TV preview: The Million Pound Drop

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It’s almost like Mash Up night again tonight, as Channel 4 celebrates the return of its phenomenally popular live interactive quiz show by inviting two of the stars of another of its biggest successes to take part.

Stephen and Christopher, of the channel’s oddball sleeper hit reality show Gogglebox, trade a night in front of the telly for one spent on it, as they hope to raise an impressive sum of cash for charity.

You’ve got to feel slightly sorry for them. Celebrity versions of popular quiz shows always see the proceeds donated to charity on the understanding that the stars in question are rich enough already, but Stephen and Chris, the Brighton-based hairdressers and self-described ‘token gay’ contingent of the show, are famous purely for being regular people - and indeed still work in the same salons as before the show first aired. You’d hope they could win enough for themselves to pay for some new shears and maybe a bigger telly before the next round of Gogglebox is shot.

Regardless, though, it does present them with a rare opportunity to make a big difference for a charity close to their hearts - and of course to get up close and personal with host Davina McCall, someone they’ve both been filmed discussing on their own show. Let’s hope they were complimentary, or they might end up with some tougher than normal questions!

This is The Million Pound Drop’s 13th series, so by now we should all know what to expect: contestants are given £1million in bundles of cash, and must hold on to as much of it as possible through a series of questions by placing it over the correct trapdoors. Wrong answers lead to the cash plummeting away.

There is a twist, though, this time around. Each edition of the eight-part run will feature a different theme for the game, such as a blind-date drop, a generation-gap edition, and a workplace special. In addition, more well-known faces are lined up to take on the challenge for good causes as the weeks pass. They include Jonathan Ross and his family, Alan Carr and Nick Grimshaw, and the stars of Educating Yorkshire. Not just more of the same, then.

Some aspects remain unchanged of course. Viewers can still play along from home, either online or via the mobile app - with collective scores tallied throughout the episode, and the chance to appear on the show also up for grabs.

And, of course, the show wouldn’t be the same without Davina at the helm. She’s right at home offering advice to the contestants, as well as congratulations on a game well played and commiserations when it all goes to pot.

Davina said, speaking ahead of the show’s launch, “[I’m] so pleased The Million Pound Drop is coming back! I literally love, love, love presenting it and can’t wait to see if anyone can win big this season!”

THE MILLION POUND DROP, Channel 4, Friday 8pm

Leeds-bound Paul Weller

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