Section 17: Interacting with our Audiences

Game Shows and Quizzes

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  1. Selection of Contestants
  2. Fairness to Contestants
  3. Safety
  4. Setting Questions
  5. Rules or Terms and Conditions

Selection of Contestants


The choice of contestant should not bring the BBC into disrepute.  Reasonable steps should be taken to screen out contestants who are clearly unsuitable.  This could include those who have been convicted of serious offences or offences which are clearly incompatible with the prize on offer.  Advice is available from Programme Legal Advice and Editorial Policy.


Fairness to Contestants


Members of the public who take part should be treated honestly, fairly and with regard for their dignity.  They must be made aware of the rules, and should normally be given clear information about what is likely to happen to them and what we expect of them.  If they are to appear in a humorous way it is important that they feel part of the joke rather than ridiculed.  Particular care needs to be taken where contestants have been volunteered by family or friends.

(See Section 6 Fairness, Contributors and Consent, Section 7 Privacy: 7.4.9 - 7.4.21 and Section 5 Harm and Offence: 5.4.32 & 5.4.38)




We should not put the health or safety of contestants or any other participants at any significant risk.  Participants must not be asked to do anything which involves danger to life.  Where relevant, specialist advice should be sought.

To avoid imitative behaviour or allegations of irresponsibility, it may be useful to make clear in the output when suitable safety precautions have been taken.


Setting Questions


Questions and their answers should be accurate, legal, require a reasonable level of skill, and be appropriate in subject matter and tone to the likely target audience and time of transmission.


Rules or Terms and Conditions


There must be clear rules governing how a quiz or game show will work, what is expected of contestants and the terms under which we expect them to participate in our output.

Contestants should be clearly informed of the rules before they take part and should confirm that they accept and understand the terms of their participation.  Advice is available from Programme Legal Advice and Editorial Policy.

(See Section 14 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests: 14.4.31 and Section 17 Interacting with our Audiences: 17.4.13)


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