More fun and games with In for a Penny

Saturday: In for a Penny; (ITV, 7pm)

Friday, 16th April 2021, 5:00 pm
Stephen Mulhern
Stephen Mulhern

Their latest run of Saturday Night Takeaway proved, once again, that Ant and Dec are the undisputed kings of weekend telly.

Sadly for its millions of fans, that ended a fortnight ago, and the popular show has been replaced in the schedules by Vernon Kay’s Game of Talents.

But if that has failed to capture your imagination, fear not because one of Ant and Dec’s old pals is back on the telly tonight.

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Stephen Mulhern returns with a new series of his silly game show In for a Penny, with the likeable host heading onto the streets of Sheffield to set members of the public more silly and unusual challenges.

Mulhern’s showbiz career kicked off when his father began teaching him magic tricks before bedtime. His enthusiasm led to him becoming the youngest member of The Magic Circle, and he went on to win The Big Big Talent Show, which bagged him a spot at the Royal Variety Performance.

His presenting career kicked off when he fronted Saturday Showdown on CITV alongside Holly Willoughby, as well as Finger Tips with Fearne Cotton, and magic show Tricky TV. Then, in 2010, he moved away from children’s television, hosting Dancing On Ice spin-off show Defrosted, making frequent appearances on This Morning, and bagging a gig hosting Catchphrase.

This led to his spot on BGT spin-off Britain’s Got More Talent, where he built up a friendship with Ant and Dec.

Stephen, who turned 44 over Easter, now presents The Big Quiz, as well as stunts and features on Saturday Night Takeaway, and his own celebrity game show Rolling In It (which is returning for a new series at some point in 2021).

However, arguably his biggest success has been In for a Penny, the half-hour long game show, which begin life as a segment on Takeaway.

For those who haven’t seen it before, the programme consists of a number of different games, giving members of the public the chance to win cash prizes. They include Pump It Up, in which Stephen challenges drivers to dispense exactly the correct amount fuel into their vehicles, and Mum’s The Word, when people are asked to call their mum and describe a word without saying it.

In Check It Out, the host gets supermarket shoppers to guess whether one item is more or less expensive than the last, and Weigh To Go is a challenge involving suitcase scales at airport check-in desks.

Finally, In for a Penny, In for a Grand is the show’s finale and sees Stephen get contestants to take part in five rounds with £1,000 up for grabs.

Of course, it’s not all about the games and prizes, and Stephen will be sharpening his trademark banter and innuendo skills to use on the residents of the South Yorkshire Steel City tonight.

“It’s a show that all the fam­ily can watch,” he explains. “If you like hav­ing a good laugh then you’re go­ing to love it. We play games through­out the show with mem­bers of the pub­lic and any­body can play as long as you’ve got a penny. They’re just fun games and at the end you can win a £1,000 on the spot. None of the con­tes­tants are cast, we lit­er­ally hit them on the spot so you never know what you’re go­ing to get. I didn’t re­alise what peo­ple would do for £1,000 – but you’re soon go­ing to find out.”

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