From the nail-biting tension of The Chase to the cheeky banter of Catchphrase, game shows are as popular as ever, pulling in record ratings and proving they're anything but yesterday's news. 

But why, in the age of on-demand everything, are these tried-and-tested formats still stealing our hearts and eyeballs?

Entertainment and Escapism

Game shows offer a delicious escape from reality. We can laugh along with witty hosts, marvel at contestants' brains (or blunders!), and get lost in the thrill of the game. 

It's pure, unadulterated entertainment, a chance to switch off and let someone else be in the spotlight for a while. 

And who knows, maybe we'll even learn something along the way – did you know the population of sheep in Mongolia is roughly the same as in New Zealand? (Thanks, QI!)

Interactive Engagement

Game shows aren't just something to watch, they're something to do. 

We scream answers at the telly, argue with our flatmates over who knows more about 80s pop acts, and frantically Google obscure historical facts in solidarity with the contestants. 

It's like a giant pub quiz in your living room, except you don't have to leave the comfort of your PJs. And with the rise of social media, the conversation doesn't end when the credits roll. 

Twitter explodes with hilarious memes, contestant praise (or roasting), and heated debates about controversial rulings. It's a shared experience, a community built around the joy of trivia and a good laugh.

Prizes and High Stakes

Let's not forget the elephant in the room – the potential for life-changing riches. 

While not every contestant walks away with a million quid, the possibility is tantalisingly close. We watch in equal parts awe and envy as ordinary people try to secure their future. 

It's a gamble and often a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Even if we know the odds are stacked against them, we root for the contestants, hoping they'll crack the code, answer the final question, and bag that dream prize. 

The UK's Most Popular Gameshows

So, which shows are keeping the nation glued to their sofas? 

  • The Chase: This teatime favourite continues to dominate with its nail-biting finales and witty banter between Bradley Walsh and the Chasers. 
  • Deal or no Deal: Think bingo but on an even more dramatic scale. Pick your numbers in the right order and see if you can beat the banker!
  • Tipping Point: A bit of strategy and a lot of luck go a long way in this game, a trivia-backed recreation of classic seaside penny slot machines.
  • Catchphrase: A Saturday staple that has found its groove with regular celebrity specials. Remember, just say what you see! 
  • Pointless: One for the brainiacs. Sure we can all get the obvious answers to these questions, but do you have the most obscure knowledge?