Tipping Point backstage inisight – code words and man running slot machine

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ITV’s Tipping Point has become one of the channels most popular daytime shows on the airwaves, with the quiz show regularly reaching over eight million people a week.

The novelty of the popular series combines two of the nation’s favourite pastimes – quizzes and seaside 2p amusement arcade games – with the added bonus of some tense drama and an eye-watering cash prize.

With Ben Shephard at the helm, the giant slot machine allows eager-eyed contestants the opportunity to win big after a nail-biting round of quick fire questions for the chance to take home £10,000.

READ MORE: Tipping Point viewers brand contestant 'too good' for ITV show after mega cash win

Over the years, hundreds of fans of the show have called out TV bosses for “fixing” the show and “rigging” the outcome.

So, as the gameshow celebrates its 10th anniversary on the silver screen, Daily Star has taken a look behind the scenes at the ITV set to uncover some of the trade secrets kept quiet on the show.

Tipping Point machine

Over their 10-year reign, viewers up and down the country have come up with some bizarre and questionable theories surrounding the oversized slot machine.

On the show, contestants are asked a series of questions, with each correct answer awarding them a £50 counter which will hopefully get pushed down the levels and fall into the player’s jackpot.

If contestants are lucky enough for a gold counter to fall into their pot, their grand total gets doubled with the lowest contestant eliminated from each round until the last player standing, where they are given the chance to take home jackpot counter worth £10,000.

But the presenter, 47, admitted that the show wasn’t quite as simple as it seems as he confessed the machine is ran by a whole team of people backstage.

Speaking to Huffington Post, the dad-of-two explained: “It's a really complicated system that is run by the gallery. It’s such a complicated set up, which is why when people ask if we can take it on the road, that’s the reason why we can’t.”

He went on to reveal that there is a person sat in a chair behind the machine to make sure that the machine works correctly on set.

Ben added: “He has to make sure the hydraulics are going at the right pace, because sometimes they can be too fast. He has to make sure the hoppers that feed the counters are full.”

To begin with, 80 counters are placed on the top shelf and bottom shelf of the machine, with the GMB presenter noting that they aren’t arranged in a specific order despite audience theories.

“Usually, they are put in the same way, but if they’re fractionally further forward or further back, it can change the game dramatically,” he claims.

And the humongous machine even requires its own runner who will run on set in between takes to clear the set of dropped counters and add up the number of coins that fall into the collection bin for each turn.

Secret Language

Over the years on the show, Ben has even come up with his own unique language to describe the different types of drops on the show.

So far, the star has come up with various nicknames for the show including “hectic drop”, “boomerang drop”, “ghost drop” and “sketchy top shelf.”

The latest catchphrase the doting dad has been attempting to slip into regular gameshow conversation is the “maverick drop.”

He told the outlet: “I’m hoping it catches on” as he continues to drop it throughout the series.

Ben added: “When the contestants come in and start describing them like that, I get a real moment of joy.”

But he’s not the only one who has come up with their own catchphrases for the show after he revealed how British Army soldiers weighed in on the conversation after watching the show religiously after their shift ended.

The broadcaster explained: “The whole thing of an ‘edge surfer’ came from a group of soldiers in the British Army in Afghanistan, who watched it every day when they came off shift.”

He went on to advise people the future contestants on the best way to rake in the most coins on the popular ITV show.

He advised: “You drop it as the shelf is coming back towards you. Don’t do it when it’s going back towards the machine.”

Application process

As the show prepares for its centenary episode, ITV bosses are sure to be flooded with more applicants for the show than ever.

Now, one former Tipping Point contestant has explained the lengthy application process she went through to take part on the show back in April last year.

Although blogger Emmma Bradley was knocked out in the first round of the show, she was quick to document her once in a lifetime experience on her blog Emmaand3.

According to the contestant, there are three stages of selection for Tipping Point, which also applies to shows such as The Chase: the online application form, the telephone interview and a group selection.

The blonde beauty explained once she submitted her online application, she was contacted by a researcher “within a few days” who asked her more questions about herself as well we 10 “nice and easy” general knowledge questions.

For the group selection stage of the application process, the quizzer was sent to a hotel conference room where around 30 fellow applicants too to the stage.

She told her readers: “We were taken into a large room where we all sat around a conference table.

“Next, we were then given a general knowledge test of about 50 questions which we had 20 minutes to complete in silence.

“These were a mixture of the type of questions that would come up on the game show. I answered them and felt like I had done quite well but these are not marked or given back to you so I will never really know!”

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They were then asked to talk about a topic of their choosing on stage which was filmed to make sure they were comfortable talking on camera.

Emma added: “Next each applicant had to stand at the front of the room and talk for five minutes on any topic of their choice.

“This was filmed and we were encouraged to talk to the camera and be engaging. This helped researchers understand and see what each person would be like on TV if they had a Tipping Point experience.”

Ending her blog post, she explained that she was told to await a call asking her to make her way to the studio in a week’s time, with the entire process taking less than a month overall.


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