The success of shows like Britain’s Got Talent has proved that we’re a nation of frustrated performers.
But where do people with less conventional gifts go to show off their party pieces? Step forward Alexander Armstrong, host of Epic Win, a new game show in which people with strange skills perform in front of a panel of judges in a bid to win a cash prize.
TV&Satellite Week magazine caught up with the presenter and comic actor to find out more…
The idea for Epic Win came out of desire to find an outlet for British eccentrics… We wanted a fun show for Saturday nights on which we could celebrate the slightly odd hobbies and skills of a select few.
The acts aren’t like the ones you see on Britain’s Got Talent… For example, we have a man who can recognise different types of fish while being slapped around the face with them. It’s a great skill, but I can’t see him going down well at the Royal Variety Show.
If you win your challenge, you exit to cheers, carrying a trophy… If you lose, you slope off through the ‘fail’ door, which slams behind you with an echoing thud.
It’s uplifting to see people doing things that have no practical value… Like the butcher who, blindfolded, can identify cuts of meat using his feet, or the guy who chops vegetables with a chainsaw and, while they’re cooking in a wok, carves a bowl and chopsticks from a chunk of wood.
Stand-up comic Micky Flanagan is our Simon Cowell… He’s proving to be a quite harsh critic in the shows we’ve filmed so far.
A series of Armstrong and Miller takes us a year to make… I can make three hours of Epic Win in a day, and the same is true of my BBC1 quiz Pointless. That’s one of the joys of being a presenter rather than a performer.
Ben Miller and I are making an Edwardian sitcom called Felix and Murdo… Trying to get costumes for it has been a nightmare because they’re all out on hire to Downton Abbey and Titanic.
Grand Designs is TV heaven for me… I love watching people building houses while a posh man gets antsy about them going over budget.