Which Reality TV Shows Will Still Go Ahead in 2020?

Which Reality TV Shows Will Still Go Ahead in 2020?
© PA
The award-winning 2019 cast of Strictly Come Dancing, which announced it's cast for 2020 earlier this month

This year we’ll see the first ever UK-based series of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Out goes the traditional film set in the Australian jungle where the contestants were regularly asked to eat kangaroo testicles or bathe in fish eyes, silkworms and jellied pig brains and in comes the 200-year-old Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales. These are strange times.

The allegedly haunted Gwrych Castle is currently being decked out with lighting rigs and stages and while it is unclear what potential contestants will be asked to eat, they should at least be frightened by the prospect of a 'killer' being on the loose!

Carol Baskin, officially the CEO of Big Cat Rescue but better known as the star of ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness’ is rumoured to be amongst the celebrities – has served to create an early buzz amongst I’m a Celeb fans.

While the I’m a Celeb picture is unclear, rival broadcasters the BBC have wasted no time in announcing their new format, dates and contestants for their hugely popular Strictly Come Dancing.

It will run from mid-October until December 19 and in a break from tradition that means a nine-week run instead of its traditional 13. Consequently, there are just 12 contestants whereas last year there were 15.



Who’s On Strictly 2020?

The line-up for the 18th series of Strictly, was confirmed on September 4, 2020:

  • Bill Bailey (55) – a comedian and actor known for Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Have I Got News for You.
  • Caroline Quentin (60) – an actress & television presenter who appeared in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek during the 90s.
  • Clara Amfo (36) – who works as BBC Radio 1’s mid-morning presenter.
  • HRVY (21) – labelled as a ‘singer & television presenter’ albeit his TV career amounts to a short spell as a presenter on CBBC’s Friday Download for just a few months between 2014 and 2015.
  • Jacqui Smith (58) – the former Labour MP and Home Secretary who was forced to resign her post as part of the fabled parliamentary expenses scandal where she falsely claimed that a room in her sister's house was her main home.
  • Jamie Laing (31) – star of the structured-reality television Made in Chelsea.
  • Jason Bell (42) – BBC NFL pundit who was a former player for the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and New York Giants.
  • JJ Chalmers (33) – a former Royal Marine Commando who was wounded by an IED in a blast that claimed the lives of two of his friends. Also a gold medal winner at the Invictus Games and now a BBC commentator.
  • Maisie Smith (19) – may only be a teenager but she has been a cast-member of the BBC’s Eastenders since 2008.
  • Max George (32) – was a member of the boy band The Wanted and made six appearances as an actor in Glee during 2015.
  • Nicola Adams (37) – former boxer and two-time gold medal winner at the Olympic Games.
  • Ranvir Singh (43) – has presented many ITV news shows but she has been a regular on Good Morning Britain since 2014.

All-Aged Handicap

Instead of cutting straight to the chase with outright prices – as opinions are inadvertently swayed by them – we recommend you take a close look at the successful contestants’ ages because when trying to identify the winner of this annual event it is vital to know there has only been one winner aged under-25 and just two previous champions were over 35.

Previous Strictly Winners

YearWinnerWinner's Age
2019Kelvin Fletcher35
2018Stacey Dooley31
2017Joe McFadden42
2016Ore Oduba31
2015Jay McGuiness34
2014Caroline Flack34
2013Abbey Clancy27
2012Louis Smith23
2011Harry Judd25
2010Kara Tointon27
2009Chris Hollins38
2008Tom Chambers31
2007Alesha Dixon28

The BBC’s Strictly viewers could be accused of being ageist based on the above table! But seriously, the form-book indicates 19-year-old Maisie Smith should never be the pre-race 7/4 favourite. Similarly HRVY would appear too short at his top-priced 11/2.

At the other end of the scale, and rightly so, the prices seemingly get bigger and bigger as the contestants get older. Jacqui Smith can be backed at 100/1, Bill Baily at 80/1 and Ranvir Singh at 28/1. But there is an anomaly with Caroline Quentin, the oldest contestant in the show, only available at 20/1.

But surely that 25-35 bracket, which includes Max George (9/2) Jamie Laing (8/1), Nicola Adams (8/1), JJ Clara Amfo (16/1) and JJ Chalmers (25/1), is the place to look.

Our fancy is Max George who has no less than a million Twitter followers which underlines his popularity amongst the public, many of which may simply support him during this competition regardless of his performances.

If this were a popularity contest he would have already have the Glitterball Trophy on his mantelpiece.

Insider knowledge

But there are some definite rules and angles every punter should abide to.

For example, during the early years of the show weekly eliminations, courtesy of public votes, were broadcast live on the Saturday night after all the dancers had performed and voting lines had opened and closed. But since 2007 (with one exception) the results show has aired on a Sunday.

However, for the most part, the viewing public are blissfully unaware that what they watch on Sunday is not a live broadcast, it is actually a pre-recorded show which was filmed late on Saturday night.

Judges and presenters simply take an outfit change, refer to the dances as being performed “last night” and go about eliminating a hopeful celebrity from the competition.

Therefore, be very wary about betting on Strictly Come Dancing eliminations between Saturday early evenings and very late on Sunday nights.

Betting Angles

Elsewhere, it is good to know each-way betting is available on ante-post markets but not all TV specials bookmakers currently feature the same rules. Shop around and you will find both a quarter and 1/5th the odds terms on places 1-2-3.

Betting exchanges, such as Betfair, always have a vibrant market on the contest and, as it runs for over three months, it will ultimately have millions in matched bets.

As ever, the exchanges offer TV specials punters great opportunities to trade and consolidate positions while also creating ‘back to lay’ opportunities on big priced contestants believing they will go deep into proceedings and shorten dramatically as the show progresses.

And don’t expect the market to be the best guide until entering the fourth week of the contest. Those contestants off to a flying start and leading the standings entering the third week of proceedings have fared poorly in recent years, as the table below confirms.

YearFinishing Position of Contestant Leading Entering Week 3
2019Third
2018Second
2017Third
2016Second & Third (Joint Leaders)
2015Seventh
2014Fifth
2013Second

Should history repeat itself, a pre-conceived ‘lay’ of the contestant heading the point standings entering the third week of dancing could yield a relatively nice priced winner.

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