Bridge Of Lies | Interview with TV Presenter Ross Kemp

Bridge of Lies. Ross Kemp hosts a nail-biting quiz. Using knowledge, strategy and a little luck, contestants must cross the bridge, spotting the lies.

The BBC One daytime quiz sees teams of contestants compete for cash by crossing the Bridge. Ross Kemp made his debut as a gameshow host in Bridge of Lies last month for the BBC One’s new quiz which sees teams of contestants try to cross a bridge by answering general knowledge questions for the chance to win prize money. Here is what the Eastender had to say.

You’ve been an EastEnders icon and a BAFTA-winning documentary maker but never a quiz show host! Why did you decide on such a big change at this point in your career?

Mainly for that very reason: the fact I’ve never done it before. It was a challenge. I sometimes write treatments for documentaries, and I always know that if I can picture it coming off the page, then there’s a good chance it will get made and will make good television. As soon as I read the treatment for Bridge of Lies, I could visualise it coming to life. It all made total sense straight away, and that was really exciting for me.

“It does appear very simple on the page, but the complexities of how you play it and the strategy involved in it is a bit more complex than just hoping you’re going to step lucky.”

What makes Bridge of Lies stand out from other quiz shows?

Firstly, it’s very physical. The contestants are not just standing behind a podium answering questions; they have to physically make their way across the Bridge, and that’s no easy feat.

We also get to watch contestants reacting to how their fellow team members play the game. We see inside the various group dynamics and get an insight into how these people interact with each other. It can all get a little bit soapy actually. You don’t have to be a massive quizzer to get into it – it’s as much about following the journey of the contestants as it is about knowing or not knowing the answers.

Were there any particularly funny or emotional moments that have stuck with you since filming the series?

Oh there were loads of memorable moments. I didn’t want any one team to win more than the others, but there was one particular group that I so desperately wanted to do well. They came close to winning but they didn’t actually take the money home and I really felt for them. If I could’ve given them a bit of leeway, I would’ve done, but of course I’m not allowed to.

You clearly got to know the contestants well during filming – does that make it harder when you have to tell some of them they’re leaving with nothing?

It definitely does, and I have to almost sound happy about it at the end of the show as I encourage viewers to come back the next day to watch a different team try to win! I want everyone to take home the money, but the way the game works simply means that can’t happen.

Everybody that takes part is genuinely really lovely. They all have a story to tell, so there are lots of personal reasons for wanting them to win.

Do you have any advice for future Bridge of Lies contestants?

The further across the Bridge you get, the game gets harder. When you’re halfway across, you’ve still got a long way to go, so don’t get too impressed with yourself!

The Bridge can be kind, but it’s a formidable beast. The game relies on knowledge, strategy, and a little bit of luck. It’s loads of fun, but there’s also a lot of jeopardy involved.

Did you take inspiration from any previous game show host for your own quizmaster style? Will you be icy like Anne Robinson or more of a Bruce Forsyth-style softie?

I watched lots of current quiz show hosts, like Alexander Armstrong and Bradley Walsh, as well as some icons like Brucie [Bruce Forsyth] during my research, and my main takeaway from that was: if you want to be successful in this role, you’ve just got to be yourself.

How would a team made up of (EastEnders’) Mitchell family members do on Bridge of Lies?

I think the waiting room would be far more interesting than the actual game! If they manage to defeat the Bridge, the cameras should definitely be kept rolling. I’d like to see what happens in the cab on the way home. Let’s be honest, Phil or Grant would probably end up running off with the cash and heading to Spain for the weekend… ADVERTIS

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Freddie Scott
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