Yes, I know it’s the last weekend before the Christmas break, and I haven’t forgotten the LAMMYs. So let’s get down to business
1) The Award for the Best New Quiz Show of 2011
You may remember that there was such a dearth of new shows in 2010, that I didn’t feel that any were good enough to win the award. I am delighted to say that we did at least have some worthy nominees, albeit that none are of the quality of previous winners Only Connect, and The Chase – or runner up Pointless. The nominees are : -
This show did make an appearance after a few difficulties. It wasn’t bad either. A decent, honest new tea time quiz, I did wonder if the Beeb were grooming it to take over the tea time slot soon to be vacated by the departing Weakest Link. The show ran in the early spring, and hasn’t been back since, so I do wonder if that’s that. Nonetheless, it was a simple and relatively enjoyable thing, albeit that we could have had a lot more questions per show.
The Third Degree
A Radio 4 show this one. Hosted by Steve Punt, the basic idea behind it was that University students played against their lecturers to find out who was more knowledgeable. In most cases it was the lecturers. Not the most serious offering we’ve ever heard, but it wasn’t bad, albeit that I was never sure whether it really wanted to be a serious show or not.
Every year brings its guilty pleasures, and this one was mine. The Coach Trip goes quizzing. The show was an interesting idea, but the execution left a lot to be desired. We got relatively little in terms of quiz in each show, and I know that at least one of the quizzers on board was not happy at what had been done in the editing of the show. There is the germ of an idea there which could actually make a good show. This wasn’t it, though. Despite this, though, as I say it was very much a guilty pleasure of mine.
A lady who works in the 360 Granada Studios in Manchester where they record the Jeremy Kyle Show once confided to me that in her opinion Jeremy Kyle is the most disliked man in British television. I have no idea whether this is accurate or fair. Still, he is not the first person you would automatically think of as the genial host of an evening big money quiz show. I found it hard to get over this mental hurdle when I watched High Stakes. It’s not really my cup of tea anyway. It’s a game show, really, a guessing game show, which is great if you like that sort of thing. Personally I thought it lacked the wow factor, and I don’t know what the audiences were like, but I doubt it made the kind of splash that ITV were hoping it would.
SO – the winner is : -
It may well have been and gone, and it may not be as good as The Chase or Pointless, and certainly nowhere near as good as Only Connect , but Perfection gets the vote. Of all the new shows it had the best quiz play for the viewer at home, and was the only one I could see myself watching on anything like a regular basis.
2) The Award for Quiz Performance of the Year
Right – here I have to correct a wrong. Last year the LAMMYs were announced before the final of Only Connect Series 4 was broadcast. So I could not include the Epicureans in the nominees. So let me rectify that : -
Series 4 Only Connect Winners – The Epicureans
The Eps posted some mighty scores during series 4, and with all due respect to ourselves, they always looked like the champions in waiting for the whole series.
Series 5 Only Connect Winners – The Analysts
I marked out the Analysts as probably the team to beat from early doors within this season’s tournament. Having said that they didn’t have it all their own way, facing strong challenges from the Trade Unionists, and especially the Technologists. They triumphed in the final , though, with a magnificent shut out on the missing vowels round.
Mastermind 2011 – Ian Bayley
Having cursed Ian’s chances in 2009 by tipping him to win the Grand Final I refrained from doing so this year. Unburdened by the Clark tip he romped home to win comfortably with a magnificent 37, becoming the 5th to do the Mastermind and Brain of Britain double.
University Challenge 2011 - Magdalen , Oxford
Magdalen proved themselves up to every challenge that came their way throughout the series, and outclassed a good team from the University of York to win the Final.
Brain of Britain 2011 – Iwan Thomas
Iwan Thomas won a splendidly competitive final , beating some great quizzers to the title.
A vintage year again, and it’s very hard to choose between them all. Still, on reflection I have plumped for a performance of domination in the Grand Final – The Winners are – step forward
Kyle Haddad- Fonda,
and Captain Matthew Chan of the victorious Magdalen College Oxford University Challenge 2011 Winners.
3) The Award for best performance in a Non Broadcast Quiz
There are a couple of nominees in this category , but first I’d like to start with a team I’m not nominating. If I wasn’t part of the team, then I would certainly be nominating the Llangewydd Arms quiz team. In 2011 we completed the double of league and cup, and won every game into the process – becoming the first team in the history of the league in Bridgend to complete a 100% season. But I am in the team, and the rules of the LAMMYs state that members of the judging panel may not be nominated in any category. ( I should know – I made them up. ) So the real nominees are : -
The Royal Oak Nomads ( since renamed the Tyrisha Nomads )
The Nomads are our most formidable opposition in the Bridgend league. We were the only team to beat them in the whole of last season. That’s not why they are nominated. In the curtain raiser to this season’s league, the Muriel Williams Cup, they beat us, and what’s more as round by round went on we never felt that we were going to get on terms with them, and we didn’t. A fine performance.
You may have read my post about this year’s Birmingham Mega Quiz. We were beaten into second place by a team who are always right up there on the scoreboard, Utopia Ltd. They overhauled us in the last round, and clinched the prize. Well done !
In this year’s CIU Finals Gosforth empire and Radford Road Social Club were a street ahead of all the other teams, and believe me there was a lot of serious quiz talent in many of these as well. In the end only a tie break could separate them.
Without further ado – the winners are : -
It always seems that this award is won by the CIU winners, but I have to say that I thought that this year’s quiz was the hardest for a long time, and I thought the boys’ performance ( and also that of Radford Road ) was out of this world. Very well done !
4) The Award for the Most Enjoyable Event in Non Broadcast Quizzing
I would have plumped for the GetConnected Charity Quiz in Floridita in Wardour Street, but this won the category last year. As a one off evening it was unbeatable. However, for sustained, week in week out enjoyment I have no hesitation I awarding the prize to : -
The Bridgend and District Quiz League 2011
Many congratulations to the league committee, and especially to Dai Rees, who compiles all the questions for the league.
5) The Award for New Quiz based fan website/blog
Two in particular have stood out this year. I have enjoyed QuizQuizQuiz very much – and thanks for the plug for LAM, guys. Much appreciated. However the award for 2011 goes to Daniel Fullard’s
The Quiz Addict
Daniel is a young quizzer, living in the North East of England. He has huge enthusiasm for the whole quiz scene. The posts have begun to flow very freely again after a little hiatus in the early Autumn. Not only that, but Daniel has just recently has shown huge initiative in approaching publishers, and gaining free quiz books to give away as competition prizes.
6) The Host – With – The – Most Award
I toyed with calling this the Robert Robinson Memorial award, since the late great one was always my very favourite chairman. Without the permission of his family this might be a little disrespectful, though.
I’ve fought a little shy of going down this route in past years since it is all very much in the eye of the beholder, I know. Besides, how can you judge between the Jeremy Paxman at his best , Russell Davies aka The Best Voice On The Radio – Ever, Victoria Coren - the list goes on. All of the above are worth a prize just for being who and what they are. However the difficulty of singling out a winner is not an excuse not to present the award. So without further ado, the winning host is –
Alexander Armstrong – Pointless
It’s a personal choice – feel free to disagree. If we take UC and BoB , both Russell Davies and JP are brilliant at what they do. But their shows could be and have been handled well by people with a completely different style. Victoria Coren is so far the only presenter of OC – and be honest, could you see anyone else ever presenting it ? The fact that she does not, this time, win the award takes nothing away from her. But I awarded the prize to Alexander Armstrong, because, while I like Pointless, in other less deft hands I feel it could have become quite a tedious show. That’s my decision, and I’m sticking to it.
There we are, then. I have no doubt regulars will be sitting at home, wondering how on earth I could leave out so and so – and probably with every justification as well. Roll on next year.