10 interesting facts about the Afrikaans version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

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Rian van Heerden presents Wie word ‘n miljoenêr?
Rian van Heerden presents Wie word ‘n miljoenêr?
Screengrab: kykNet
  • Popular quiz show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, is back, this time in Afrikaans.
  • Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? hosted by Rian van Heerden premieres on kykNet (DStv 144) from Wednesday, 27 October.
  • Here are ten interesting facts about the game show.

The Afrikaans version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? premieres this week. Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? airs from 27 October on kykNET (DStv 114) on Wednesdays at 20:00 for 26 episodes.

Well-known radio and television personality Rian van Heerden is the show's presenter. He joins the likes of Chris Tarrant and Jeremy Clarkson (hosts of the British version) and Jeremy Maggs, who was the quizmaster chair of the original South African Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

According to Cecil Barry, executive producer of Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr, the Afrikaans series remains true to the British version, but the trivia questions will reflect the programme's South African identity.

Here are a handful of interesting things about this game show:

1. Clever Afrikaans names

There are clever Afrikaans names for the well-known helplines - "Ask the Audience" is "Oor na die gehoor" and "Phone a friend "is "Bel' n pêl ". The third helpline is 50/50, when two of the wrong options are removed from the four possible answers and one right and one wrong answer remains.

2. More than 2 000 entries

More than 2 000 entries were received within two weeks, and everyone who entered had to complete a short general knowledge test. The entries that advanced to the next round had to undergo an individual interview and a second general knowledge test. In the end, 156 candidates were selected to compete over 26 weeks.

3. The equaliser

In each episode, six people play "Fastest fingers", or "Vinnigste vingers", which is the equaliser and determines who will be in the hot seat in each round. With "Vinnigste vingers", participants must place four options in a specific order - for example, chronologically, alphabetically, old to young, north to south or by date.

4. Two safety nets

There are two safety nets: R10 000 and R40 000 - if a contestant gets a question wrong but has reached a designated cash value during their game, they will leave with that amount as their prize. Players always have the option to walk away with the money they have won up to a certain level on the prize ladder. To win the million rand, a participant must answer fifteen questions correctly.

5. Game show host pro

Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? presenter Rian van Heerden, who is also well-known as host to Jacaranda FM's popular Flash Drive, has previously hosted another game show on kykNET. In Op die Spel, participants' Afrikaans spelling and language skills were tested.

Presenter Rian van Heerden.
Presenter Rian van Heerden.

6. Top secret

It is a secret who formulates the questions. The questions are researched by a panel and must be compiled according to a formula of the international format. Then another team needs to do fact-checking, remove any ambiguity, and test the degree of difficulty.

7. Strict security in place

The security around the questions is very strict, and the "game and questions computer" is locked in a high-security room to which only the operator, auditor and producer have access. The computer system was imported from overseas and was designed specifically for the South African format. The software that drives the entire programme is also pre-loaded - even with Afrikaans spelling.

8. Rules, regulations and guidelines

There are strict standards by which Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? must comply to. The logo is slightly adapted for the specific country but must remain true to the Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? brand. The set design of Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? is a local interpretation of various international versions, but many of the elements are universal. The producers received from Sony International, which owns the rights to Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? a "format bible". It contains strict rules, regulations, guidelines and serves as an integrity guide.

9. Synchronised sound, lights and graphics

One central computer system controls the set's sound, lights, and graphics on the different screens. The LED screens that appear on the floor and behind the presenter and participant are connected to the lighting along with the lighting so that everything is synchronised.

10. The crew

The production team consists of about 20 members, while there are about 25 technicians who are responsible for camera work, directing, sound and lighting. There are numerous other people who also work behind the scenes, such as set builders.

The Wie word ‘n miljoenêr? set.
The Wie word ‘n miljoenêr? set.

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