Everything you need to know about new Netflix series, Flinch
Harrowing and hilarious tests await the daring contestants in comedy game show, Flinch, in which the whole idea is to not, well, Flinch. Georgia Humphreys finds out more from two of the show's judges, Lloyd Griffith and Desiree Burch.
Jackass meets Wipeout meets a little bit of Come Dine With Me.
That's how Lloyd Griffith describes Flinch, the new Netflix comedy gameshow he hosts alongside fellow comedians Desiree Burch and Seann Walsh.
"It's got the unpredictability of Jackass, the formality of Wipeout, and it's like Come Dine With Me in the narration element of it," elaborates the Lincolnshire-born funnyman, 35, known for presenting Sky Sports show Soccer AM. "And there's a points system and someone looks an idiot at the end of it."
Essentially, the series is guaranteed to be unlike anything you've ever seen before. It involves contestants testing their nerves on various frightening and uncomfortable activities - all of which are designed, based on human psychology, to make them flinch (and are all entirely safe, of course...).
But there are "painful consequences" for them - and for the hosts, who have chosen that player to represent them in the games - if they do indeed flinch.
In other words, they will get electrocuted. Ouch.
"It pervades all different countries and cultures," suggests American star Burch, 40.
"It's very human, in terms of seeing people, who you might assume would get scared by something, completely not be phased by certain things.
"But then suddenly, there's a certain animal in the barn and they are like "ahhhhhh", because they have an abnormal fear about a chicken or a horse."
Here, affable duo Griffith and Burch tell us what else to expect.
THE JUDGES GET REALLY STUCK IN
Burch: I really loved one game that I wound up having to do, even though it was terrible having to do it. It's the choo-choo train of stinky smells. Basically there's a little choo-choo on a circuit and it has all these horrendous smelling things on it; that Nordic fish that has been fermenting for years and certain cheeses and maggot filled meat.
Sense of smell is so intrinsic to who we are and how we respond. This one kid could not help but throw up several times, and I totally felt for him.
SOME GAMES ARE GENUINELY SCARY
Griffith: I found out that I was claustrophobic in the worst way possible - when in a very enclosed space. I had to wear a helmet, from like the 1970s, with about 10-15 balloons strapped all over me, and carpet, and then two lunatics - aka Shaunn and Desiree - fired paint balls at me at close range. I was holding metal rods attached to electrified hoops and if I moved, I got electrified.
I was going, 'I think I'm going to cry and be sick', because I'm that claustrophobic. They couldn't hear me through the helmet... and because you have everyone laughing. Luckily, you couldn't see the tears, but they were falling!
IT'S FILMED ON A REMOTE FARM IN IRELAND
Burch: It was really nice. It was so, so cold, as you are just in a barn. And everyone is finding out they had hay fever they didn't know they had...
I feel like the Northern Irish were super up for it, you know, they were just into it. They were shocked by a little bit less.
IT'S UNSCRIPTED, ALL-ACTION COMEDY
Griffith: What is good is you spend years and years doing stand up, so when you go into a situation like this, you've got a lot stuff to be able to interact with.
There was no point where you could say, 'Can we just go back and re-film it?' It was as if it was live. That's why we were chosen, they were looking for people to react first time.
REAL ELECTRIC SHOCKS ARE USED
Burch: I equate it to how, in the States, we have half the electrical current in our mains, so if you electrocute yourself on one of those, you don't die immediately, you just go, "Ahhhhhhh!"
There's this sort of sharp, spark feeling and the vibration of it. And I can't tell what is actually the pain and what's the mental shock of it.
SOME OF THE STUNTS INVOLVE ANIMALS
Griffith: Shaunn's got arachnophobia, so he hates creepy crawlies and anything like that - and even animals, to a certain point. He had to basically be in a shopping trolley that was fixed to a car battery with a bird feeder helmet on, with two birds pecking him. I have never seen him so scared in all my life. He went very childlike.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO COMPETE YOURSELF...
Burch: It's surprisingly addictive, because you want to see if you can push yourself a little bit more. Or, you see someone else flinch at something and you think, 'That's no big deal', and 'I could have done that a lot better'.
There is that thing about the anticipation and the pain, like people who like fun parks and big rides, where you're like, 'I feel like I'm going to throw up every time'. There is something about that excitement that I don't get anywhere else.
Flinch launches on Netflix on Friday, May 3