Balls of Steel (UK TV series)

Balls of Steel (UK TV series)

Infobox Television
bgcolour =
show_name = Balls of Steel


caption =
format = Comedy / Reality-TV
camera =
picture_format = 16:9
audio_format =
runtime = 50 minutes (35 mins w/o coms.)
creator =
developer = Objective Productions
executive_producer =
starring = Mark Dolan
narrated =
opentheme =
endtheme =
country = UK
network = Channel 4
first_run =
first_aired = 19 August 2005
last_aired = present
num_episodes = 19
website = http://www.channel4.com/ballsofsteel
imdb_id = 0477141
tv_com_id = 64471

"Balls of Steel" is a Channel 4 comedy series developed by Objective Productions and is hosted by Mark Dolan. His special guests perform stunts, holding their nerve during hidden camera set-ups in the presence of celebrities or the British public.

"Massive Balls of Steel", the spinoff series to "Balls of Steel" was shown on E4, showing highlights of the show.

The format

There are a total of 12 acts. In each episode, six acts compete with one of them being the winner from the previous episode. At the end of each episode the studio audience appears to decide which act was the nerviest, or had the biggest 'Balls of Steel' by voting on a keypad, however, many of the appeared winners were recorded separate from the show, not winning the game by voters.cn|date=August 2008

The acts

There are various acts seen frequently on the show, presented by the regular performers.

The winners

Massive Balls of Steel

Massive Balls of Steel is a show broadcast on E4 where contestants show their best clips as voted for by the public.

International broadcasting

It airs on The Comedy Channel in Australia and at 10.30pm Wednesday nights on the Nine Network. In Latin America, it is broadcast on Sony Entertainment Television, in New Zealand on TV2, in Germany on RTL II, in Denmark on TV 2 Zulu, in Norway on TV2 Zebra and Poland on TVN. In January 2007, a pilot for an American version hosted by J. Keith van Straaten was taped for the A&E network, but was not picked up for production.During spring 2007 an Italian adaptation of the format was aired on Rai Due, this version lasted just one season and wasn't picked up for a second season due to very poor ratings.

Criticisms

This show has been criticised by many as using child-like humour for cheap laughs.Fact|date=June 2007 In particular it portrays anti-social behaviour as humorous. For example, the segment Big Stranger Rodeo is a hidden camera segment where a person has to ride on a stranger's back for as long as possible. This segment was staged, with friends setting up their mates in a pre-arraged stunt, but it can be easily be replicated by minors. It has also been criticised for promoting happy slappingFact|date=June 2007, despite there being no form of happy slapping involved in the show.

Even before it was broadcast, "Balls of Steel" was given an enormous amount of publicity during the London premiere for the film "War of the Worlds". Its leading man Tom Cruise was squirted with a water pistol disguised as a microphone as part of one of the programme's various stunts or practical jokes. Cruise's reaction was not as excessive as that of Sharon Osbourne in an identical stunt several weeks before; she reacted by throwing a bucket of water over one of the team's camera men, ruining the camera.

Others who have been attacked include Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden. [ [http://www.thelocal.se/7385/20070523/ "The Local" on 23 May, 2007] ] . Sveriges Television, where the Swedish version "Ballar av stål" was going to air, decided to cancel the show after massive criticism against it. [ [http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1058&a=656456 "Dagens Nyheter" on June 2, 2007] ]

The show has also had its fair share of complaints from viewers. One target is the 'Annoying Devil' in which he performs extreme acts on members of the public. Some complaints were directed at his roller coaster stunt where he threw (fake) bags of vomit at the passengers.

The programme returned for a further series in 2007, for which its makers appealed for contestants for a pilot quiz show on an established quiz site. At least one participant rumbled the deceit almost immediately during filming on 10 June 2006, but despite his queries the makers refused to admit that the quiz was a hoax until the "broadcast" was over. Series 3 returned to Channel 4 on 21 March 2008.

However, despite harsh criticism, Balls of Steel keeps coming back by popular demand - as witnessed by the return of Balls of Steel to Channel Nine in Australia in September to the prime late night time slot. This occurred just 3 months after the Sydney Morning Herald's Michael Idato panned the show as being "purile" in an online review (26 May 2008)

New Material

On his MySpace page, Neg Dupree has said that there is not a new Balls of Steel series being planned. There has been no comment from either Channel 4 or Mark Dolan on if a new series is being commissioned.

Neg has launched a petition to get his own show, although whether this will go ahead with Channel 4 is unknown. Neg's Australian Fansite has also launched their own petition to try and get Neg to launch his own show in Australia, rather than the UK.

References

External links

* [http://www.channel4.com/ballsofsteel "Balls of Steel"] at Channel4.com
* [http://www.negdupree.com "Neg Dupree"] at Negdupree.com


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