Danny Dyer on new Netflix quiz Cheat: 'We're encouraging people to be sneaky!'
Danny Dyer and Ellie Taylor on the Netflix quiz where players can cheat their way to a fortune.
Fresh from playing EastEnders legend Mick Carter and tripping the light fantastic on Strictly Come Dancing 2022, Danny Dyer and Ellie Taylor are on hand to disprove the saying ‘Cheats never prosper’ as they team up to host Netflix’s high-stakes quiz show, Cheat.
"This is a game about human behaviour," reveals Danny. "It asks can you lie, are you good at lying and can you win loads of money from knowing naff all!? This isn't a game show for geeks; anyone can play, that's the brilliance of it. It's like a lavish game of poker."
In a battle of brains, wit — and barefaced lying! — four players can bluff and blag their way to a fortune, facing three general knowledge rounds to avoid elimination and build a potential jackpot of more than £50,000. There’s just one vital rule: don't get caught!
"Each player’s questions pop up on the screen in front of them," says Ellie, explaining the gameplay.
"Correct answers add £1,000 to the prize pot and, if they don't know the answer, they can push their secret ‘Cheat’ button. But they should play it cool as, after each question, their opponents can accuse them of cheating. Only the best ‘Cheat Hunter’ is guaranteed a place in the next round, as well as getting to eliminate a rival."
Here, Danny and Ellie tell us more…
So, it seems cheats DO prosper on this show…
Danny: "Yeah, we’re encouraging people to be sneaky. My catchphrase is: 'Stay slippery'; the better you are at taking liberties, the more chance you've got of winning the readies. This game is about players taking each other down one by one - it ain't no team effort!"
Ellie: "It’s got real play-along-ability for viewers, who’ll be answering the questions while also trying to read whether people are cheating."
Can you describe the dynamic between you on screen?
Danny: "As the host, I keep the energy up and the game moving, and Ellie reads out the questions — she's got good diction, which is something I struggle with! No two shows are the same; all the contestants bring something different to the table. We're rooting for them all — but we also like to see them getting snidey with each other."
Did you get better at spotting the cheaters with each new show?
Danny: "No, if anything, we got worse! Many of those who won were really good at cheating and not letting anyone spot it. So they’d slip under the radar while calling someone else out for cheating. We learnt men are awful at lying... and women are unbelievably good!"
Ellie: "There were a few whose general knowledge was rubbish but how bold they were in their shameless cheating was great to watch. I've got the intuition of a brick and it didn't get any sharper on this show!"
The final round sees two contestants go head-to-head for the prize pot, with one player correctly calling out their opponent as a ‘Cheat’ to win the loot…
Danny: "I like that I can play on ‘the C word’ — Cheat — in the final round, which is like a sudden death penalty shootout. The idea of calling 'Cheat' — or not — is massive because, if you get it wrong, you lose the money to your opponent."
Ellie: "The ‘Cheat Hunters’ can vote strategically in the earlier rounds to get rid of the brainy ones, leaving the weaker players in the end game. There were those who guessed the cheaters correctly — and there were cheaters who won! There’s always real jeopardy in that final round; not knowing who's going to win was really exciting."
Danny, how does Cheat compare to hosting BBC One’s The Wall?
Danny: "When I signed up for The Wall, I thought: ‘Why would they ask me to do a Saturday night, shiny floor show’? I thought The Wall might have been the end of my game show career but Cheat is so different. I love the game and I LOVE having an earpiece — it's a revelation to have someone talking in my ear’ole!"
How do you think you'd fare playing Cheat?
Ellie: "I'd be awful! It does make you consider what your own strategy would be. I think I’d just look at the cheat screen constantly, so other players don't spot me glancing at it."
Danny: "I'd like to think I'd be a good ‘Cheat Hunter’. That’s not about whether you can cheat or not, but whether you're good at sniffing out cheats. There was one girl who wasn’t the brightest, who managed to sniff everybody else out and win. That's the perfect contestant."
Cheat comes off the back of the massive success of BBC One’s The Traitors. Why do you think people enjoy these games of deception?
Ellie: "I think it's just human interest to try and work out if someone else is lying, and it makes you think about how you’d be in that situation. We like observing other people then checking in with ourselves; did I get that right? And, if you didn’t, what does that say about you? If they do a celebrity version of The Traitors, I'm straight in there. And, I’d 100% be a ‘Faithful’!"
Who would you like to see take part in a celebrity version of Cheat?
Danny: "Celeb-wise, you need people on it who don't like each other. So you could put former Health Secretary Matt Hancock on with anyone!"
Ellie: "It could be more interesting if you get really nice people. Someone like Lorraine Kelly accusing Carol Vorderman of being a cheat!"
Danny, you love a shiny floor show. Could you follow in Ellie’s footsteps and do Strictly?
Danny: "Er… NO! I always know someone doing it and I’ve got the utmost respect for Ellie for taking part; I was like a cheerleader watching her and getting all choked up. But it’s too hard. Just the idea of doing Strictly gives me the horrors…"
Ellie: "Can you imagine? 'Dancing the Viennese Waltz, it’s Danny Dyer'. We need something to cheer us up and it's you, Danny, doing ballroom! Or Latin — I'd love to see you do a salsa!"
Danny: "Look, who knows!? But, at this point, it's definitely a no from me."
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!