I'm astonished that I haven't seen much media comment on the new breed of night-time call-in quiz shows on TV, which offer substantial prizes in return for charging callers premium rates. Today I watched one for a few minutes in which viewers were presented with this:
"Fourteen plus six times three minus two"
along with the instruction 'Add all the numbers'.
I only watched because the presenter said that he would reveal the correct answer at 1am if nobody got it. And indeed nobody did. When he then ripped open the envelope it said 4642.
Do you of you who have jobs and office air-conditioning have the time or energy to work out how on earth this figure is derived? When I was at school I was taught the acronym 'Bodmas' - standing for 'brackets, of, division, multiplication, addition and subtraction' as being the correct way of calculating numerical expressions. But that doesn't exactly help here.
Meanwhile, does anyone know why these shows have only appeared in the last year? Has there been a change in the law or was it always legal but nobody thought of it until now? I'm all for gambling liberalisation. But it should always come with transparency. There is nothing transparent about the way that these shows are done. For a start we don't know how the right answers are derived and we don't even know that any winners aren't people connected to the companies producing the shows.