TV & Movies

How BBC game show Only Connect overtook EastEnders despite one big complaint from fans

ONLY Connect overtook EastEnders in the BBC Monday night ratings for the first time earlier this month – despite one big complaint amongst fans. 

Earlier this month, a staggering 2.79m people tuned in to have their quizzing acumen put to the test and watch Victoria Coren-Mitchell assess two more plucky teams.

Showing just how far the programme has come, the BBC series became the most-watched show in its time slot, with its flagship show EastEnders unable to compete with the surge.

The fiendishly difficult quiz show has evolved from curiosity piece to bonafide institution in the 13 years since it first aired on BBC Four. 

Viewers of the series have also chimed in with their thoughts on the show's tricky questions, with many taking to social media to complain that they are “too hard” for those playing along at home. 

The show’s reputation for being the most challenging quiz on telly is well deserved, too – but it turns out that writing the questions can be even tougher than answering them. 

“It’s difficult to write Only Connect questions,” the show's co-creator Chris Stuart told Metro.

“We spend a lot of time fine-tuning questions, we’ve got questions writers contributing from all over Britain.

“We went through a spell where we were a little uncertain as to whether we could go on find new questions that were sufficiently interesting, but as time has gone on, they keep coming.” 

The person in charge of putting together the ridiculously hard questions on the box is Jack Whaley-Cohen – tasked with whittling down around 2000 question ideas to 400 ahead of every series. 

Chris also looked back at the show’s earliest days, adding: "We turned it into a quiz about connections.

“I’d always had a feeling that something based on missing vowels was good, too, and when we began to try things out, that seemed to work very well.

“It took a while to get the ball rolling, but things really changed when Chris’s friend Victoria stepped in to host the pilot – with no idea it would become the hit it is today.”

With the show’s recent stellar success, Chris concluded that he would like to try the format of the quiz on a very different audience.

He added: “We were really attracted by the notion of a children’s version, I think that could work very well.

“Until then, we’ve got plenty more episodes of the toughest show on TV to look forward to.” 

Only Connect airs on Monday nights at 8pm on BBC Two. 

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