The nonsense was annoying but it is also what made it - I think stripping it all out and just playing it straight in 30 minutes wouldn't have worked either.
Well, indeed. That said, when I was in New York a few years back I ended up watching an edition of the US Deal and it was a Speed Deal or No Deal special where they had to make all their decisions against the clock. But you couldn't do that for every episode because the game isn't strong enough.
When it comes to game shows there are those which have a finite lifespan because the formats aren't anything special and all the attraction comes from it being the hook for other bits of business. People didn't watch Deal for the game, they watched it for Noel and his bits of business. It's the same with The Weakest Link, as a quiz itself it was nothing special, you watched it for the insults. That was always going to have a limited lifespan. But with shows like Pointless, The Chase and - the best example - Countdown, the formats are strong enough in their own right to last for as long as they want. They don't need to fling a load of new rules and twists at Pointless, the game itself can always be freshened up with new questions.