Although it was recorded ages ago, the Millionaire where I was a phone-a-friend was only broadcast last night, and it has led to a couple of interesting questions. Regular LAM reader Terry Collins emailed me today. He was intrigued by the fact that both I and Chaser Anne Hegerty popped up as phone-a-friends for different contestants on the same show. He asked whether Millionaire keeps a pool of friends and gives these out to the contestants. Good question Terry, but the answer is no. I selected my own friends when I went on Millionaire, and although I know Richard's dad Alan rather better than I know Richard, I have quizzed with both of them before. I think that its just a pure coincidence that Anne and I both popped up on the same show - our paths do seem to keep crossing.
Nancy asked me why Richard didn't pick me to answer the question, and whether I would have had it right. Richard's other phone friends were his dad Alan, and my dear quiz mate John, often honourably mentioned in this very blog. The fact is that over the years John has proven himself better at answering Geography questions than I am. Quite simply, we'd decided that if Richard was stuck on a Geography type question, John would be the best bet as a phone friend.
In my youth I was a bit of a railway nut, so I was pretty certain that the answer was Iceland, without being absolutely 100%. Whether I would have advised Richard to go for it is another question entirely.
I did think Chris Tarrant was a class act when I appeared on the show myself. Still, hearing him describe me as a Christopher Biggins lookalike I've gone off him a bit.