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The Hit List Series 4 | Interview with Marvin and Rochelle Humes

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What has it been like filming this series of The Hit List?

Rochelle: It’s definitely been different, because half of the episodes this year are celebrity specials. The standard is getting higher and higher every year, the more the show is on, people are discovering that they’re actually really good at this and they want to come down and give it a go.

Marvin: It’s such a great show, we’re so lucky to be a part of it. We’re such fans of the game, we get so excited when we film a new series.

Can you tease any memorable moments from this series?

Rochelle: I’ve noticed it more and more, everybody just leaves their emotions on that stage. You can’t hold back the feeling, we’ve had happy tears, but it also gets very competitive with people playing for money. After a terrible year of people losing jobs and stuff, winning £10, 000 means a lot so it was a lot more emotional this year than it has been previously.

Are there any blooper moments from this series?

Marvin: Well obviously we’ve got the buzzer and sometimes you’re buzzing in to say your answer and sometimes you’re buzzing to skip a song and in round three, they get three skips which means you pause your clock and play goes to other team. It’s confusing for us sometimes, I was telling a contestant in that round to buzz in that round, but she’d had skipped it.

Rochelle: And then we had to reset her clock – I’m not accepting any part of the blame for that, you told her to do the wrong thing!

Marvin: There are things like that when the host (not hosts) gets something wrong.

Rochelle: Especially when you’re recording three-a-day.

Could you tell us a bit about the celebrity specials in this series?

Marvin: We’ve got two Strictly specials, we’ve got one Christmas special, we’ve got a Noughties Pop special and then there are two other celeb specials. It’s great to see how into it they all get, especially the radio DJs. We had Clara Amfo from Radio 1 on one of the Strictly specials and when you’re a radio DJ, the pressure is on you to be good because that’s your job, you’re playing music all day, every day. Clara was like when we had Scott Mills on before, super nervous at the beginning and very competitive, she wanted to beat how much Scott got and he did very well. The Noughties pop was great, we had Atomic Kitten vs Blue vs Steps. I’ve got a bit of a connection with Blue, Simon used to be my manager, I used to be in a band that he put together, before JLS, so it was great to catch up with him and Duncan – I used to tour with those guys. Again, they took it very seriously.

Who would be your dream contestants to have on the show?

Marvin: For me, it would be Elton John. He’s obviously is a legend, he is a radio DJ as well and I know that he’s so in-tune with current music and would also know a lot of tunes from the 60s and 70s. The key of the show is being able to stand the decades.

Rochelle: I think someone like James Corden because I know how much of a fan of music he is.

Marvin: We always have a Eurovision round and everyone always struggles with that, but I know Rylan Clark-Neal would be incredible.

Rochelle: He’s the King, I did a Eurovision show with him. It’s mad how much he knows. Apart from Abba and Bucks Fizz, my Eurovision knowledge is capped, but he knows everybody.

Four series in, do you still enjoy working together?

Rochelle: It’s weird because everybody always has the assumption that we’re going to hate it. Of course we get on each other’s nerves sometimes, that’s just life, we do that at home. Working together is really easy, there’s no one I know better than Marv and vice versa. Obviously we’re so much more comfortable with each other than we would be with anyone else too. I think the kids love it because we go away to film for a couple of days and my mum comes to stay and they’re allowed to do anything – all the stuff that we wouldn’t let them do happens when we’re gone.

Do you have any advice for contestants for how to do well on the show?

Rochelle: I think just hold your nerve a bit, which is easier said than done. A lot of people are so brilliant and have such an ear for music and a great memory bank, but they let the nerves get the better of them. That’s the thing you can’t practice, especially on that last round where they money is counting down at a rapid place, it’s so intimidating. I always say to them, “just look at us, don’t look at the clock” because they’ll lose their head.

Marvin: Where the music’s concerned, you can’t really research, you either know the records or you don’t. There’s no guarantee of what songs you’re going to get.

Why do you think the show has become such a staple in the Saturday evening entertainment schedule?

Rochelle: I think that The Hit List is a show that the whole family can sit down together and watch. You know you’re on to a winner when your kids want to play, as do the grandparents and the parents. It’s rare to find something that you can all watch together these days and that’s what attracted us to it. We originally played this game together as a family and we’ve always had a passion for it.

Marvin: I completely agree. It’s a light-hearted music quiz, it’s fun, all inclusive across the genres. It involves everybody, sitting in front of the telly shouting out the answers. Everyone loves music and everyone loves a quiz and it’s the culmination of both of those and we’re really lucky to be a part of the show.