is likely to be low, as the probability is higher that the player's box contains a small amount of money. Occasionally, the first offer (or on very rare occasions a later offer) has been replaced by an offer to the contestant to swap his box for one of the remaining unopened boxes. The Banker is never seen, relaying his offers to the presenter via telephone. The presenter tells the player the offer and asks the eponymous question. The player responds either "deal" or "no deal".

Responding "deal" means that the contestant agrees to sell the box for the amount of money offered, relinquishing the prize in her box. The game is now over, though play continues to show the hypothetical outcome had the player not dealt. Saying "no deal" means the player keeps their box, and proceeds to the next round, again hoping to reveal small amounts in the remaining boxes.

After six rounds, only two boxes remain. If the player rejects the final offer, they take the prize contained in their box, although The Banker usually - but not always - offers the opportunity for the player to swap his box with the other remaining unopened box and take the prize contained in it instead. The player is always offered a swap if the 1p and/or the £250,000 is still in play.

Occasionally, after the player has said 'deal' earlier in the game, after all six rounds, the banker will offer the 'Banker's Gamble', in which if the player says deal, they give back the amount they dealt at, and open their box - winning whatever their box contains, rather than what they dealt at. The banker's gamble is offered occasionally if the 2-box offer would have been similar to the one the player dealt at. This was the case for the second £250,000 winner, Alice Munday, who had dealt two rounds earlier at £17,500. She was left with the 1p and the £250,000. She accepted the banker's gamble and controversially won the £250,000.

Box values

These are the prizes contained in the 22 boxes on the programme, shown in a representation of the large display used opposite the player on the show, known as "the game board" or simply "the board":


These have been the prizes offered in all but a few episodes of the show; occasionally the 1p is replaced by a joke prize at Christmas (such as a "Turkey Sandwich") .

On the game board, the values in the left-hand column are displayed against a blue background, and those in the right-hand column against an orange-red background, and are frequently referred to by host and contestants alike as "blues" and "reds" respectively. Also, the highest five valued boxes are referred to as the "Power Five", and the five boxes of lowest value are occasionally referred to as the "Banker's Power Five". Generally, removal of blues or low reds are applauded by the audience. The total of all the 22 sums of money is £565,666.61.

Contestants and boxes

The contestants who appear on Deal or No Deal come from all backgrounds and age groups. At any one time, the 22 contestants have a mixture of old, young, male (with a brief exception during the 2007 "Battle of the Sexes"), female, loud, and quiet contestants. The oldest ever contestant is Joe, who joined the show on 23 March 2009. Noel Edmonds stated that Joe is the "most mature contestant ever at the age of 97". The youngest contestants to appear on the show have been 18 - this is the minimum age allowed for a contestant on the show.[citation needed]

There have been many different types of contestants over the years. Some of the more notable contestants include Pat Miller, who had much banter with Noel during her 32-show run on the show in Spring 2006, and Lance whose show reduced Noel to fits of laughter in August 2006. More recently, notable contestants have included Walter, who provided much hilarity; Daniel Judge, dubbed the "show's best stats man"; Mary, who accidentally said "no deal" to win £75,000; and Laura, the show's first quarter-millionaire. Olly Murs, the runner-up on The X Factor in 2009, has also previously come onto the show, winning £10.

In 2009, contestant David Watts was dubbed as the show's "#1 fan" due to helping to run the Deal or No Deal Unofficial Fansite and Forum. His username on the forum is h2005, which was also his first offer. The banker allowed him to take his box home at the end of the game.[2] Only a small number of people have been allowed to do this; apart from David, the other 4 were the 2 quarter-millionaires, Adam (whose box was damaged in a flood) and Marianne, who was a "Christmas Star" playing for charity.

Special episodes


Deal or No Deal is filmed in studios which have been converted from an old paintworks factory and its associated warehouses in Bristol[3]. Despite appearing to be filmed day by day, the show is actually recorded three times a day for a certain period, followed by a break in filming.[3]. The amount of time between the recording date and the broadcast date has varied, starting out with episodes filmed just a few weeks before transmission, but it soon became common for them to be several months behind, meaning some December episodes have been filmed in June.

Predictable sequences

In early 2006, it was discovered that the distribution of prizes was - for a time - ordered in one of several static sequences which soon became public knowledge. Any person spotting the sequences could determine the contents of every remaining box after a small number of boxes were opened. Had players known of these sequences, they could have guided themselves to the top prize in most circumstances. There were three instances in which at least two players' games had identical box contents, in that the same figures were in the same number boxes.

The sequences, which were due to the random number generator used by the show's independent adjudicator to load the boxes, were first publicly exposed on the website Bother's Bar[4]. Deal or No Deal's Series Producer, Glenn Hugill, revealed that the independent adjudicator was unaware of the problem, which was due to a fault with the random number generator software. The random number generation system was therefore changed to a system in which numbered balls are removed at random from a bag.

A similar discovery was made in 1984 by Michael Larson, a player of the US game show Press Your Luck, and used to amass a record number of winnings. However, none of the contestants on affected Deal or No Deal shows spotted the (admittedly complex) patterns, and as such were not able to profit to any significant degree. That said, in Hugill's statement about the problem, it was revealed that more money was paid out over the course of these shows than the average.

Live audiences

Deal or No Deal's crowd (also known as the pilgrims) has increasingly included its audience of around 150 people in the fabric of the show. Because of the "underground" feel of the set and the fact that the programme is filmed in the round, audiences seem to get dragged into the drama of the game as it unfolds. Morning audiences typically watch two shows (but are shuffled around and reseated[3]), and afternoon audiences typically watch one. A lot of audience members (to whom Edmonds refers as "pilgrims") have also been included in various games, through Edmonds asking opinions or even on some occasions asking them to come down from the audience. Contestants have also been spotted in the audience before they play their first show.


Deal or No Deal has consistently been the most watched programme in its slot for all UK channels for both daytime and primetime. It was named "Daytime Programme of the Year" at the Royal Television Society Awards on 14 March 2006[5], and "Best Daytime Programme" in the TV Quick Awards on 5 September 2006 [6]. The UK version also won the Rose d'Or award for "Best Game Show" at the 2006 Lucerne Television Festival [7]. Noel Edmonds was also nominated in the "Best Entertainment Performance" category at the 2006 BAFTA Television Awards[8]. The show was voted "Best Daytime Programme" at the 2006 National Television Awards[9]. As Edmonds was on holiday at the time, the award was collected by two former contestants, Russell Cook and Sajela Sarfraz[citation needed] . Edmonds was also nominated for "Best Entertainment Presenter" at the same awards [10].

Largest won amounts

Viewers' competition

When Deal Or No Deal began, viewers were invited to phone in (at premium rate), use the Channel 4 website or enter by post (free of charge) to enter the competition, in which an audience member selects one of three boxes (coloured blue and separate from the boxes used in the main game), and a selected entrant wins the amount of money displayed in that box. The amounts on offer in the competition varied from day to day, but typically comprise two amounts in the low thousands of pounds and a top prize of £10,000 or more. On occasion, a 'match play' competition had been run in which the winning entrant receives the same amount as the studio contestant instead of a prize being selected from the blue viewers' boxes, this once caused a viewer to win £70,000. Entry was open from the beginning of the second part of the show, when the winning box is chosen, to noon the next day, with the winner revealed at the beginning of the show seven days later.

Previously, the competition was only open for the duration of the show, with the box containing the prize being opened at the end of the show, and the winner's name announced thereafter. This was changed from the third series in August 2007, following the premium-rate services operator ICSTIS imposing a £30,000 fine on iTouch, the company responsible for running the competition. It ruled that the competition was misleading since the impression was given that entrants stood a chance of winning any of the three amounts contained in the blue viewers' boxes, whereas in fact since the programme is pre-recorded, by the time of broadcast only one prize amount is possible.[11] The altered format of the competition only opens the competition after the prize amount has been chosen. Previous to this, Channel 4 had announced that, following a spate of revelations of improper conduct regarding premium-rate phone services across British television programme (notably on the Richard & Judy which follows Deal or No Deal), it was scrapping all premium-rate phone competitions, with the single exception of Deal or No Deal. Profits from the viewer's competition will now be given to charity. As of 1 October 2007, the viewer's competition was cancelled. Noel Edmonds informed the viewers that they will be giving the viewer's competition a rest for a while like all other viewer competitions on Channel 4. He thanked the viewers for entering the competition, and it has not returned as of 2010.[12]

Media image

The Observer interviewed Edmonds in relation to the show on 29 January 2006, quoting Edmonds as saying that his scenes with the Banker bring out his "inner actor". He revealed his passion for the show and his admiration for the individual community spirit within it, as well as his (now fulfilled) ambition that it would eventually hold a Saturday evening prime time slot.[13]. In fact, recording for the first Saturday prime time show began just a few days later, so it is not known whether Edmonds already knew about this move at the time of the interview or not.

In a review by columnist A. A. Gill Deal or No Deal was described as "like putting heroin in your TV remote".

Guardian television reviewer Charlie Brooker called it "a gameshow based on the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics"[14].

The Banker


Deal or No Deal has been the subject of criticism from some as being a classic example of the apparent 'dumbing down' of modern television. The premise of the show has been criticised by some for having no intellectual content whatsoever (often described as consisting solely of "people opening boxes"). Other criticism arises from the prevalence of superstition among the players, and the sometimes seemingly-unfair offers made by the Banker, when in reality it is a game of complete chance and the only influence that any player can have on the game is through their decisions whether or not to accept the Banker's offers.

However, some say there is a great element of skill in attempting to manipulate the Banker into making higher offers, with the player's relationship with the Banker being of major importance. It has been seen that contestants who state a desire to "go all the way", or appear more certain and confident, can attract higher offers. Contestants can attempt to bluff the Banker by appearing more confident than they actually are, or by pretending that they intend to go all the way, and will often be rewarded as the Banker realises that higher offers must be made if he is to shift the player. Others feel that the Banker is in exactly the same situation as the player, as neither of them know what sums are in the boxes. Therefore neither of them can have any effect on the actual final sum won by the player. Similarly, the player cannot "beat" the Banker and the Banker cannot "beat" the player because the player's choice of which box to open is equally random to both the player and the Banker. However, that fact that the offers can be so varied on identical boards illustrates that there is a clear opportunity for the player to elicit themselves high offers with the right attitude. For many, this psychological element is what sets Deal or No Deal apart from other versions worldwide. In addition, while the contents of the box are purely random, players seem to need an intelligent approach to balancing the risk in order to succeed, as well as having good luck. But since a player can only play the game once, there is no balancing or judging of risk, as risk can only be stated as an average over a large number of games. It must be remembered that many gameshows throughout television history have relied on varying degrees of luck.

During 2006 people suggested that Channel 4 was verging on Deal or No Deal overkill with the show being broadcast at least six days a week and during 'Double Deal' week twice a day. That said, the show takes a break for five weeks in the summer, with a new 'season' beginning in late August.

Some contestants have had consistently poor offers throughout their game and then turned out to have a low amount in their box, leading to early suggestions The Banker actually knows the contents of the boxes - however, statistical evidence lends no support to this theory. In fact, there are just as many occasions when consistently low offers are given to someone who turns out to have a high amount and, indeed, high offers to someone who turns out to have a low figure. After so many shows and with all data analysed, sources now agree that the declaration that The Banker does not know the contents of the boxes seems absolutely true.

The show has also had other criticism from religious groups, due to symbols which appeared on Edmonds' hand (so as to be visible when he picked up the telephone receiver to talk to The Banker), which were widely taken to be connected with his belief in Cosmic Ordering as was widely reported at the time. However, it transpired that there was no such connection and the symbols were simply placed there by Edmonds as a joke.

The viewers' competition had also attracted criticism, given that it involved no element of skill and the expense of premium rate phone calls (though free online entry was available) had been referred to on a number of fan sites for the show as a "legalised telephone lottery".

Further criticism has come with the selection of candidates, a majority of whom have had traumatic experiences in their lives. This has led to a perception that contestants are 'vetted' in this respect some to attract audiences and make them relate to the contestants.


Due to the Deal or No Deal`s simple format, several games based on the show have been released in a variety of different formats. A book called Can You Beat The Banker? (ISBN 0-09-191422-1) was released on 25 May 2006, which has descriptions of games from early episodes and the reader having to guess what the Banker's offers will be, and whether to "Deal" or "No Deal". Drumond Park have also released three games: a board game, an electronic game, and a handheld electronic game.

The Official Behind the Scenes Guide (ISBN 0-09-192006-X) was published on 26 October 2006, written by Noel and Charlotte Edmonds, Jane Phillimore, Richard Hague and Glenn Hugill. It features interviews with Edmonds, the Banker, and contestants, and has statistics for all players' games from Season 1.

A DVD TV game was released on 13 November 2006. Filmed in the Deal or No Deal studio, it features Noel Edmonds, and 21 contestants from Season 1 playing themselves, who open the boxes and give the player advice. The game's three modes are Single Player (played like the show), Player Vs Player (two players play rounds in turn), and Player Vs Banker (one player is the contestant, the other is the Banker, and gives offers to the player).

A card game has also been released. The 22 sums of money are shuffled, and placed on top of the 22 box numbers. The gameplay is similar to the Player Vs Banker mode on the DVD with one player being the player and another the Banker. Players then swap roles, and the one who takes more money is declared the winner. The card game is often sold in a special box-set alongside the DVD game.

Deal or No Deal video games for the PC and Nintendo DS have also been released, as has a second DVD game on 19 November 2007, subtitled "Family Challenge", and featuring series 2 contestants.

A Wii game and a second DS game, both titled, "Deal or No Deal: The Banker is back!" were released on 28 November 2008.

A Deal or No Deal chocolate game is also available.

An online version of the game is available on the website


There are "series" and "seasons" of Deal or No Deal.

The "series" refer to the filming patterns, and are separated by the summer filming break (which runs from June to October each year). The first series ran for 66 episodes until Channel 4 commissioned a 2nd series at the end of 2005. In filming terms: Series 1 ran from October 2005 to January 2006; Series 2 from January to June 2006; Series 3 from October 2006 to June 2007; Series 4 from October 2007 to June 2008; and Series 5 from October 2008 to June 2009. In October 2009, the show commenced filming Series 6 episodes, which will start to air in mid-December 2009.

The "seasons" refer to the broadcast episodes, as shown in the table below. They are separated by the on-screen summer break which normally lasts for about 4 weeks over July and August each year.


Season (Broadcast Patterns)

Season Start date End date Episodes
31 October 2005
22 July 2006
28 August 2006
13 July 2007
13 August 2007
25 July 2008
25 August 2008
24 July 2009
24 August 2009

Series (Filming Patterns)

Series Start date End date
October 2005
January 2006
January 2006
June 2006
October 2006
June 2007
October 2007
June 2008
October 2008
June 2009
October 2009
June 2010


Filming Start date Filming End date Broadcast Start date Broadcast End date Season Series
October 2005
Early December 2005
October 2005
Early December 2005
Late December 2005
June 2006
Late December 2005
Early December 2006
October 2006
June 2007
Late December 2006
Early December 2007
October 2007
June 2008
Late December 2007
Early December 2008
October 2008
June 2009
Late December 2008
Early December 2009
October 2009
June 2010
Late December 2009
Early December 2010
October 2010
June 2011
Late December 2010
Early December 2011

[15] [16]


  1. ^ Deal or No Deal Stats and FAQ
  2. ^ Deal or No Deal Fansite Forum - Show commentary: 23/03 David (Our very own H2005)
  3. ^ a b c Green, Kris (2006-05-17). "Behind the scenes of 'Deal Or No Deal' - Part 1". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  4. ^ Welcome to Bother's Bar!
  5. ^ "Royal Television Society Awardspro0ejdjjwjeejjr". The Guardian. 2006-03-15.,,1731332,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  6. ^ "Doctor Who lands three TV awards". BBC News. 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  7. ^ Frapa
  8. ^ "The British Academy Television Awards: nominations in full". The Guardian. 2006-03-27.,,1740648,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  9. ^ "National TV Awards 2006 winners". BBC News. 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  10. ^ "Edmonds makes TV award shortlist". BBC News. 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  11. ^ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | £30,000 fine for No Deal phone-in
  12. ^ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Channel 4 axes phone-in contests
  13. ^ Cooke, Rachel (2006-01-29). "Saturday night fever". The Observer.,,1697074,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  14. ^ [[Charlie Brooker |Brooker, Charlie]] (2006-01-28). "New Deal". The Guardian.,,1696369,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  15. ^ Filming dates - Dond Forum
  16. ^ Filming Dates for 2010/ Contestant App. News/ DOND contract! - Dond Forum

External links


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