Where does Pointless get its answers? Who are the 100?

Some not-so-pointless facts about the popular teatime quiz

Pointless: Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman

Pointless is one of the nation’s favourite quiz shows. Hosted by Alexander Armstrong with trivia king Richard Osman, and running since 2009 on the BBC, the programme has a huge fan base.

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But how is it filmed, how can you be part of the action, how big is the Pointless trophy – and where do those all important questions and answers come from?

Let’s find out…

How does Pointless work?

The aim of the game is to find correct but obscure answers to questions. The fewer people from a panel of 100 individuals who agreed with your correct answer, the better. The ultimate goal is to find answers to questions that are correct but none of the panel of 100 have mentioned – this is “a Pointless answer.”

The format sees four teams of two begin by answering general knowledge questions. In each round the team with the highest score is eliminated until only one team is left. The winning team is then required to find “a Pointless answer” in order to win the cash jackpot.

Where does Pointless get its questions and answers?

A team of researchers and question writers compile questions for Pointless. They are required to check every fact with three independent sources, and as Osman explains – none of those sources can be Wikipedia!

Credit: Ray Burmiston
Credit: Ray Burmiston

Who are the 100 on Pointless?

Alexander Armstrong told RadioTimes.com that the panelt of 100 are found by an online polling company, who ask them questions for Pointless amongst other things. Those polled can’t know they’re being questioned for Pointless however, as that would affect the outcome – meaning even the 100 themselves don’t know who they are.

How many episodes are filmed a day?

Richard Osman told RadioTimes.com that the daytime and primetime celebrity shows are filmed in blocks four days a week. In a day, they can film either four weekday versions of the show, or two celebrity primetime versions of Pointless.

How to apply for Pointless

If you’re interested in appearing on Pointless, you need to be over 18 years of age and have someone who wants to compete with you as part of a pair.  You can apply to be on Pointless by completing the online form.

Where is Pointless filmed?

Pointless is filmed at BBC Studioworks in Elstree.

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How big is the Pointless trophy?

Yes, this is a question many of you are keen to know the answer to. While it certainly looks majestic in the establishing shots, the elusive trophy itself is never actually shown being presented to the winners. Despite conspiracy theories that the trophy is microscopic or doesn’t exist at all, it actually stands at a reasonable 12cm high, 5.5cm wide and 5.5cm deep.