I caught the first edition of BBC’s new team quiz "Battle of the Brains" last night (weekdays BBC2 6pm ) Since May the Beeb has been making quite a big thing of this show in serious quiz circles, and has tried to get as many top quizzers involved as possible. My Monday night team mate Barry did try to put a team together, which I would have been part of, but we were only given three days warning before the audition, and couldn’t make it. The Beeb did give us an open invitation to attend any other audition, but then there were travel problems. Trying to get 7 people all together for an audition is a logistical problem. So we ended up not entering. Shame.
The consensus among those people I know who actually did take part was that while the show itself is fun, the organisation behind the scenes was poor. A lot of teams spending hours waiting around, not to end up getting on the show at all. Not being part of it myself I can’t comment.
As for the show itself, I rather enjoyed it. It avoided a lot of the things that I hate about a TV quiz. For one thing the presenter, Paddy O’Connell obviously realised that the show isn’t meant to be about him, and so he professionally just got on with it, which is just what you want from a question master. As little time as possible was wasted on talking to the contestants about themselves, which was a huge bonus. Once you got going there was a decent amount of questions asked, and these were a good mixture of the downright easy, the fair, and the very tough.
The teams were good too. Winners, Di’s Diamonds had some well known faces from the quiz circuit, in particular Diane Hallagan, who’s won more than a few bob on telly in her time. The other team were no slouches either.
Complaints ? Well, on reflection I can’t help thinking that 7 in a team including the captain is probably a little too much. As a quiz show, though, its streets ahead of the programme that followed it last night – Eggheads . Will it catch on ? Time will tell.