Deal or No Deal's banker unmasked

Emma Woollacott

The identity of the mysterious banker on Channel 4 game show Deal or No Deal has finally been revealed.

And it turns out that the unidentified person speaking to presenter Noel Edmonds
on the phone is none other than the programme's producer, Glenn Hugill.

Deal Or No Deal, in which contestants pick boxes at random in the hopes of winning a cash prize of up to a quarter of a million pounds, first appeared in 2005 and is still one of the UK's most popular game shows. However, the Banker's identity has remained a closely-guarded secret until now.

The truth was finally revealed by Richard Osman, Endemol producer and host of gameshow Pointless, in an interview with the Metro newspaper.

Osman let the name slip after being asked how he came up with the idea for his new show Two Tribes. It was, he said, "an idea that Glenn Hugill - the Banker on Deal or No Deal - and I had been thinking about for a long time. We kept coming back to it and thought, 'Hang on, this really works, let's pitch it'."

Hugill's first claim to fame was playing policeman Alan McKenna in Coronation Street in 1996, and he's also presented two series of Channel 5's The Mole. However, he later gave up his acting and presenting career to take an executive post at production company Endemol.

He's been rumoured to be the Banker before, but it's never been confirmed.

Deal or No Deal has paid out over £39 million to thousands of contestants in its time, and remains hugely popular. It involves 22 players, each with a sealed box containing different cash prizes ranging from 1p up to £250,000. The main player chooses to open these boxes one by one, each time eliminating the prize inside.

The Banker then offers to buy the unopened box, with no one knowing how much money it contains. The contestant can take their chances by accepting or refusing.

The unmasking of Hugill as the Banker is reminiscent of the 2009 revelation that Top Gear's the Stig - disguised by a full-face helmet - was in fact racing driver Ben Collins. Since then, though, Collins has been replaced by another Stig, whose identity so far remains a mystery.

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