Friday, 30 September 2011

Birmingham Mega Quiz

Well, its been a busy week since last we met. I had a phone call from the doyen of South Wales quiz setters, Trevor Parry, on Tuesday evening, informing me that the Birmingham Mega Quiz was taking place earlier this year, in fact last night. For the last couple of years its been held in November. In fact last year, through some oversight, it was scheduled on the same night as Children In Need. Still, no such scheduling issue last night, and 63 teams lined up at the starting gate.

We won the quiz in 2009 and 2010 - although if you read my post about it last year you'll recall that we still don't really know how we managed to sneak the win at the death after having trailed for the whole quiz. Still, a win is a win, and it occured to me to ask whether we got to take the Joseph Chamberlain Clock Tower home with us for keeps if we won. Mind you, that would have been temting fate , so we said nowt.

The three previous times I've played in the Mega Quiz the question master has been TV's Nick Owen - once of TVAM. From a comment that the Lord Mayor made in her introduction I can't help wondering whether old Nick has priced himself out of the market. Whatever the case, last night our host was Professor Carl Chinn, and I quote his wikipedia page here, he is an " English historian, writer, radio presenter, magazine editor, newspaper columnist, media personality, local celebrity, and famous Brummie, whose working life has been devoted to the study and popularisation of the city of Birmingham in England. " I felt slightly better about never having heard of him before when I saw that the page makes it clear that he is a local celebrity.

Well, what he lacked in National celebrity he made up for with enthusiasm, I can give him that. Still, he got on our wick a little bit when he gleefully pointed out after four or five rounds that "The Team from Phill ( sic ) Harriers who've won it for the last two years are really struggling, " because we were in about 8th place, totally oblivious of the fact that all the teams ahead of us had already played their joker. Still, we ground on with the quiz, but were only tying for the lead going into the last round. Which was all about Birmingham.

Yeah, yeah, alright. No, of course we didn't win. But the team who won, Utopia Ltd. have always pushed us all the way every time we played in the quiz, and for all we know they might well have beaten us by a couple of points whatever the subject. They had already pulled back the whole of a three point lead we established at one point.
So many congratulations Utopia Ltd. , and thanks, Birmingham, for a good fun evening anyway. For the record we were second ( prize - another tankard and a meal with the Lord Mayor in the Lord Mayor's parlour ) . And yes, Trev, Richie and Gordon , if you invite me next year I am definitely up for it again !


Since I introduced the subject in the last post, I guess I'd better share the humiliation with you in this one. I would like to tell you that sales of "The Quiz Show Quiz Book" are sluggish. I'd like to tell you that, since the word sluggish implies that there is some movement, however slow. The fact is though that Amazon has registered not one sale since the book was published online on Tuesday. Now, Amazon are sometimes slow in updating your sales information , and I'd like to think that this is the reason. But I doubt it.

Should the moribund volume in question begin to show signs of life, I will let you know.


Gruff said...

We once went to a charity quiz in Rugby, which like the Brum one tries to get teams in from far and wide. They had a round of pictures of local villages (a bus stop here, a give way sign there...). It wasn't the fact that we lost by 1 point that narked us. It was the fact that they actively invited teams from outside the area and then designed a quiz they couldn't realistically hope to win. I'm happy to give money to the air ambulance (the charity in question) but it won't be through that quiz again.

I really don't mind losing a quiz when I'm beaten fair and square. But quizzymandering gets my back up.

rmleake said...

Hi, I'm from Ole who you pipped last year. I was born in Birmingham but still found that 'Brum' round ridiculous. Several name the year type questions but only in one arbitrary question were you allowed to be one year out.
Also how can you use a joker when the rounds offered differing numbers of points? Round 9 was 13 points, round 1 and 3 were 11 points. All the rest were 10 points. This offered an extra 6 points if you played the joker on round 9.
Finally, I thought we were attending a quiz, not the Professor Carl Chinn show!Ceaseless chatter and he kept altering the wording of the questions. For example 'What was Kylie Minogue's first UK hit? And we are not looking for her first number one (added Chinn).' Unfortunately, I Should Be So Lucky was both her first hit and number one.
As a Mega Quiz 'regular' I may have attended my last one.
To end on a positive note at least the organisation was a lot smoother than usual!

Londinius said...

Hi Gareth - Hi rmleake,

I will hold my hands up to being very careful about how I phrased this post. After all, whatever I say is in danger of coming across as sour grapes - and I stress again - there is every good chance that Utopia Ltd. would have beaten us anyway.

But you are right, rmleake - that Birmingham round was a joke !

And that professor Chinn - well, it gave me a whole new appreciation of the wit and wisdom of Nick Owen, something that has never particularly struck me in the past.

You're right about the different points in the rounds - how the hell can you do that in a joker quiz ?! That's basic arithmetic !

I'll still play next year if I'm invited by the team, though.

Cheers for posting,