Dynargh dhe'n Blogofrob

Monday 7th April 2003

The dodgy major, his coldly calculating wife and the smug but sickly university lecturer have been found guilty of cheating on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' The script at the above link makes amusing reading, but makes me wonder about how vulnerable TV quizzes are to cheats and how many people have got away with it in the past. Coughing is surely too obvious for anyone to successfully get away with - as perhaps shown by the Ingram conviction. Would it have been subtler if the accomplice, supposing he was facing the contestant, worked out a gesture for each question? So for example on question 1, when Tarrant ran through the options, the accomplice could scratch his head at the correct option. For question 2, he could cross his arms, for 3, tug his left earlobe etc. The contestant could indicate he had seen the gesture by mirroring it. Perhaps this would fall foul of studio lights blinding the contestants, but I can imagine such a system working in other shows. There is an entertaining Tales of the Unexpected story by Roald Dahl called "My Lady Love My Dove" which contains a devious but fairly simple method by which one can cheat at Bridge.

Of course, myself, I would never cheat, except in tedious computer games, which are much more fun once you're invulnerable, so you can for example, drive around London on the rampage at your leisure (even The Getaway gets dull after a while) - otherwise my experience of cheating consists of taking advantage of the youth of my sister in a game of Happy Families. She must have been about 5, I was 7 - she hadn't grasped the fact the that if only two people play Happy Families it is clear which cards the other player has. I always insisted on having first go and always cleaned up.

10 - posted at 15:48:07

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