The Cube is TV’s Most Intriguing Game Show

The Cube is TV’s most intriguing game.  I love Who Wants to be a Millionaire, a close second, but the Cube is just plain exciting. Philip Shofield is an excellent host, and the sound effects push me to the edge. They screen their contestants well and always present a great show.  If you’re not familiar with the cube, this article posted on Wikipedia explains how it works.

ITV gameshow The Cube

The Cube is a BAFTA Award–winning British game show, which first aired on ITV on 22 August 2009. Presented byPhillip Schofield, it offers contestants the chance to win a top prize of £250,000[1] by completing challenges from within a 4m × 4m × 4m Perspex cube. The show is based on the idea that even straightforward tasks become extremely challenging when confined and put under pressure in front of a large live studio audience. Once inside contestants can feel both claustrophobic and disorientated. Using “state-of-the-art filming techniques”[2] the show aims to demonstrate the intense anxiety which contestants undergo as they progress through each task. Colin McFarlane provides the disembodied voice of The Cube, who explains the rules of the games.


All of the games take place from inside The Cube. Contestants are set a task to complete which can range from testing their agility to more simple procedures such as stopping a stopwatch after 10 seconds or building a tower of blocks. If they successfully complete the task, they will move up the money ladder and closer to the top prize. Each contestant is given nine lives. Each time a contestant fails a game, one life is lost, and the contestant must repeat the game. Any contestant who runs out of lives while trying to win a game loses all of the money he or she accumulated.

Contestants may stop after any game and take the money they have won, but once a contestant decides to play, he or she cannot back out until after completing that game. Before each game, there is a short demonstration by “The Body”, a faceless female character described as an expert in all the games. Her demonstrations allow the contestant to see how the game is played and formulate a strategy to succeed. Her face has not been seen; her outfit is a metal plate over her face, revealing just shoulder-length hair, and at one time, she lifted part of the mask, revealing her mouth and chin, to demonstrate Drift.


The Cube offers each contestant two aids, each of which may be used only once. They may use a Simplify, which will make a certain game easier to complete. It remains in effect for all future attempts of the game until the contestant completes it. They also have the aid of a Trial Run, which is only available from the second game onwards. It gives the contestant a chance to attempt the game without any consequences. Even if the contestant completes the game, to advance to the next game, they must complete it again under the usual circumstances. However, if the contestant fails to complete the game, they will not be penalised for it.

To assist contestants in making a decision on whether to play a game, the host can provide the player with statistics about the game they are facing, such as the average number of lives it takes for players to win the game, the percentage of people that completed the game on their first try, or whether one group of people was better at the game than another. With the exception of four episodes (two of which are Celebrity Specials), each episode generally features two contestants.

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The Cube is hard to beat. I’ve watched people try their best show after show after show and never get through to beat the Cube.  Finally, the athletic star Mo Farah beat the cube in February of 2012. The money he won was given to his charity, the Mo Farah Foundation, which provides aid to those affected by the drought in East Africa.

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