I'm not sure if Phone-a-Friend has changed, there's now 3 prechosen options to choose who to ask; previously the exact system was unknown, I can't tell if it was the same or if you had to choose one person before game or had available as many as you wanted to name.
Oh I know they did that on the UK version in later years. I remember seeing a bit where they out up photos of the three people when they're deciding who to call.
Re: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire I think it has always been the case that you have to name three phone-a-friend friends. At least it has always been the case for the German version, long before they started to put photos of the phone-a-friend friends on screen.
Well.. nowadays German contestants can call a random person instead of one of their phone-a-friend friends, when they choose to play in risk mode. They can give a basic description of the desired person though (e.g. calling a woman, calling somebody from Berlin).
Re: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire It was 5 phone-a-friends, later reduced to 3, who were named to the producers beforehand. When it was brought down to 3 they then started showing photos. The DVD behind the scenes feature showed that during the morning when the researchers were building up the contestant profiles, the contestants had to call their phone-a-friends to make sure they would be in during filming hours, but some of them couldn't get hold of their choices so other people had to be called - a kind of subs list as it were. When they did get through to the person they then had to read the rules out to them: turn off all devices before answering, speak loudly and clearly, the first voice you hear will always be Chris, then he will hand over to the contestant, etc.
In later years, the US abolished the lifeline because technology had advanced to the point where you could have a landline in one hand hearing the question and a tablet to google the answer in the other hand. But since Phone-A-Friend was considered one of the staples of Millionaire over here, they felt they couldn't get rid of the 'asking someone else' aspect or else they'd be accused of jumping the shark, so they changed it to Ask-A-Friend, whereby the 3 friends were brought down to the studio and held off-stage where they couldn't see or hear what was going on, then when one was chosen, they would be beamed into the studio on the big screen so they couldn't cheat without being seen. I would guess that to make absolutely sure nothing dodgy happened, the other two remained in isolation and weren't released until the contestant either walked away or gave a wrong answer.
By the end, only celebrity contestants actually phoned people anymore, when they were doing those rubbish live celeb shows with production values ranging between crap and zero. Dunno why they trusted the celebrities' friends to not cheat...
Re: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Hooray! Someone else had it! One of the strangest things I'd ever seen on telly at the time. One Irish celeb who seems like he's made of sugar, sunshine and rainbows, teamed up with one Irish celeb known for being a angry oul thing with a mouth that would make Mrs. Brown blush. Daniel O'Donnell and Sinead O'Connor play Millionaire. Aired on St. Stephen's Day 2001. That's Boxing Day to you English.
Note: This was the last episode of Millionaire Ireland to award prizes in Irish punts. The next season, which was its last, gave them out in euro.
Re: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Here's the briefest of glimpses at the PS1 game. I was thrilled at the time. It was the first out and out Irish video game I'd ever seen. Still got it. Sounds weird not to hear Chris Tarrant, doesn't it? Gay Byrne always made it super formal.
Re: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Stunt casting. People will tune into the first episode to see how it’s going to work with him hosting, but I bet the viewers constantly drop off over the rest of the series.
I don’t understand why it’s coming back anyway. Was only a few years ago that it ended.