The 1% Club? 99% of his attraction is to presenter Lee Mack

WITHOUT much warning this week, the glorious concept of “personal responsibility” was brought back to the public on television.

Not through the news, a documentary, or a TV drama that the idea has been strangled by 30 years of government spoiling Molly.

Lee Mack hosts ITV quiz show The 1% Club


Lee Mack hosts ITV quiz show The 1% ClubPhoto credit: ITV

But through ITV’s quiz show, The 1% Club, where its brilliant host, Lee Mack, did his best to pitch a heavily indebted and unsuccessful contestant named Mariella by asking her where she put the money.

“At festivals,” she beamed.

At that point, Lee’s 53-year-old face twisted into a look of contempt and he snapped, “Well then I have no sympathy.

“Shall we do a whip round? No, we continue.”

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A response that will likely give anyone under 35 a fit of steam, however it’s far from the first time this refreshing approach has been taken on The 1% Club, a series I didn’t expect to have either only nearly as much would I do.

But then, in the very first episode seven weeks ago, a smartly dressed old sweetie named Angela told Lee that she only put on her best dress because “I thought I was going to see Jane McDonald & Friends,” and I muttered, ” Maybe we just have a TV show here.”

I stand by that claim, even though it’s more of an IQ test than a quiz, in which the 100 participants have to solve puzzles and riddles, in ascending order of difficulty, from frankly p*** easy to the annoyingly difficult, until they it reach a question that only 1% of the British public can solve.

There are issues with the production, particularly with the confusing “prize pot” rule and studio lighting that never quite tells me who’s eliminated.

However, what sets it apart and makes The 1% Club enjoyable is Lee Mack, one of those increasingly rare TV creatures.

A comedian who is genuinely funny and knows how to serve an audience.

To the point where I’m not entirely sure if this is really a game show or a comedy and the people in the studio are contestants or just foils who can’t expect any mercy when they: Try to find an excuse, a Wear sweaters with a silly slogan (“What’s done can’t be undone”), admit they’re a student, have a weird name, are bald, or just make the mistake of calling Lee their job title after they get one asked the wrong question.

“I’m a smart meter engineer.”

“You’re not anymore.

“Let’s just go with ‘meter engineer’.”

It’s the polar opposite of a safe room and all those sleazy quiz shows where the spoiled little lambs are told, “You played brilliantly,” even when they didn’t, and expect a round of applause just for saying, ” I work in the NHS.”

But if anyone thinks of feigning concern about the “mental health” of the 1% clubbers? Do not you dare. You love Lee’s brutal approach even more than I do.

In fact, I suspect they were carefully chosen to have fun as the entry list already included Attila Annus, Tracey Topliss, PC Allcock and Gary Dumbell who certainly lived up to his bill. Quite often they also try to fight back at Lee, which always ends badly, either immediately or when they get a question wrong.

“Oh Juniid! What has been done cannot be undone. Well, you started it, mate.”

If there have been instances where Lee has been too harsh, I certainly haven’t noticed and I wouldn’t report them.

Because the moment people start laughing at a comedian who’s telling the truth, whether it’s Ricky Gervais, Dave Chappelle, or Lee Mack, the funny police come and try to shut him down.

Netflix has the backbone to stand up to the cultural busybodies.

However, ITV is run by bright jellyfish who would likely collapse once the professionally offended few shouted “hurt feelings”, then caught up with Lee and ruined their hit show, which provided much more solid Saturday night entertainment than Britain’s Got Talent’s current series.

Of course, saying that, I realize that a TV quiz can’t hope to undo the damage three decades of Molly coddling have done to Britain, or to change the course of television.

But if you want to see a grumpy 53-year-old man swimming against the tide of toadies, watch The 1% Club, Saturday, ITV, 9.05pm, with Lee Mack: ‘For people who like stupid and annoying conundrums like, this show is the fourth emergency service.”

A crazy affair for Sue

BBC1’s once-must-do genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? is another show that has suffered from the passage of time, copycat formats and the intrusion of a bright agenda since its launch in 2004.

From random celebrities with truly remarkable and moving family histories, like Jerry Springer and Natasha Kaplinsky, lately it’s been filled with the famous faces the Beeb thinks we should like, telling us about the evils of sexism, racism, teach the class system, slavery and often say “wow”.

Sue Perkins discovered her family history


Sue Perkins discovered her family historyPhoto credit: BBC

It’s made for some boring and worthy episodes, with Alex Scott’s 2021 WDYTYA being the dullest of them all.

Sue Perkins’ dive into her family’s past last night wasn’t nearly as bad, but it still played out a bit like a game of BBC bingo: war, poverty, the workhouse, tuberculosis, fascism, death, the NHS. . . “A HOUSE!”.

However, Sue also discovered one detail of the birth certificate that gave meaning, impact and strong resonance to the entire documentary, but which for some reason was not mentioned out loud.

And that was her great-grandmother’s maiden name, Fanny King.

Something for all of us to think about, I think.

COMEDIANS Giving Lectures, Everyday Sexism, Kiri Pritchard-McLean: “I’ve been showing up at comedy shows and people have mistaken me for being an audience member, bar staff and a comedian’s wife.”

Have you seen your act before?

Unexpected idiots in the packaging area

THE Weakest Link, Romesh Ranganathan: “How J on the geologic timescale is the name of a period on Earth when there was an abundance of dinosaurs?”

Anton Du Beke: “Germanic.”

The Chase, Bradley Walsh: “What breed of dog gives its name to a strong metal clip?”

Paul Sinha: “Labrador.”

Beat the Chasers, Bradley Walsh: “Which Irish city has the airport code ORK?”

Warren: “Pass.”

And Tipping Point, Ben Shephard: “In what century was Richard the Lionheart king of England?”

Anj: “20.”

(All contributions gratefully accepted)

Random Irritations

THE safe and sure knowledge that Ian Hislop will attribute the eventual demise of Have I Got News For You to political decisions rather than the fact that it’s just not funny anymore.

Hunted contestant Abi Elliott actually asks aloud, “What’s a hovercraft?”

The terminally awakened Football Focus was so engrossed in women’s football that it completely forgot about Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.

A particularly sombre episode of EastEnders filming for ‘Liberation’ on Monday.

And Pointless Celebrities winner Chloe Petts declared quite cockily, “I’m going to quit stand-up comedy after that.” Because until that moment, I didn’t realize she’d ever started.

TV mysteries: when does Rosie Jones’ internship at Channel 4 end? Why the heck has comedian great Duncan “Chase me” Norvelle never been cast on Celebrity Hunted?

And if ITV2 commissioned something called Judi Love Island, would it be the worst show of the decade? Or would that still be Romeo And Duet?

Great sporting insights

JAYDEE DYER: “Havertz has scored easier goals this season. But nothing easier than that.”

Gareth Ainsworth: “I can’t sit and stand here and say we deserved the win.”

JayDee Dyer said, “Havertz has scored easier goals this season. But nothing easier than that'


JayDee Dyer said, “Havertz has scored easier goals this season. But nothing easier than that’Photo credit: Getty

Michael Dawson: “Ashley Barnes took the penalty but Nick Pope single-handedly gave Burnley a point.”

(Compiled by Graham Wray)

ROMEO and duet, Oti Mabuse: “That’s Rachael. She is Britain’s youngest undertaker. How does that feel?” I feel like she’s on the right show.

TV gold

RICKY GERVAIS slaughters all sorts of sacred cows at the start of Netflix’s SuperNature, including Eddie Izzard: “She was brilliant at this. . . than a man.”

Bill Maher’s brilliant film “New rule: Along for the pride”, right in front of the camera, on Real Time.

Ricky Gervais slaughtered all sorts of sacred cows at the launch of Netflix SuperNature


Ricky Gervais slaughtered all sorts of sacred cows at the launch of Netflix SuperNatureCredit: AP

Panorama’s documentary “Hunting Putin’s War Criminals” which could have been at least 30 minutes longer.

And helpful cousin Anil’s annoyed response when the hunted man-child Amarinder squealed, “Oh look at the scenery!”

“It’s a graveyard. I can drop you off there if you want.”

oh please do it


THE self-awareness award 2022 goes to . . . Ferne McCann, First Time Mum and ITVBe’s Irony Free Zone, for boldly declaring: “Obviously I’m a very, very busy working mum,” while sitting on a yacht in the Maldives with her newest boyfriend.

FOR all those viewers trying to figure out why Channel 4 picked the 11 new Hunted candidates, one possibility was immediately dismissed when a local Good Samaritan attempted to help Amarinder and Shoba Sehda escape the Isle of Wight drop-off .

“There is a route through Cowes using a couple of the local ferries.”

Amarinder: “What? Like they transport cattle and you drive cows?”
It wasn’t her superior intellect.

Doppelganger of the week

THIS week’s winner is Jason Manford and one of the Handersons dolls from Britain’s Got Talent.

Jason Manford, left, and the Handersons dolls from BGT


Jason Manford, left, and the Handersons dolls from BGT

Sent in by Mrs. Emerson.

Image research: Amy Reading The 1% Club? 99% of his attraction is to presenter Lee Mack


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