Second up was Helen Skelton, whom I am ashamed to say that I did not immediately recognise as the Blue Peter presenter who canoed along the Amazon. A person of determination and nerve then, two qualities which can take you a long way in the black chair. Answering questions on Debbie Harry and Blondie even allowed me to get a couple right – I knew the title of Debbie Harry’s first solo album for example. Ah, Debbie Harry . . . Sorry, I was miles away there. A terrific round with only one pass marring an otherwise splendid 17 points.
Now, Sir Clive Sinclair is, I am sure, a very clever man, who unfortunately has been lumbered with the public perception that he is, in fact, a bit of a berk, due to the failure of his C5 electric pedal car. What better way to remind everyone how smart you are than to appear on Sleb Mastermind ? Only its not very smart to take a wide, catch – all subject such as british inventions. Its even less smart to do so and then not really go to town learning your subject. Poor old Sir Clive really just didn’t know his stuff, I’m afraid, and I would imagine that most quizzers sitting at home will have known a good half dozen or so old chestnuts – like Sir Tim Berners Lee was at CERN when he came up with the world wide web, and that ACV stands for Air Cushioned Vehicle. There were others like these which he didn’t get. Sir Clive levelled out at 4 points.
Finally actor Stephen Mangan, offering probably my banker subject for the night, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Very well he did too. I was pretty good on the questions about the first 4 books, although I couldn’t name the keeper of the Total Perspective Vortex, but struggled on questions about Mostly Harmless, my least favourite of the 5 part trilogy ( don’t ask ) . Stephen though scored an excellent 15 on them, and believe me, it needed a really detailed knowledge of those books to achieve that.
So, back to the chair for Sir Clive. To lift himself off the bottom he needed to score 6, and he managed that. To beat Stephen’s first round 15 for second place, though, he needed 12, and that he couldn’t manage. He gave a little too much thought to the easier answers, and really ran out of time before he had built up any head of speed. Fair play to the man, he was only doing it for charity, but 13 overall is the least impressive score we’ve seen this series, I’m afraid.
Robert Webb added another 12 to his total to lift himself comfortably into the orbit of respectability. Stephen then put on the best GK round of the night, maintaining concentration well to do what you must do – have a guess at what you don’t know, but answer what you do know correctly and quickly. He put on 14 to set the bar at 29. Well, we’ve already seen that being exceeded several times this series, but nonetheless it is not to be done easily. Certainly Helen didn’t find it so. She maintained her good humour throughout, but it was fairly obvious that she wasn’t going to get there from before the 1 minute mark, and in the end she scored 8 to take her total to 25.
Was I wrong, or did Stephen Mangan describe his trophy as ‘perspex’ ? Naughty boy ! I’m pretty sure that like the iconic bowls presented to the series winners, these are handmade pieces of glassware by Dennis Mann.
|Robert Webb||Novels of Ian McEwan||Medical Foundation For Care of Victims of Torture||9-2||12 - 1||21 – 3|
|Helen Skelton||Debbie Harry and Blondie||Eden Valley Hospice||17 - 1||8 - 4||25 – 5|
|Sir Clive Sinclair||Inventions since 1940||Big Issue Charity||4 - 7||9 - 8||13 – 15|
|Stephen Mangan||The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy||Marie Curie Cancer Care||15 - 2||14 - 2||29 – 4|