Monday, 4 January 2010

Radio Listen - Brain of Britain

Brain of Britain – Semi Final 1

Well, here we are at the start of the semi final stage. Today’s contest was between : -
Ali Arnold
Marie Coyle
Rob Hannah
Roger Johnson

Marie Coyle was, I believe, the high scoring runner up from the first round in this semi final. According to Russell Davies, at the start of the show, for this series the four runners up have been spread between the 4 semi finals, rather than having a semi all to themselves. Oh well, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against in the semis, you either score higher than everyone else does, or you don’t get to the final.

Ali Arnold made an electrifying start to the contest, getting the first five questions of the night all correct to add a bonus. Not only that, but she buzzed in correctly for another bonus as well. This gave her a remarkable 7 points, and a lead of five as we went into the second round. In this round Roger Johnson opened his account, Ali Arnold added another point, but Marie Coyle cut back her lead , taking her own score to five. In the last round before the break Ali Arnold slowed to a halt, while Marie Coyle managed her own set of five to take the lead. Rob Hannah had his best set of his own questions in this round, just missing out on the bonus, but still taking 4 to narrow the gap between himself and second place to 1 point. So at the break, Marie Coyle led with 12 points, from Ali Arnold with 8, Rob Hannah with 7, and Roger Johnson with three.

The listener’s questions were a little bit kinder than they have been of late. The first one asked which of which office Sir John Houblon had been the very first holder. The panel gave the answer “Head of the Bank Of England “ and I think they were just about allowed this one, since the correct answer was the Governor of the Bank of England. The second question asked who had preceded him on the £50 note, and I was a little surprised that none of the panel remembered that it was Sir Christopher Wren. Well, I know that Rob is too young, so I guess that the others must be as well.

So coming back to the contest, Marie Coyle looked to be in the driving seat, but she hadn’t broken the elastic between herself and the chasing pack yet. Rob managed to cut the lead to 3 points with a set of 3. Meanwhile Roger Johnson was mounting a late charge, scoring no less than five points in the round to draw level with Ali Arnold. In the next round Marie and Rob were the only ones to score at all, and both added 2 points. So, going into the last round Marie Coyle had 15, Rob Hannah had 12, and both Ali Arnold and Roger Johnson had 8.

Amazingly, Ali Arnold reproduced her splendid form of the first round, and scored her second set of five, and another bonus to take her to 15. Heartbreakingly for Marie Coyle she failed to score during the round for the first time in the whole competition. Roger Johnson stayed on 8. Rob Hannah though scored two on his own questions, and took two good bonuses, and for the first time in the competition, he took the lead. Well, if you’re going to be leading at the end of any round, the last round is the one to do it in.

So well done Rob for winning, and reaching the final – great performance of keeping your nerve, and battling on. Very bad luck to three splendid competitors as well.

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