by Renee Israel
It was reported yesterday that Simon Cowell's Red or Black? TV game
show will be returning to UK screens shortly for a new season, although with a
few notable changes.
For instance, avid fans of the show will no doubt be very
disappointed to see that that Red or Black? will return minus its trademark
roulette wheel, which was ejected from the show due to its obvious connection to
Earlier this year, the UK Gambling Commission launched an
investigation into various UK TV game shows including Red or Black? and Deal or
No Deal to see if they were in contravention of the country's gambling laws.
After a few days, the Commission announced that it was not pursuing
the investigation any more. However, the very threat of an investigation seems
to have been enough for Cowell to decide to axe the roulette wheel, after the
Gambling Commission claimed that it glamourised gambling.
Vortex to Replace Game Show Roulette Wheel
The Sun quoted 'an insider source' as saying that the new
season of Red or Black? will see a new game, called The Vortex replace the
The game will see players predicting how long it will take a
ball to fall into a velodrome, according to the source.
"It will still be as tense as the roulette wheel," he is quoted
as saying. "It could even be more exciting as the ball will hang around for
More Changes to Red or Black?
Besides the disappearance of the Cowell gambling show roulette wheel,
other changes will also take place. Instead of nightly live shows as seen in the
first series, Red or Black? will be shown as pre-recorded episodes each week.
The winner of each show will be handed a £500,000 in prize money, and
producer say that a roll over could reach £3.5 million. However, some of last
season's winners triggered a major controversy when it was discovered that they
had criminal records.
The new series will also host some of the top names in UK sports in order to
attract a wider audience, with footballer Robin van Persie and cricketers Kevin
Peitersen and Mark Ramprakash scheduled to make an appearance.
Last season's hosts Ant and Dec will remain on to present the show.
The first season of Red or Black? had poor ratings, due in part to a
repetitive format, episodes broadcast too close to one another and too many "sob
stories". Producers hope that the changes will result in better ratings, even if
the big roulette wheel had to be sacrificed for the greater good.