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Celebrity Game Night (Britain's Channel 5)

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After a one-episode trial around Christmas, Series 1 of Celebrity Game Night has started on Britain's Channel 5. I really dig it, and find it both scratching that HGN itch while improving on the American model.

The host is actress and radio presenter Liza Tarbuck, who keeps control of the show really well and brings the right demeanor to the proceedings. The show also has regular team captains, Scottish comedian Susan Calman and writer/presenter Danny Baker. All three are veterans on British panel shows.

There are no "civilian" contestants, just 8 celebrities battling it out for fun and glory. I've always thought HGN would be better without contestants fighting for cash and celebs just letting loose and having fun, while still being fiercely competitive.

Changed games: Popped Quiz's machine has spouts on both sides, so an opposing team member gets blasted with popcorn when a correct answer is given. The final game on every episode is now Smash the Buzzer, but the type of question varies. One episode was pop culture math, the other was questions and answers in reverse. Casting Couch is changed to Bum Rush, with players sitting on the pillow of a celebrity's face. 

New games: Wooden Actor, charades with the clue givers wearing oversized stiff arms. Bid of Fun has competitors bidding on how much of a task they can do, with the highest bidder having to perform the task. Examples were how many rubber bands could one put on your head in 30 seconds, or how many steps you could log on a set of pedometers in 30 seconds. 

Here's where you can catch series one, episode one.

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