Gethin Jones talks about ITV1’s new feelgood game show, Holding out for a Hero, where contestants play to win money for someone who really needs it…

Tell us about Holding out for a Hero?
“It’s a quiz show with a twist. Basically, a contestant comes on, not to play for themselves, but to play for somebody else – someone they feel very strongly about and for a cause that is so close to their hearts.”

How does the hero find out someone’s playing for them?
“There’s a surprise element at the start of each show where the contestant reveals to their hero that they will be playing to win them money. There’s not a dry eye in the house because you see the hero’s story, what they’ve been through and what they’re trying to achieve. The hero then watches from the audience as the contestant plays the game.”

How does the game work?
“Each contestant must answer five multiple choice questions and choose giftcards revealing how much money each answer is worth. There are three contestants each show and three heroes and there is a lot of money at stake.”

So, the three causes are playing against each other?
“Yes. But the lovely thing about the show is that it’s so positive in so many ways. Usually, on a game show you have so much competition but on this show all the contestants really get behind each other. Even when they think they might lose, they are supporting each other.”

And everyone wins something don’t they?
“Whatever happens, each hero takes away at least £3,000 for their cause. So no one’s really a loser but the amount of money at stake really puts the pressure on. As all of the giftcards add up, one of the contestants could take away £100,000.”

As host, how does it feel knowing you’re helping to change someone’s life?
“It’s an amazing position to be in to tell somebody they’ve won money for something they care passionately about. Handing over the cheque at the end of the show is without doubt my favourite moment. Filming the show has been very emotional. One day, I cried three times!”

Finally, who’s your hero?
“I’d say my hero is my good friend Richard. He’s been through one of the worst things a man can go through, he fights every day but you’d never know. A hero is inspirational, and he’s definitely an inspiration to me.”

Holding out for a Hero is on Sundays at 7pm on ITV1