Friday, 5 December 2008

TV Watch - 5th December

Mastermind - Friday 5th December - Heat 14/24

First contender up this week was Richard Heller. Richard Heller is a well known and respected writer, but in Mastermind terms he's best known for reaching the final of the 2006 series, where he lost to the Reverend Richard Sturch. He was answering questions on W.C.Fields, and did well to score 14 and 2 passes. Not as well as Beth Maclure, though. Beth, who has described herself in the past as a serial Mastermind contender, answered on Magritte in the last series. This year she took a completely different tack, answering brilliantly on the TV series Jonathan Creek, to score 16 and 1 pass. Two newcomers , Norman Macgregor-Edwards on Tacitus, and Adam O'Brien on Keith Moon, completed the round. Mr. Macgregor-Edwards struggled somewhat to score 9 , on what seemed to my layman's ears to be a very fair set of questions. Mr. O'Brien did rather better, scoring 14 and no passes.

I did feel Mr. Macgregor-Edwards had a tough set of general knowledge questions, to take him to 18, and Mr. O'Brien reached 21. Then Richard Heller put on quite a virtuoso display to score 14 to take him to 28. Beth Maclure kept her composure well, but ran out of time, and finished on 25. Hard lines on Beth to be drawn against a former finalist.

John Humphrys himself seemed very impressed with Mr. Heller's score, calling it a very high score at the end of the show. And who's to say that he won't reach a second final ? At the very least, we have the interesting situation of 2 previous finalists- Richard Heller and Mel Kinsey - already reaching this years semis. Both of them scored 28 in the heats this year as well. What are the odds of both of them getting to the final again ? Heart says yes - head says unlikely.

The Details

Richard HellerW.C.Fields14 - 214 - 028 - 2
Beth MaclureJonathan Creek16 - 19 - 125 - 2
Norman MacGregor-EdwardsTacitus9 - 19 - 318 - 4

Adam O'Brien
Keith Moon14 - 07 - 521 - 5
Only Connect

Great excitement this week when I received an email from David Bodycombe, Question Editor for Only Connect. Yes, he must read this blog ! So you see, gentle reader, you are in very good company indeed. And this is the reason why I am asking for you, the reader, to help. According to Mr. Bodycombe,
"There's no news on a second series yet, but if you want to "do your bit" then you can add your voice to BBC Four's Have Your Say page:
So please, if, like me, you're a regular viewer, please add your voice, and you never know, we may even persuade them to give it an airing on terrestrial TV.
This week Dave Roberts and Nigel Lewis of the Country Walkers - and also Double Trouble in the Dynevor Arms Quiz in Groesfaen - lost out on another close contest. It seemed to me that they were shading the contest, especially on the connections wall, but the missing vowels round did for them in the end. Hard lines guys - but well done for a damn good game.

Are You An Egghead ? Tuesday 2nd December

I haven't got a lot to add to my earlier post from this week, where I explained how a BBC2 continuity announcer managed to rob me of any pleasure in watching the final. It turns out that on internet and other listings the Tuesday edition of Eggheads had been advertised all day as featuring the newest Egghead, Barry Simmons. It was possible to read this before the final was even shown ! Well done BBC !
It struck me as a little odd changing the format for the final. They hadn't mentioned this would happen before we actually got to the final. Oh well. Once again, congratulations to Barry. I have to say, I pity the poor teams who have to play on the occasions when Barry , Chris , Daphne and Kevin are all on the same day.

University Challenge

Before we get on to the this week's show, a quick mention of the Archergate controversy. James Archer, who appeared last week on the losing King's College Cambridge team, has apparently been interviewed by the police for wearing an RAF style greatcoat with medal ribbons. Apparently viewers rang to complain that he was impersonating an RAF officer, which is an offence. I can't help thinking that maybe someone at the BBC might have thought to suggest to Mr. Archer that , just for the show, a different form of dress might be appropriate.

Well, back to this week's show. I'm afraid that for the second week running we saw a team on the absolute top of their game give a good old British style six of the best, trousers down, to the opposition. Corpus Christi Oxford almost reached the magic 300 points against Edinburgh, defeating them by 295 points to 85.Edinburgh, you may recall, won the very finest match in the first round when they defeated King's ( and Mr. Archer ) by 190 points to 180.One more point to finish. All four winning teams in the second round so far have scored more than 250. That's a hell of a good standard - and promises some great semi finals.

Thank you
A special thank you this week to Will Jones , who emailed me this week to inform me that he was going to plug this blog in "Team Times", the Newsletter of the very prestigious Quiz League of London. Mr. Jones has been as good as his word. So welcome to any new readers, and thank you very much !

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