Tuesday, 13 October 2009

TV Watch Supplementary - Are You An Egghead ?

First Round Match 1 – Gary Grant v. Julia Hobbs

Yes, after being postponed more than once, the great search for the 7th Egghead has finally begun. The series began with a nice little chat between Dermot and the charming and self effacing Barry Simmons, last year’s winner, and Egghead number 6. I can confirm that he is a thoroughly nice chap, who deserves the success that has come to him over the last year.

So on to the first match up. Gary Grant you might remember from last year’s Mastermind, when he reached the semi finals. He’s been on other shows as well, with a teenage appearance on 15 to 1, and a sudden death final spot in The Weakest Link. I know Gary through the IQAGB forum, and he’s a sharp and witty guy.

Julia Hobbs I don’t know, but she seemed to have quite a quiz pedigree . Her friends have nicknamed her “Trivia Queen” . She appeared in 1 v. 100, and has written questions for a couple of TV quiz shows, including Going For Gold.

Julia seemed to have by far the better of the play in the fight for the Eggheads. She bagged Chris, Daphne, CJ and Kevin, while Gary had Barry as his lone teammate. With this imbalance you could probably have written your own odds if you fancied backing Gary at this stage. However, as we saw last year, in AYAEH, nothing is over until its over.

Julia opted to go first in the General Knowledge round. She recognised the term quantative easing. 1 – 0.
Gary looked in desperate straits after needing to play his Barry card on the first question, requiring him to name Andrew Jackson as the 7th president of the USA. 1 – all.
Julia turned to CJ for the chess question, and the MENSA chess champion obliged with the answer that zugszwang means a position where whichever move you make it will only weaken your position. 2 - 1.
Julia still held 3 Eggheads to none. Gary answered his next one, then Julia called on Kevin to answer a question he didn’t really know the answer to, about a Yiddish word which escapes me at the moment. 2 – 2 and 2 Eggheads left .
Gary then failed his next, and Julia called on Daphne. 3 - 2, and one Egghead to Julia.
Gary was asked what Ned Kelly’s last words were. Unfortunately he missed out, going for 'Them’s the breaks' rather than 'Such is Life'. Still 3 - 2. One correct answer needed for victory, and Julia called on Chris to tell her where Sand Dancers come from. He couldn’t, going for Southport rather than South Shields. Gary grabbed the lifeline, and evened to 3 – all to go into sudden death.
Julia couldn’t answer Reggie Perrin’s middle name, Iolanthe, and Gary could answer that the A in NICAM stands for Audio. Game over.

Great match, exciting to watch. Well done to both players.A fine start to the new series.


drgaryegrant said...

Thank you for being very kind in your assessment, Dave. The one word that seems to be missing from your analysis of my performance (and I have looked quite hard) is 'rubbish'. Admittedly, exactly the 'wrong' 5 topics came up (Film & TV, and 'Music', but no 'Science', 'Politics' or 'History') but I was nonetheless extraordinarily lucky, with Julia getting some final round questions that flummoxed even the Eggheads. But as we've seen before, luck does play a role in AYAE, and the format means that last-minute reversals of fortunes are always possible, even if someone has disastrous head-to-heads (stand up Dr Grant). It was tough on Julia, but them's the breaks - as Ned Kelly didn't say.

Round 2 next, and I don't believe I'm saying too much if I reveal that that show produces a record which I think still stands across all 'Eggheads' shows (both AYAE and the main show)... I hope it'll be just as good a 'watch', if not better, anyway.

I'm looking forward to seeing your shows, the first of which presumably will be on in a couple of weeks? Regards, Gary.

Londinius said...

Hi Gary,

You and I both know that AYAE is a funny old show. You can be having an absolute mare on the 5 category rounds, and it doesn't make a blind bit of difference. Your performance keeping your head after playing Barry so early in the final round elevates your performance well above the commonplace.AYAE is a show which offers almost unparalleled opportunities for making yourself look stupid. Dare I say it, if questions are asked which not only neither of the contestants, but also none of the Eggheads know, then maybe some of the questions are a little too obscure ?

Luck plays a part in AYAE. Too true - well, the early rounds, certainly. That's no reflection on Barry, who looked a class act throughout the whole series last year. Yes, Julia was unlucky, but the irony is that for all the fine answers she came up with - which she did - the Reggie Perrin question she lost on was a little bit of an old chestnut. As you say, that's the luck of the draw.

My first round match is being aired on Monday 26th October, I've been told.

Thanks for popping by.