I’ve been working with Linkee for over a year now, an eventful year which has seen them take the game from a smattering of supportive independent retailers to securing deals with the big boys like John Lewis (becoming their best selling game of 2013, no less). More than 50,000 Brits bought the game in 2013, the inventors licensed it to games distributor John Adams under the well-known ‘Ideal’ brand, and launched a successful free mobile app version. Team Linkee also appeared in the Dragons’ Den, turning down £50k from Duncan Bannatyne and taking a barrage of criticism about how the game would never be a success. The team’s idea of taking the game to the small screen was virtually laughed out of the room…
If you’ve met Team Linkee, you’ll know they don’t do things by halves. Or by the book. While few games even attempt to make the leap from box to TV, Linkee has done exactly that. And in a pretty big way. Hitting BBC One with a 25-episode run starting this week (BBC1, 1.25pm-2.15pm, Mon-Fri), The Link is the brand new game show inspired by Linkee. Bucking the trend of TV quizzes spinning off into board games, the team has flipped this on its head and turned Linkee into a really addictive new show hosted by Mark Williams (Fast Show, Harry Potter).
The BBC has commissioned 25 episodes of the show, developed by Tuvalu Entertainment and STV Productions in collaboration with Team Linkee.
“The really exciting thing about the TV show is that Warner Bros has secured the global distribution rights,” comments Linkee’s Ben Drummond. “So if it’s a hit in the UK, there’s a great chance it will start popping up in other countries around the world. Fingers crossed the nation likes it!”
The Link stays true to the original shouty-outy link-spotting game-play of the boxed version of the game. Over the course of 45 minutes, and across three rounds, teams compete to spot the link first to win money and progress to the next round. It’s a game that rewards daring, strategy and teamwork… not to mention a bit of luck.
As for the Linkee game that started it all off, a brand new version is now out with all-new questions – over a 100 of which have been written by Linkee fans – fancy coloured pencils and printed pads. It’s available to buy from John Lewis, Amazon, Hamleys, Toys R Us, Lakeland, Firebox.com and loads of independent High Street retailers across the UK priced at £19.99.
The Link is produced by STV Productions.
Missed The Link? Watch it on iPlayer!
More about the teams involved…
Linkee Ltd is a small independent game publisher based in London. It’s doing things differently and shaking up the games market with a unique, evolving attitude to play. Launched in September 2012 by a team of three friends who met in the advertising industry (Dean Tempest 26, Tristan Hyatt-Williams 42, Ben Drummond 40), Linkee is their first publication.
STV Productions is one of the UK’s leading content businesses, with ambitious plans for growth and expansion in the UK and overseas. The company has a record of success across a range of genres including drama, factual and entertainment, producing a wide range of programmes for a variety of networks, including Catchphrase and Fake Reaction for ITV and ITV2. Further commissions include ratings success Antiques Road Trip, including a celebrity version, for BBC One and Two and drama The Poison Tree for ITV1. In 2013, STV Productions was awarded Best Single Documentary by BAFTA Scotland for Fire in the Night, a feature documentary for BBC Scotland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster. Upcoming productions include new entertainment show Let me Entertain You for ITV and quiz show The Lie for STV and TV3. STV Productions also works in partnership with US production company, Kinetic Content, licensing original formats in their respective companies and developing new formats, such as the Perez Hilton Super Fan entertainment series for ITV2.
Linkee TV Limited
LTV is a Brighton based production company and is a joint venture between Tristan Hyatt-Williams, Ben Drummond and Dean Tempest, the former ‘Ad Men’ behind Linkee®, one of the UK’s most innovative new board games, and Tuvalu Entertainment. It’s a happy meeting of minds between TV and game specialists.
Tuvalu Entertainment Ltd
Tuvalu Entertainment is a British production company based in Brighton. Tuvalu Entertainment specializes in all forms of premium entertainment on all screens. 10% of the net profits of Tuvalu Entertainment go to a charitable trust that focuses on building a better life for the population of Tuvalu – the smallest country in the world and a proud member of the Royal Commonwealth – as well as combating the forces of Climate Change for the population on the South Pacific islands.
Warner Bros. International Television Production
Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) aims to establish or acquire production companies in the major television territories around the world in order to become a leading producer of local scripted and non-scripted programming.
In those territories where WBITVP establishes a production base, it operates by developing and producing original programming and also producing local versions of formats owned and controlled by the group such as “The Bachelor”, “The World’s Strictest Parents” and “Who Do You Think You Are?” Where WBITVP has no local production capability it licenses Warner Bros. formats to 3rd parties.
WBITVP has taken significant steps by acquiring a majority stake in both UK production group Shed Media, one of the UK’s largest and most successful independent production companies which operates both in the UK and the US, and in BlazHoffski Holding B.V., a leading independent television producer in The Netherlands and Belgium.
In round one of the quiz, the teams are faced with six pods, each containing cash of ranging values. The higher the value, the more links securing the cash pods. The teams must work out the connection between the answers to four questions – the quicker they make the connection, the more links they can remove from the pods. When all links have been broken, the value of the cash pod is released into the team’s prize fund. The teams must be strategic, deciding between securing the smaller pods first or going straight for the big cash.
The two teams who bank most cash continue to round two, where two mega cash pods are secured by seven links. Each team’s pod contains the amount they banked in round one. The first team to break all links go on to a nail biting finale, where they race against the clock to break a series of Super Links, hoping to walk away with the big cash prize.