Jason Gunn says he'd be a terrible contestant on his new hypnotism game show.

"I'm not the sort of person you want to see hypnotised because I'd do something a little bit ludicrous and people would go, 'Well, that's Jason, really," laughs the goofball Kiwi television veteran.

Gunn makes his return to TV this weekend as host of You're Back in the Room, TV2's version of a UK game show featuring contestants carrying out simple tasks for money.

The twist is they've been hypnotised by British hypnotist Peter Powers to do things that are completely out of character.


Using "trigger points," those simple tasks suddenly become incredibly complicated.

Gunn, the former host of Dancing With the Stars and Wheel of Fortune, says the show's best contestants are those who are a little more subdued.

"You want that slightly quieter person who isn't the first person to get up and make a speech," he says.

"There's a woman in the first episode, a lovely woman who's not quiet but not, it would seem, hugely outspoken. There's one game in particular where she has to take the mickey out of me.

"She didn't hold back, that's for sure. Sarcasm, I've never seen anything like it. It was hilarious."

This weekend's episode is a 90-minute special with several more set to screen later in the year. Filmed in front of a studio audience, contestants are chosen, hypnotised backstage by Powers then carry out tasks onstage, with the hope of winning up to $10,000.

Gunn, 47, admits he was nervous dipping his toes back in TV after his last stint as host of Wheel of Fortune ended in 2009 after just a year.

"I stood there on stage with a large number of cameras and people watching [and] I thought, 'Oh hang on - are we a bit rusty here?' A wee bit of self-doubt kicked in," he says.

But his nerves soon settled when he realised how improvisational the show was going to be.

Contestants hypnotised to do their washing in new televisions series You're Back in the Room.
Contestants hypnotised to do their washing in new televisions series You're Back in the Room.

"It wasn't long until I realised I remember how this goes and how much I enjoyed it."

Gunn says the funniest parts of the show are seeing contestants wake up and realise what they've been up to while hypnotised.

"People react differently. Some remember nothing, some remember bits, some can't quite recall shouting at me that loudly. Some can't quite remember why their face ended up in the pavlova [or why] they're sticking guacamole on my face."

He still gets a kick out of watching the show's contestants come out of their shells.

"You've met them, they're quiet, polite. All of a sudden, open the floodgates. When you see that personality change, it's mindblowing."

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Sunday, 7pm




Hypnotism game show brings the lols