The Bubble

Weird what shows stick with you, long after they appeared on TV briefly, and then vanished without a trace. Sometimes they’re ephemeral works of genius, sometimes they’re just terrible, and sometimes, they’re simply fine. There’s a place for perfectly good shows, and The Bubble probably deserved more of a run than a series of six episodes, but David Mitchell decided to focus on 10 O’Clock Live instead.

It’s a neat concept. Three contestants are locked in a house for a few days, without access to the news, then they go into the studio and have to guess which news stories they are presented with really happened, or are fakes made by the production.

It’s based on an Israeli format, and was also made for Polish, Israeli, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, Croatian, and Lithuanian TV. As recently as 2017, ITV Entertainment licenced the format too.

I wish I could find some clips of those other versions, but I can’t.

Although it made fake stories for the unbroadcast pilot, BBC News refused to allow their staff to make fake stories for the actual series. This was actually used as one of the stories in the first episode, and none of the participants … managed to pick it out as true, all believing instead that the iPhone has an application that tells you how bad your breath smells.

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