Host: Ric Chapman is to host Songopoly, a game show which is due to air from May 2. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Host: Ric Chapman is to host Songopoly, a game show which is due to air from May 2. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Think you know your Beatles from your Stones, your Marley from your Tosh and your Gaga from your Spears?

If the answer is yes, then you could be a contestant on Bermuda’s upcoming music game show Songopoly, due to air on VSB and FreshTV in May.

Billed by its creator as a mix between Jeopardy and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? , it tests the musical knowledge of its contestants through a series of simple quick-fire questions.

Songopoly has been written and produced by Australian journalist Ric Chapman, who recently moved to the island with his family.

He will host the show with popular entertainer and businessman Bruce Barritt. Ed Fox (The Kennel Boys) is scheduled to make a musical performance in the show being aired from May 2 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

There are initially 24 episodes being screened over an eight-week period. It will air at 8pm on VSB channel 11 and at 7:30pm on FreshTV channel 3, on the same nights.

Simple

Songopoly is based on a board game of the same name Mr Chapman invented while not being permitted to work on the island.

“The questions are really easy, such as ‘Who was the lead singer of the Rolling Stones?’ or ‘In what country was Bob Marley born?’

“I would never ask something like ‘what day did Britney Spears shave her head and enter rehab?’.

“My co-host is Bruce Barritt, who everyone knows and loves. He is universally loved — even by his rivals in the import business.

“I asked him to work on the show as the off-screen voiceover guy — the voice of God.

“He will be asking a myriad of questions and he has carte blanche to jump in whenever he pleases.

“Ed Fox is an excellent singer and will perform part of a song which the contestants have to answer a question about during each episode.”

With a budget of $180,000, contestants can walk away with hundreds of dollars and even more in prizes from the show’s various sponsors.

Money from each show will also be donated either to the Bermuda Diabetes Association, The Blood Donor Clinic or Bermuda Coalition for the Protection of Children.

Each episode features three contestants, each with a buzzer and an electronic screen, who are given an initial sum of $20. They are asked a series of questions by Mr Chapman — if they get a question correct their sum increases by $20 and if they get it wrong they lose $20.

A number of the questions will also see contestants winning prizes given by various local organizations.

All genres

The show will cover the broad spectrum of music but will mainly focus on pop, followed by reggae, country and R&B.

The only stipulation for contestants is that they are over-18.

There are a number of variations in the format. For instance, at the start of the show, each contestant is asked to write down a number between one and a hundred and when Mr Barritt asks one of the questions, the contestant will either win or lose that amount depending on whether they answer correctly or incorrectly.

The overall winner is given the opportunity to “take the booty” or return to the show to defend their title and win more but risk the money they won previously.

Mr Chapman wants to avoid anyone being embarrassed on national television and has tried to tweak the game show format to avoid that.

He explained: “I want everyone on the show to win — even if they are not the overall winner.

“If you are coming a distant third there will be a little solo question, for example, with a $200 Lindo’s prize.

“Unlike other TV game shows where some contestants are filled with nationwide embarrassment and a pat on the back, everyone will walk away winning.”

Mr. Chapman, who formerly worked as a sports journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, said it had always been his dream to write and host his own game show in the US.

He sees Songopoly in Bermuda as a stepping stone to achieving that goal.

“Just imagine if NBC buys the rights to this show a la Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy or The Price is Right — Bermuda has got a show it can hang its hat on internationally and I have a chance to have my dream come true and be a TV host in the US.”