BrainTeaser (Game Show)

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BrainTeaser (Game Show)
The show just teases itself, £0 needed.
Genre: Game show
Running Time: 60 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
Release Date: August 5, 2002 - March 7, 2007
Distributed by: Endemol
Starring: Alex Lovell (2002–2007)
Jonny Gould (2002)
Rachel Pierman (2002–2004)
Craig Stevens (2002–2004)
Episodes: 1122

BrainTeaser is a British Game Show produced by Endemol UK Productions (later Endemol West and Cheetah Television West) that aired on Channel 5 from August 5, 2002, until March 7, 2007. It is based on an Endemol format called "Puzzeltijd" ("Puzzle Time").

Why It Sucks

  1. The entire show was produced on a shoestring budget and it shows:
    • The entire program was entirely financed through its phone-in segments. in fact, Channel 5 didn't even control the slot the show was in, as they only charged £0 per hour for Endemol UK Productions to air the series.
    • The show's set is extremely tiny, even smaller than other game shows of the time.
    • There is no audience whatsoever, but that's to be expected with a majority of British daytime game shows, and the fact that almost nobody could fit into the tiny set.
    • Although the prize for beating the final game Pyramid is a mere £3,000 (about $4,250 in US dollars) (or £100 if a contestant doesn't beat the final game in later versions), it's pegged with artificial difficulty for this very reason, making it quite hard to win.
      • On an awkward and confusing note, there have been times where a contestant can win the game but not win any money at all.
    • In fact, the show was far cheaper to produce than the fellow Channel 5 game show 100%.
  2. The phone-in segments feel like they're shoehorned in, and they take up more of the show than the actual physical game show part.
    • The only reason why the show aired live, to begin with, is due to the phone-in segments being obligatory, as that's how Endemol got the money to pay Channel 5 for airing the show.
  3. Although the show is an hour-long, it feels very padded and boring. This is, once again, due to the phone-in portion being obligatory and the fact that only two out of four contestants could play at a time.
  4. The puzzle games could be easily be summoned up as "cliched" and "forgettable", pretty much the kind that can easily be played elsewhere in puzzle books or on websites.
  5. The soundtrack and sound effects mostly consist of really loud and annoying hums, beeps, buzzes, and pings.
  6. A weak and shallow presenter lineup that wasted the opportunity of the multi-host format that most versions of the "Puzzle Time" format had used. Alex Lovell was the only one of the four who was quite well known at the time (due to her previous work on Playhouse Disney and on shopping channels), and by 2005, she ended up becoming the sole permanent presenter after the others left.
  7. In fact, they would sometimes forget rules or lines (even with their cue cards) as well, which is inexcusable for a live show.
    • In fact, according to when they reviewed one of the first few first episodes back in 2002, the presenter that day would constantly miss the cue for how long a word could be in one of the games, ending up to an accidental wrong answer.
  8. During the 2007 British premium-rate phone-in scandal, it was revealed that the show's production team at Endemol faked the phone-in segments whenever there were no real winners rather than admitting there were none, completely scamming anyone who took part in them.
    • A major example of this happened when the quickfire call-in round was introduced in 2006. One time when no callers won, Endemol instead posed one of the show's production team members as a "Winner".
    • This controversy was enough for the show to be axed permanently and Channel 5 being fined £300,000 by Ofcom after the channel denied that they knew about the scam before they admitted irresponsibility.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The fact that a different host is on every day or so is there, as it was in the Dutch version (Until Alex Lovell became more prominent).
  2. The show's popularity allowed Endemol; to open a UK-based studio in Bristol and to bring their more popular formats like Deal Or No Deal and 1 vs. 100 to the United Kingdom.
  3. The phone-in game did offer a reasonable top prize of £1,000.
  4. The set did increase in size by 2005, allowing for extra space.
  5. The December 2006 revamp improved the show a bit, and allowed for all four contestants to play at the same time, such a shame it happened a mere few months before the phone-in scandal.


  • Unlike most long-running British game shows, BrainTeaser has never re-aired again after its cancellation, very likely due to the controversy.
  • Since the show aired on weekdays with over 1122 episodes being produced for over 5 and a half years, a majority of the episodes are lost media.



3 months ago
Score 0
So, I discovered this show when I was watching through old British game shows, and this one stands out as a show that I personally think has no redeeming qualities, but is oddly enough to be "So Bad, it's Good", other than the fact I get bored so quickly.

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