Richard Osman (off Pointless) has a new gameshow on BBC2 this week (and every weekday for the next two weeks) called Richard Osman’s House Of Games. It feels very much influenced by Taskmaster, not in a bad way, but definitely taking elements of it and diluting it down for the mainstream.
The contestants are all celebrities, with the same four appearing all week (this week it’s Nish Kumar, Anneka Rice, Clara Amfo and Al Murray). They compete in various puzzles and games for points, with the contestant with the most getting a daily prize of their choice. These are Generation Game style joke prizes (pasta maker, dressing gown etc) all branded with the House of Games logo - a stylised version of Richard’s head. The contestant who gets the most points in the week (though that’s not a straight accumulation of the points they get in each episode, but points they get for their position in each episode - four for a win, three for second etc) wins the House of Games trophy, which is a metal rendition of
Greg Davies Richard Osman’s head, the same as the logo.
As I say, all quite sub-Taskmaster, but it works and the actual puzzles and games are miles away from TM - things like “combine the answer to this question with the name of the person in this photograph”, “identify the song from the first letter of each word in the lyrics”. Cleverly, it doesn’t tie itself indefinitely to any of them but the mash-up one (which is, if not the strongest, potentially the most entertaining long term), which is the final round in each episode. Beyond that they’re “randomly” selected.
In all, I think it works. At half an hour it doesn’t suffer from padding, but isn’t too rushed. Osman is a good host, able to chummy with the slebs, but also gently mocking, which is the right tone for BBC 2 teatime. Whether it’ll avoid feeling repetitive by the end of the third week, I don’t know, but I’m willing to find out.