Yes, last night I took part in the Birmingham Mega Quiz for the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Charity.
This is always a very big event, but I have to just say that I’m not entirely sure that holding it on the same night as BBC Children in Need was necessarily the most brilliant piece of forward planning. Last year there were over 90 teams present. Last night it was just over 50, and one of the local teams we were chatting to did say that there was another charity quiz on in Birmingham last night for Children in Need, and quite a few of last year’s teams were going to that one. Oh well.
If you are expecting me to boast about being a member of the team that won the event last year, then you know me far too well. Then I played with Trevor Parry, Richard Parnell and Gordon Galliford representing the Pill Harriers RFC in Newport , and last night we fielded an unchanged team. The locals did say that the question setter was a different one for last night’s quiz. Whatever the case, the format , ten rounds of ten question, remained the same, although the round categories didn’t. For the record, last night’s rounds were : -
Food and Drink
Film Heroes, Heroines and Villains
Science and Technology
Nature and Pets
and one other which escapes me. I think its fair to say that it was stretching a point to include questions like this one – “Who was the father of Heracles ? “ and “What name is given to the room in which the Last Supper took place ? “ into a History round, and there were others in other rounds about which the same could be said. Still, let’s be fair- if you really tried you could criticise every quiz you ever took part in, so let’s cut to the chase.
We were never more than three points off the lead, but we never held the lead throughout the competition. We trailed by three points to a very fine team called Olé at the halfway stage. With a very good couple of rounds we reduced the deficit to 1 point going into the Nature and Pets Round. We only scored 6, and felt that the game was up. Olé, though, scored 5, and so we were faced with the possibility of clinging on to the trophy through a tie break. The question was this one : -
“How many episodes of MASH were made ? “
Richie fancied 220. Gordon really fancied just over 100. We worked out that it was on for about 11 years, and decided to go with Gordon. The question master – who once again was Nick ‘TVAM’ Owen – announced that the answer was 221. – That’s it – we said – blown it. Except that we hadn’t. Olé guessed , well , never mind how much, but they put a high figure which was a little bit further away than ours was.
As I say its always a great event to be involved in, and from a personal point of view Friday evening is a much better time for it than Thursday. Sometimes, as I’m sure you know, there are times when you come away from a quiz wondering how on earth you ever managed to lose it. Well, as we came away last night we were actually wondering how on earth we ever managed to win it. Not that I’m complaining, you understand, but I do feel very sympathetic towards Olé. Guys, if it makes you feel any better, we thought you had it in the bag, and if you had won on the tie break we’d have had no grounds for complaint.
A last word about the organisation of the event. Those of us who have run quizzes for even just a social quiz for half a dozen teams in our local can appreciate that there are many many things which can throw a spanner in the works. I have to say that last night the whole thing seemed to run like clockwork. Ok, there weren’t as many teams as last year, but even so I would imagine it takes a hell of a lot of organising to get 50 teams’ answer sheets in and marked within a mere couple of minutes each time. Congratulations to the army of volunteers who put the whole thing together, and ran the event, and thanks for a great evening.