Greg James has spilled all the secrets from brand new reality series, Rise and Fall.
The BBC radio 1 star is fronting the gameshow, produced by the people behind The Traitors – and we can’t wait.
Rise and Fall will see 16 contestants from all backgrounds begin as equals, but soon find themselves in positions of power as Rulers or as part of the powerless, the Grafters.
While those in charge live in a lavish penthouse, their workers must survive in basic conditions in the basement, but anyone can rise and anyone can fall.
Although the Grafters are trying to increase the prize pot, it will be one Ruler who walks away with all the money at the end, and who changes status will all be down to the other players.
Metro.co.uk caught up with Greg ahead of the show airing to hear all about it.
What did you think about the concept of Rise and Fall when you first heard about it, and what are you most excited for viewers to see?
Gushing over the new programme, Greg exclusively told Metro.co.uk that he was ‘completely into it’ as soon as he heard, saying: ‘I was wanting to do a TV show like this for a long time, I love these sorts of shows, and they don’t come around very often’.
He continued, talking about the show: ‘This is sort of like if the world was reset, and we had to start again, who should have power? You know, that’s that’s the big question, I guess, and how would they distribute that power? How would they rule, would they rule with compassion, would they rule with an iron fist?
‘I think those sorts of questions are really interesting, and that’s what’s so cool about the cast. You’ve got people from all statuses, so you’ve got people who run their own businesses, you’ve got people who work for themselves and you’ve got people who work for big corporations.’
What do you think about the contestants, including GB News regular Sophie Corcoran, whose participation on the show has already sparked backlash?
One particular contestant, Sophie Corcoran, has sparked controversy for being on the programme.
The political commentator has faced backlash over social media comments, including voicing opinions that ‘schools should have never closed’ during lockdown, and comments made on GB News, such as: ‘I think people need to understand that this whole trans agenda for so long has been painted as so-called progressive. Many, mean years ago, women were fighting for our rights against men, now we’re fighting for our rights against men who just happen to call themselves women. There has been no progress.’
When asked about Sophie’s inclusion in the show, Greg insisted that she would be treated ‘no differently’.
He said: ‘I don’t have anything to do with who’s picked for the show, the producers want to pick as many different people from different backgrounds with different views as possible.
‘They want to create a show which gets people talking and is entertaining. Having lots of different viewpoints is really important on shows like this I guess.
‘You know it’s not like we’re getting Sophie to host Channel 4 News. She is a reality TV contestant and she’ll be treated like everybody else.’
Who would you want to see take part on a Rise and Fall celebrity spin-off?
While Greg praised the diverse cast behind Rise and Fall, he also revealed if he’d want a celebrity spin-off, and it’s safe to say, he’s not keen.
He told us: ‘I actually don’t want to see a celebrity series. I think we’re bored, I mean we’ve always been bored of celebrities really. Yes there are some brilliant ones and some amazing ones that tell great stories and great fun.’
He added: ‘I would always champion non-celebrities on these sorts of shows. That’s what made Big Brother so great, that’s what made The Traitors so brilliant. And that’s what’s gonna make Rise and Fall a success, I think.
‘Celebrities don’t need more jobs, they’re fine.’
Did you go to Claudia Winkleman for advice after the success of The Traitors?
With The Traitors being ‘so brilliant’, Greg also went to host Claudia Winkleman for advice, admitting: ‘‘I gave her a call, I know Claudia fairly well. She was on my show to talk about The Traitors not so long ago, and I said, can I have a call to chat about some secret stuff, so I did.
‘I broke the non-disclosure agreement with Claudia Winkleman, but I thought she’s a Faithful, so I thought I’d be able to trust her. She was great, she gave great advice.
‘She was like, “You know what, just immerse yourself in this world, Just get in it basically,” and I have been. It’s been really, really fun. She just said to enjoy it because these shows are really fun to do.’
What would you find hardest if you were a contestant in the game?
‘I think being filmed 24 hours a day. It’s really intense for them. They’re having to perform, but also they’re having to become friends with people, strategize at the same time.
‘What is amazing is just how quickly they get into it. Even on day one, I was watching some of the footage and I thought wow, they all absolutely now belong to this world. And it’s so, so fascinating how quickly people adapt to their surroundings.
‘Suddenly, they put on their boiler suits, and they’re all Grafters and they look like they’ve lived in the basement for a year. You know, they’re all in it. And then I walk into the red room and I see the Rulers and suddenly they’re all in there in nice jackets, suits and power dresses, everything, and they’ve got their little rulers badge on and they really believe that they are in power.
‘It’s really amazing because I’m so pleased that they so they go for it. They’re really committed to it.’
Teasing the ‘explosive’ drama that is yet to come, and how ‘intense’ the competition gets for the contestants, as well as stressing the varied backgrounds they all come from, Greg added: ‘Putting that in a TV show, a mad format where you’ve got people living in an amazing penthouse, and people who were living in a sort of squid game kind of basement has really, really heightened potential.’
Rise and Fall begins on Sunday, March 19 at 9pm on Channel 4 and All 4 and continues Monday to Friday at 10pm.
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