Almost every hobby has been televised as a competitive
show over the last few years. There's Bakeoff (baking),
Glowup (make-up), The Big Fish Off (fishing), Castoff
(knitting), Buzz Off (chain-saw sculpture) and Legoff (Lego
construction). No doubt Channel 4 will launch Fuckoff
Ark-building, though, has not yet had its moment in the
spotlight and is, in fact, a rather neglected hobby of late. It
could do with an injection of televisualization. It's also
notable that animal programmes are always popular, whilst
nature conservancy groups are invariably short of funds.
MaxVision (the entertainment battalion of MaxCo.) has
therefore hit upon the perfect win-win programme - Arkoff.
will bring ark-building out of the shadows and perhaps renew
interest in the hobby, whilst also drawing attention to the
plight of endangered species in the face of rising seal evels.
Each episode will feature two teams of ark-builders, with
team consisting of one person, a saw, a chisel and a set-
square. Also a large pile of felled trees. The teams work
by side on top of an artificial hill in an enclosed space which
slowly filled with water. With them on the hill are multiple
cages containing pairs of endangered land animals -
orangutans, Amur leopards, Sumatran elephants, tendecks,
black-footed ferrets etc. Each cage has a number on it,
representing the conservational value of the species it
contains. Black-footed ferrets, for instance, might only be
worth two points (because, I mean, they're ferrets), whereas
Sumatran elephants might be worth 15 points. The audience
can phone in for their favourite animals, potentially boosting
their rating and making them more valuable.
Each one-person team must work as fast as they can to
construct their ark. A larger ark can carry more species, but
runs the risk of not being ready in time. Vice versa a
As the waters rise, the ark-builders will race to complete
arks, and must then bring as many high-scoring species
aboard as possible before they are engulfed. Any animals
taken onto an ark will, sadly, perish. Finally, the arks must
float and remain afloat for at least 60 seconds without
capsizing or sinking under their burden of wildlife (Sumatran
elephants don't look so good now, do they?).
In the event that both arks prove to be seaworthy, the
floodwaters are drained away, and a tally is made of the
points represented by the surviving animals on each ark.
After the initial rounds of Arkoff, the quarter- semi- and
are played, featuring species which have survived previous
episodes, supplemented with some more challenging ones
as a hippos and venomous snakes.