Returning to BBC One and iPlayer, Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel is set to make a much-anticipated comeback on Saturday nights. This popular game show is filled with nail-biting suspense, hearty laughter, A-list stars, and a colossal rotating Wheel. Three contestants aspire to navigate their way to a fortune, aided by seven celebrity experts. The pivotal question remains: can these experts guide them towards a life-altering cash prize? It all hinges on the spin of The Wheel.
Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel premieres on Saturday, 23rd September, airing on BBC One and iPlayer.
Bradford Zone had a chat with Michael McIntyre about the upcoming series of The Wheel.
Michael, what can you tell us about the new series of The Wheel?
Every series of The Wheel is getting better than the last. I think this is because the returning celebrity experts are more comfortable and confident, and new experts are excited to be on a show that has become such a favourite. In fact, when I asked Alex Jones, who is on this series as a CBeebies expert, why she hadn’t been on before she said, “I was waiting to see if it was a hit!”
Which celebrities are taking part?
As ever we have a super fun array of “experts”, some returning favourites with new categories like, Clare Balding on Dogs, Tom Allen on Hats, Big Narstie on Jamaica, Dermot O’Leary on Explorers, as well as newbies like, Adam Kay on Medicine, Steve Pemberton on Horror, Russel T Davis on Dr Who and Paddy McGuinness on Karate.
Last series saw a contestant walk away without winning anything. Where you shocked at that?
We’ve had only two shows in three series where nobody has won. This is of course possible and adds to the jeopardy of the show’s climax. There are 10 new shows in the new series and maybe no winners – you’ll have to watch and find out!
Any surprising moments we should look out for in the new series?
The Wheel and the contestant Wheel are random, so it really shouldn’t be surprising that sometimes the same experts or contestants are chosen repeatedly, but when it happens it still feels like a surprise. So watch out for some incredible favouritism by The Wheel in the new series!
The Wheel looks like it spins pretty fast, has anyone ever felt a bit sick?
Richie Anderson, who does the traffic and travel on Radio 2, said he suffered from travel sickness (ironic given his career path) and wore anti-sickness wristbands on the show. He said he felt fine though, as has everyone else. I think the Wheel is just fast enough to be fun without feeling sick.
Across all the shows, whose specialist subject has surprised you the most?
Either Fred Siriex on Reggae or Paddy McGuiness on Karate – it turns out he’s a black belt!
Celebrities are ranked best to worst, has anyone ever been surprised or upset by their ranking? Has this caused any rivalries?
Finishing top of the leaderboard is a badge of honour for the celebrity experts. I love the tension when I reveal where everyone has placed, especially when we near the bottom end. In one show the absolutely hilarious Big Narstie takes a few, as he calls them, power naps but still manages to beat some very disgruntled celebs who were giving their all.
How does hosting the Wheel compare to fronting The Big Show?
Both shows are an absolute pleasure to host, but The Wheel is far more relaxed as I’m just playing a game and having fun with the contestants and celebs until the format creeps up on us and everything takes a dramatic turn. It’s so wonderful when lovely people win money that can make such a positive impact to their lives.
You famously came up with the idea for the show in bath during lockdown. Have you thought of any more ideas for game shows?
No, but weirdly I have thought of a new business idea in the shower that I’m quite excited about. So maybe I should move my office to the bathroom.
What’s the strangest place someone has come up to you and started singing The Wheel theme song?
I went to Old Trafford to watch Spurs play Manchester United and walked past rival fans hurling abuse at each other. One of them clocked me and started to jovially sing “The Wheel” and then the other one joined in.
Who would you love to see take a spin on The Wheel?
I have to say I’m loving that Tyson Fury show so I think Tyson Fury on Boxing would be great.