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“The structure of education has changed” – we spoke to Gábor Bányai, creator of Wheel of Fortune and Szákbamacska

“The structure of education has changed” – we spoke to Gábor Bányai, creator of Wheel of Fortune and Szákbamacska

Almost thirty years ago, TV viewers could see the Pug Cat for the first time, which is now back on screen with new hosts and in a completely revamped guise. After Gyuri Rózsa, the familiar couple Majka and Joci Pápai host the show, which can be seen every weekday evening on TV2 from March.

Recently, several classic competitions have returned to TV2. The series was opened by Szerencsekerek, who under Tibi Kasza reached the top again and achieved rave reviews every day. Similar tracks are also to be expected from the recently revived Zsákbamacská, which immediately showed with its premiere on Sunday that there are still many people who remember this iconic show. And there’s no stopping the retro train, as the third classic game show in a row will be Hit Five, one of the great oldies formats in the States.

Gabor BanyePhoto: Attila Poljak-Orego

Wheel of Fortune and cat bag One of the key members of its creative crew, Gabor Panayi, is already an experienced motorcyclist in the field. He has acted in shows such as Áll az alku and Stay on your feet! But he was also the former Vice President of Hungarian Television, Elmir Hankis. He was there when they bought The Baggy Cat and released it in the mid-’90s, so he knows exactly what that format is, and he’s now back on screen under his watch, among other things.

We spoke with Gábor Bányai about the history of the show, the innovations, and what it takes to make the competition a success today.

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I was there when Zsákbamacska was launched, but how did that show end up on Hungarian TV?

Until the regime change, Hungarian television did not have any international legal agreements regarding its programmes. There were a lot of competitions on TV, including countless ones with our own twist, and there were also, to put it mildly, when we stole a piece of foreign form. In the old days, the method that is common today did not exist in Hungary; In fact, we were expected to purchase a foreign software license and create our own version based on it.

– After the regime change, Elmir Hankis became the president of Hungarian Television, I became his deputy, and from then on we decided that we would do everything regularly and fairly, and we would buy the rights to all programs. Szákbamacska was already made at this age. At the time I was a member of the American TV Academy, I knew the owner of the show’s format, and that’s how I entered the viewing room. Not in Gyuris Rózsa’s original production, but I was still involved in the preparation.

Is that why they thought of you on TV2, when did it come out that he’ll be back too?

– TV2 called me about two and a half years ago, because they knew I had something to do with launching competitions that are now outdated. This is how we first started working on Szerencsekers, the first season of which had already great reviews, but the second season was a huge success. We didn’t think he would produce such numbers, but we trusted him. It’s a challenge to touch these old, classic, well known and loved quizzesBecause what worked two or three decades ago is no longer suitable for television viewers.

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Majka and Joci Pápai are the returning Bag Cat hostsPhoto: Attila Poljak-Orego

What needs to be changed?

– Today it is not enough just to spin the wheel, we need playful elements of the show. Today’s quiz shows need more games, fun, laughter, and hosts who feel comfortable switching between styles. Good kasha And in the case of Zsákbamacska, both Joci and Peti are loved by the audience and are like a good acquaintance, a good friend who can cheer up and entertain the audience. Plus, Majka and Joci are such a couple that if they break free, no stone will be left unturned, in a good way, of course.

– The Baggy Cat is also a show that many people remember, but a generation growing up that didn’t even know it existed before. My daughter is like that, and we had to make this competition interesting not only for the elderly, but also for the young. This way, the whole family can watch it together and have fun together, because everyone will find something in it that stops them.

It is gratifying to be enjoyed by parents, who have once seen it, and children, who have never seen it.

Do classic Q&A tests no longer work?

Changing the structure of education. You don’t need to learn a lot of things, and you don’t need to know the facts, because everything is on the Internet. Today, we need to be able to improvise, think, and feel good about ourselves, and we must learn how to solve some problems.

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These competitions are based on these skills and abilities. They do not test physical knowledge, but look at how the players deal with the given situation, and how they solve unexpected situations. Here there is no pressure about whether you know an answer or not, because you don’t have to answer, but you do have to play, make the decision, and that’s as hard a task as it sounds. The tension is also present, just like in the test, because the viewer can empathize with the players. We like to encourage and motivate others to succeed, hence these game shows are popular to this day.

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