I love Brain of Britain. There really is nothing else quite as good that you can be doing on a Monday lunchtime. Well, not in a school , anyway.
After the last couple of weeks of knowing some of the contestants, it came almost as a surprise not to know any of the today’s panel personally. Still, David Dorsett, third to go this afternoon, is from Swansea, so its not totally impossible that our paths may have crossed at some time in the past.
John Beynon kicked us off , and he did it superbly well. We recently heard Ray Eaton start with a full five and bonus, and today John did exactly the same thing. Follow that, as they say. Dylan Clement took his first, but failed on Hotspur’s family name in Henry IV. Ian Welham knew that it was Percy. David Dorsett took one too, but was wrong footed by the island of Monserrat, which gave Ian another bonus. Then Ian proved that anything John could do, he could do at least as well, and romped through his first five easily. So even though John kiked off with a full set, he was only in second, as Ian led with 8, then came John with 6 , then David and Dylan with 1 each.
Ian certainly looked to have the whip hand throughout the first half up to the listener’s questions. He took 4 of his second set, only missing out on which person had almost named her son Zamboni, after the ice rink smoothing machine. Nobody knew it was Sarah Palin. However it was worth noting that john too kept taking the points and the bonuses on offer. Even though he couldn’t at this stage peg back the 2 point gap, he kept on Ian’s shoulder, and going into the Beat the Brains interval, Ian led with 13, to John’s 11, David’s 4 and Dylan’s 3.
The contestants made short work of the two questions. They knew that Horace Walpole invented the word serendipity, and Karel Kapek created the word robot. So it was right back to the contest. Little happened in round 4, but it was all change in round 5. Ian dropped the old chestnut giving Very Special Old Peculiar instead of Very Special Old Pale for VSOP. John took 4 points in the round to take his score to 16, while Ian only managed a single point to take his own score to 15. This was a good contest, and both John and Ian were impressing with the width of their knowledge. Both added one more point to their scores in round 6.
Round 7 was the last round. John took a narrow lead in, and got a horrible quote as his first question for a point. Nobody knew that Income Tax has made more Americans liars than golf. Ian picked up a bonus during the round, and so did John. To win outright, Ian only needed to give the real surnames of my heroes Morecambe and Wise. He didn’t know that they were of course John Eric Bartholemew, and Ernest Wiseman. Which meant, ladies and gents, that we had a tie.
The last time this happened was in the last series, and it was won by my friend Rob Hannah. Today the question asked for the painter of , amongst other works, “The Scapegoat” and “The Light of the World”. Ian won the buzzer race to supply the correct answer – Holman Hunt. That was that. Well played – a great match. Surely John Beynon will join him in the semis as well.
John Beynon – 18
Dylan Clements – 6
David Dorsett – 6
Ian Welham – 19
Highest Scoring Runners Up
John Beynon – 18
Angela Wilson - 15
Ian Cassidy - 13
Anne Finch – 11