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Your evening longread: Behind the scenes of Deal or No Deal

It’s a coronavirus-free zone as we bring you an interesting longread each evening to take your mind off today’s news events.

EVERY WEEK, WE bring you a round-up of the best longreads of the past seven days in Sitdown Sunday.

And now, every weeknight, we bring you an evening longread to enjoy which will help you to escape the news cycle.

We’ll be keeping an eye on new longreads and digging back into the archives for some classics.

Think outside the box: behind the scenes of Deal Or No Deal

Halloween marked the 15th anniversary of the first episode of Channel 4 game show Deal Or No Deal. Although it’s been off the air for a few years, the show was hugely popular at its peak, with critic AA Gill describing it as “like putting heroin in your TV remote”.

A year after it first aired, Jon Ronson went behind the scenes for The Guardian to see how the show was put together – and to find out how much of its contestants’ success was down to good fortune.

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(The Guardian, approximately 20 minutes reading time)

“It’s all luck,” I thought. “It’s a gameshow with no skill. He’s just opening boxes. What a terrible idea.” Forty-five minutes later, I was convinced Deal Or No Deal was the greatest game show I’d ever seen, full of unbearable drama and unexpected weirdness.
It was turning into one of the most exciting television-viewing experiences I’d ever had. Each time a box was opened, the tension was so agonising. Although this was quarter past four in the afternoon, four million viewers – nearly half of everyone watching TV at that moment – were watching.

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