Open the boxes, unlock the secrets of South Africa's Deal or No Deal

Written by TVSA Team from the blog SABC1 on 11 Jul 2023
Favourite this post

It's been four months since South Africa's rendition of Deal or No Deal premiered on SABC1 and S3 and it isn't going anywhere soon.

There are 260 episodes in total, taking it to March 2024, and the search for new contestants continues into August, which is when production wraps. 

TVSA went on the set recently to experience the filming of the show and today we present the secrets and insights we discovered.

Tap each red box to open and find the spoils inside:

The show's produced by Primedia Studios and filmed by Homebrew Films at Atlantic Studios in Cape Town, Montague Gardens - a large shebang with lots going on.

Arendsvlei and Suidooster are also filmed there and Overklank Studios are based there too - the people who do the Afrikaans dubbing for many of the eExtra novelas.  

Contestants are chosen from around the country and the show covers their travel and hotel accomodation while they're in town. 

Each contestant behind the boxes remains on the show until they get a chance to play as the featured contestant.

This means that many of them travel back and forth over the weekends. Filming happens from Tuesdays to Fridays so they fly back home for the weekends and then fly back to Cape Town to film the following week until they play solo.

This applies to everyone from out of town and not Capetonians who stay at home while filming. Meh.

The R250,000 jackpot has been won once so far, by Siya N. who took the risk of turning down the Banker's final offer of R135,000.

The show's production assistant Charl Marais tells us that contestant winnings are deposited into their bank accounts on the night of their win and all contestants are FICA'd before they play.

The production films five episodes a day, which is why Katlego Maboe isn't on Expresso after his return earlier this year because Deal or No Deal takes all day to film and it's too much to do both.

Yes-yes, we thought about the scandal that surrounded him while we chinwagged with him, and then thought it must have been challenging for him returning to TV, knowing everyone knows about it and will have a different opinion on what happened, but won't necessarily speak to him about it. 

Oh, the burden of fame dahling. You just never know who to trust or what they're going to say about you next.

We were interested to see how emotionally involved the film crew get with the game. Okay, so we didn't get them reacting in the pic exactly, don't sue us - please imagine it.

They don't just stand there staring into their cameras all the time but actively freak out with other crew in moments of big losses or big wins. 

We were conflicted about this... not by the crew's reactions but by how we felt at witnessing a big loss up close. One of the contestants we watched lost a large amount of moolah and was clearly very disappointed, which pulled at our heart strings. A much larger amount had been so close and the outcome was a gamble, out of her control.

Is this is a problem with the format? - we wondered. We argued it from various angles and concluded that there are people who are happy with their winnings and no-one would have a shot at any money if the show and its format didn't exist so our answer to the question was no.

These little suckers (at the red arrows) add to the frenzy. When something OMG happens they swivel, turn and create light sabers like Star Wars robots who have a life of their own.

The crew's behind-the-scenes snack table. That empty bowl was crammed with Jungle Oats bars when we arrived and disappeared by the time we snapped the pic. We were to blame too. No-one touched those dried fruit things in the top photo.

Flowers especially for us? That's too kind. We couldn't work out whether they have fresh flowers behind-the-scenes each day or if they were there because the media was visiting. We decided on the latter because who gets fresh flowers every day?
Goss heard on set: some of the contestants freeze and clam up once it's their chance to play, as if the magnitude of the money and the stakes suddenly paralyses them. This is when Katlego needs to step up to earn his pay cheque.
BOX 10

Our fave quote of the day

Katlego tells us about a contestant who'll be starring in an episode coming up on 28 August:

Katlego: When she was younger she overheard her father speaking to her mother after they'd called her from her room. They didn't know that she was there and she heard her father saying, "You know, that little girl is gonna be beautiful one day. I'm going to invest every cent that I have to help her to bloom," - and she held onto that.

It's like such a life defining thing and she used that, in a moment, to make a decision about believing in herself in the same way her dad believed in her and she made the call to say "No deal," and the next two boxes were the right boxes that she opened and she walked away with a sizeable amount of money.

For me, in that moment, it wasn't so much about the money she won but about telling parents and people who are watching this - because usually families watch - as a parent, whether you're a mother or a father, take every opportunity to tell your child how much you value them.

Those words are going to ring true in their life, for the rest of their life, and you never know when it might be life defining and change their lives for the better.


If you'd like to apply to be on the show, you can strut your stuff here: Deal or No Deal Applications


Shows in this post: Deal or No Deal (SABC1)

Channels in this post: SABC1, SABC3

1 Comment

11 Jul 2023 13:03

Sad that in the four months they've been going, not one white, Indian or coloured contestant has been chosen. I thought South Africa was supposed to be racially diverse?

Only TVSA members can reply to this thread. Click here to login or register.


New on TV today: Monday 22 April 2024

Queendom premieres on BET and BBC Earth presents Attenborough and the Jurassic Sea Monster.

New on TV today: Sunday 21 April 2024

ID profiles the Lost Women of Highway 20 and eReality invites you to check into First Dates Hotel.

New on TV today: Saturday 20 April

Mike Epps is Buying Back the Block on HGTV and ID presents Jack Osbourne's Night of Terror.

My Brother's Keeper 2 Teasers - April 2024

Season 2 premiere! The Shabalalas head to Emaswazini and Nqubeko shadow-boxes with his guilt.

Isiphetho: Destiny Teasers - May 2024

Buhle faces an entrepreneur's worst nightmare as the restaurant's debt piles up. How will she pay?

Binnelanders Teasers - May 2024

Nicolette freezes during an operation. Yikes. And Annetjie's secret identity takes on new life in her blog.

New on TV today: Friday 19 April

Housekeepers 3 begins a run on Wethu and Kindig Customs returns to Discovery.

Two former Miss South Africa's in Duma Ndlovu's Queen Modjadji

It scares us. Schmodels in a historical drama - how "Method" will they be? But okay, let's not be judgy and see.

Elif 5 Teasers - May 2024

Melek's had enough of Figen's insults. Is she honest about it? Yes! When you need to fight you must fight.

Chrysalis 2 Teasers - May 2024

Nalan shoots her magazine cover and her style has completely changed.


More activity at TVSA Central




You browser doesn't have Flash, Silverlight, Gears, BrowserPlus or HTML5 support.