TV Quiz Watch
Last night presented and hour and half of quizzes between 6 and 8pm on BBC2, with a half hour's break between 7 and half past.
First up was Battle of The Brains. This show continues to live up to its promising start. Reigning champions Di's Diamonds continued their winning streak, but they were taken to the wire by a team of very knowledgeable students, all in their early 20s. Knowing Di's Diamonds as very serious and accomplished quizzers I couldn't see the students making much of an impression, yet it was very close in the end. This show has lived up to its promising start. I like Paddy O'Connell, as he tends to get on with the job, but I do wish he would cut the hyperbole - I'm sorry, but winning an episode of this show does not make you the brainiest quiz team in the country. Also I don't like the guess the number round, but that's just a personal preference.
I think the BBC were wise to schedule it just before Eggheads, which really suffers by comparison. I make no bones about it - Kevin Ashman, Daphne Fowler and Chris Hughes are amongst the very finest quizzers in the country. The woefully inadequate teams that are served up to them on a plate every day have no realistic hope of beating them, even though the Eggheads have Judith Keppel and CJ de Mooi on their side. So why on Earth do 12 yard productions seem so unable to dig up a good team of quizzers to at least give them a game ? Do they weed them out through the audition process ? I can only hope that when they see Battle of The Brains they will start to understand what a decent balance between questions actually means. I don't know how they do it, but it always seems to work out that whether they choose A or B the challengers get the dreadfully unbalanced impossible question to deal with. Its not as if the Eggheads even need this advantage.
CJ got knocked out again last night. I do actually know CJ personally, although not well enough to say whether he doesn't know how annoying he is on screen, or whether he does it deliberately. Bearing in mind the number of easy questions he gets wrong, he has no real right to act so smugly over the questions he does know the answer to. On the whole , I think he probably does do it deliberately.
Finally, Sports Mastermind continued. On tonight's show a quiz acquaintance of mine, David Brayley answered questions on The FA Cup Final since 1970. David plays for the Reverend James in Gorseinon, the finest quiz team in Swansea, and we've played against each other on a number of occasions. He scored a brilliant 17 on the FA cup, but his general sport round only took him to 26. He came third in this heat, although that score would have won several of the earlier heats. He did ask me for advice on handling the experience, and I tried to give him some general tips. I think his nerves did for him in the general round - he is better than his score suggests.
Off the point, what is wrong with Des Lynham ? He's so stiff and uncomfortable its almost as if rigor mortis has set in. I don't know if he's been ill or something, but it makes me feel deeply uncomfortable to watch him. I am enjoying the series , though, and I hope there will be another season next year.