Are You An Egghead – Week Two – First Round Heats 6 – 10
Monday’s show pitted former Mastermind semi finalist Cathy Gillespie against one of the true greats of the quizzing world, Pat Gibson. Cathy explained how she lost in the semi finals of Mastermind 2003, but it took no less than the series winner, Andy Page, to beat her. I have to say, as well, that Cathy gave her age as 62. Unbelievable. She could easily pass for a lady in her thirties. As I may have said before, brains and beauty is a heady combination.
No less lovely in his own way is Pat, former world champion, and a man who has achieved the unparalleled £1million win on WWTBAM, Mastermind and Brain of Britain titles.
Cathy put up a good showing against as formidable opponent as you are going to meet, and she claimed both CJ and Judith for her team. Pat on the other hand had Kevin Daphne and Chris on his side. In the end, he won the final round 3 – 1, without needing to turn to his Eggheads at all, a fact which left the genial Dermot Murnaghan sounding just a little put out.
One of the things I really like about this show is the way that it sometimes throws up a real blast from the quizzing past. Step forward Jim Eccleson. Now you might not remember Eamonn Andrews’ prestigious ITV Top of the World quiz from the early 80s, but I do. Jim rather gleefully explained that he won the series which also featured a certain Mr. Christopher Hughes, just months before he won his Mastermind crown in 1983. To add to this achievement, Mr. Eccleson also won Brain of Britain as well in the 90s.
His opposition came in the form of Liz Heron. Amongst other achievements Liz had scooped the pot on Bob Holness’ Blockbusters, winning all 5 gold runs. Yes, she did ask for a p please Bob too.
In the opening I think that Dermot explained that Jim had never lost a broadcast quiz. Well, he certainly didn’t have it all his own way , and although he managed to win Barry and Chris to his side, this left Liz with Kevin, Daphne and CJ. To be fair Jim always looked a little under the cosh in the final round, and although Liz let one chance to win the round slip, she made no mistake with her second, winning 4 – 3.
On Monday night Pat Gibson was highly impressive in his first round match. Now, on Wednesday his quarter final conqueror from last year, Mark Kerr, began his campaign. Mark you may know from last year’s AYAE semi final, from Battle of the Brains, from his final appearance in Discovery Mastermind, and as he was very proud to point out, from the fact that he is still officially Britain’s Brainiest Estate Agent !
His opponent, Barbara Thompson I didn’t know, and that is to my shame since she has a list of quiz credentials enough to make any quizzer green with envy. Barbara led the Open University to win University Challenge in 1984. She has won Brain of Britain. She was 15 to 1 series champion in one of the 1992 series. In fact you felt rather sorry for the fact that one of these illustrious quizzers would have to be leaving the competition in round one.
Without Kevin to play for Mark had slightly the better of the opening rounds, recruiting Chris, Barry and CJ. Barbara though was far from out of it, having Daphne and Judith on her team. As you would expect , this was a close fought contest, but Mark pressed home his advantage to win by 4 points to 2.
Jenny Ryan reached last year’s AYAE quarter finals, where she lost to Dave Rainford. She’s quite a well known face in TV quiz circles, and her latest achievement was in being the most highly placed british woman in the recent European Quizzing Championships. Well done Jenny ! Jenny and I were stand-ins together for the semi finals of Mastermind 2006, so she always receives the not always helpful honour of support from the Clark sofa.
Ken Owen is another well known face around the quiz circuit. My heart went out to him as he explained the agony of getting the £250,000 question on WWTBAM wrong. Believe me, getting the £32,000 wrong is bad enough.
Ken took the first blood, and Kevin, but Jenny hit back with Daphne Barry and Chris, leaving Ken to add Judith to his team after winning the penultimate round. In the final round Jenny used her Eggheads wisely, and I’m afraid that Ken didn’t. Twice he ignored Eggheads who weren’t, to be fair, 100% certain of their answers, and on both occasions the advice he had been given was right. Jenny won by 4 points to 2.
Last up this week was a match up between Anne Hegerty and Melanie Beaumont. Anne is a regular LAM reader, so she is a lady of wit and discretion, as well as great general knowledge. To my knowledge Anne has taken part in Mastermind a couple of times, and also Brain of Britain.
Melanie Beaumont you might well have recognised from the first series of “Only Connect”, which is where I remember her from. As you know if you’ve ever seen it – and if not, why not ? – there are no mugs who get onto that show.
There were a couple of close rounds, but Anne had the better of the play , and she took Kevin, Barry, CJ and Judith through to the last round, while Melanie nabbed Chris for her team. This looked a little bit of an uneven contest, but Melanie kept her cool well to answer her first two questions correctly without needing to call on Chris. Anne matched her question for question, with the help of Barry. Unfortunately for Melanie , Chris was unable to help identify that TRT is the state broadcaster for Turkey. With CJ’s help , Anne identified that it was Paul Klee who identified his style as taking a line for a walk. Melanie failed on her own to identify that there were 6 founder members of the EEC . Anne played Kevin on the last question, and duly completed a 4 – 2 win.
Its been a good week for the old AYAE hands , with Pat, Mark and Jenny all progressing. I know from the IQAGB forum that its not just me who thinks that the questions seem to have settled down a little but more this week. Far too many times last week we were given questions which nobody, including the Eggheads could answer – and you have to question where the entertainment value is in that.
Looking forward to next week, I’m reliably informed that my first TV appearance since Mastermind 2007 is due to be shown on Monday. Please be kind.