The latest UK game show on TVNZ 1 looks awfully familiar – but it’s not what you think.
wordle sent the world into a frenzy earlier this year as millions of us became obsessed with guessing random five-letter words in six attempts or less. In a world filled with chaos and confusion, the online word game won us over with its simple charms and a wonderful sense of accomplishment each time we managed to guess “GIRTH” or “HAIRY” as the word of the day. day.
What if Wordle wasn’t the first alphabet rodeo? What if there was a TV series that was essentially Wordle: The Game Show, where teams competed to solve five-letter words guided by a system of yellow and green squares? Stick to your vocabulary: what if I told you that this game show has been around since the 1980s?
You may, like me, be SHOOK shaken to find out Jargonthe UK game show now airing weekday mornings on TVNZ 1.
Like Wordle, Lingo offers a simple yet compelling concept. Three teams of two compete to solve a variety of four- and five-letter puzzles, racing against the clock and earning money for every correct guess. After each round, the team with the least amount of money is eliminated, while the top performing team competes in the final round to solve a variety of four, five, and – most eventful of all – words. six-letter words.
It’s Tipping Point for names, the TV fix to satisfy all our Wordle cravings. Sure, Lingo can be slow and stuffy, but it’s still addictive like HECK, and even though the show uses simple words, solving the puzzle isn’t always straightforward. Just ask Hong and Deborah, the Yorkshire couple who couldn’t guess “SOUR” in five tries the other day, or Dawn and Simon from Gloucestershirewho in an episode soon to be screened in New Zealand, delivers a classic “BONER” but still fails to claim victory.
Lingo first appeared on television in America during a dark period in history known as the “1980s”. A short-lived UK version first aired in 1988, and the format picked up internationally throughout the 1990s and 2000s, appearing everywhere from Germany to Jordan. Lingo returned to US screens in 2002 and ran for six seasons, and in early 2021 ITV relaunched the format in the UK. It’s this latest UK version – hosted by comedian Adil Ray – which airs on TVNZ 1.
The revival of the series seems to be just beginning. Earlier this year, CBS announced that Ru Paul will host a new US Lingo series, while ITV announced that the same Ru Paul will also host a UK primetime celebrity series. Both Lingos – a duolingo by Ru Paul, if you will – will be presented later this year.
If you resent Wordle for only letting you play once a day, then Lingo might just be your new word crush. It asks you nothing more than to know at least four letters of the English alphabet, and in return will drench you in a thirty-minute downpour of consonants and vowels. Sit back, relax, and you’ll be shouting “KNOBS” and “PLOPS” at the TV in no time.
Lingo airs once a day on TVNZ 1-9am Monday-Friday and on TVNZ+.