Why Richard Osman's House Of Games will be a bit different this week... | Rounds tweaked for blind comedian Chris McCausland © Remarkable TV

Why Richard Osman's House Of Games will be a bit different this week...

Rounds tweaked for blind comedian Chris McCausland

Fans of Richard Osman’s House Of Games will notice some changes this week – as a few of the rounds have been tweaked to accommodate blind comic Chris McCausland.

The week’s challenges contain no visual elements – and even the Answer Smash round that ends each programme has been replaced with an audio version.

It comes after a Christmas episode of University Challenge was pulled when contestants – including who who is blind – complained about a lack of provision for their disabilities. However this week’s House Of Games was recorded long before the latest row. 

McCausland told Chortle: ‘The House of Games team put together a week's worth of shows that had no visual games included whatsoever, ending each episode with a fully audio version of Answer Smash. 

‘I am sure the viewers will enjoy the show that they love, but with a little bit of a twist.’

He added that when he was booked ‘I was aware of the visual nature of the show’ but added he didn’t want it changed beyond recognition on his behalf.

‘I specifically said that I did not want to do the show if it needed changing so much that it became something completely different to what made it popular,’ he said. ‘Ultimately tweaks and accommodations are important, but not every show has to be for me. 

‘But games on this show are always changing episode to episode and week to week, and they already had enough games in their locker that were non-visual, and really just had to make Answer Smash audio as well.’

Chris on House Of Games clapping his hands in delight

On Friday, it emerged that one of the University Challenge contestants – an  alumnus of Oxbridge whose identity has not been disclosed – had been told they would get help on the show, only for it not to be there when they arrived at the recording.

They said: ‘One minute before the show, we were told there was no audio description and that ‘your captain will instead have to explain everything’. 

The contestant said the visual images, which had to be described, included a pie chart and maps. ‘It was distressing,’ they added.

Previously viewers have complained that Have I Got News For You has not done enough to accommodate blind panellists such as McCausland and Jamie MacDonald.

However, both comedians have said they were happy with how they were treated by producers, who made some tweaks to the format without changing the show completely.

McCausland told Chortle: ‘I think it is important and necessary for shows to make some small adjustments to accommodate guests with different needs, and I think that ultimately these can add something a little different to a familiar format and are appreciated by viewers.

Chris on Have I Got News For You

’On Have I Got News For You, if some viewers can't believe they are putting visual accompaniments up when I am on, well that is the show - the world is visual, television is visual, and it's not just down to the production team to make sure parts of the show work for me, but it is also down to me to meet them at least halfway and make sure that I can work for the show.’

He added that he has also just filmed an episode of  Ross Kemp  quiz show Bridge Of Lies, saying: ‘At first it sounded like a logistical nightmare, having to quickly navigate a raised bridge and stand on the correct answers.  

‘If the changes necessary to enable me to do this show had have been too great, then I would have politely declined the offer to be on the show.  The production team were fantastic, though, and with a bit of pre-planning, we devised a bit of a system of me figuring out where about I wanted to be moving to.  

‘I think that some of this will be subtly present on screen to viewers, but really it just took a good half an hour before filming to let me get my bearings and judge my steps with some help from the floor manager.’

All this weeks House of Games contestants plus Richard

The BBC has not responded to a request for comment on House Of Games. The other contestants on this week’s show are  children's author  Malorie Blackman, A Question of Sport captain Matt Dawson, Chris McCausland and newsreader Ranvir Singh.

Published: 3 Dec 2023

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.