Lottery show condemned

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The Independent Online
Michael Hurll, one of television's top light-entertainment producers, has advised the BBC that the heavily criticised National Lottery programme.. needs to be completely changed as soon as possible.

Mr Hurll, who was asked by the corporation last Friday to act as a consultant on the programme, said he believed a three-minute draw would be preferable until a better show could be devised.

He is looking at a game-show format from Australia which would give all the losers a second chance to win something. extending the life of the ticket.

Under the new format, the lottery draw would come at the start of the programme, eliminating viewers' frustration. With the main draw out of the way, other prizes could be played for. This part of the programme could also involve previous lottery winnersas contestants.

"People won't switch off. It would get millions of viewers, " Mr Hurll said.

Mr Hurll, produced, for the fifth year running, last week's British Comedy Awards. He was asked by the BBC to produce and direct the first National Lottery programme just five weeks before it went on air.

He said last night that the current 15 minute programme was an impossible format: "15 minutes of neither one thing or another, too long to be a filler, too short to be a programme". A new programme should be based in a glitzy studio, rather than tour around the country, as Camelot wants.

He is even critical of the lottery machine and its spinning balls. "It looks like something from a laundromat," he said.,