Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Malcolm Sumner - Mastermind Heat 13 Winner

Just in case you missed this, the winner of Heat 13 of this year's Mastermind posted a detailed comment on my review of the show, which I think would be of much interest to regular readers, and so I've taken the liberty of reproducing most of it here .In case you forget, Malcolm answered questions on Bing Crosby in the first round of Friday night's first show.

"I was pleased to do justice to my musical and cinematic hero and even received a congratulatory message from the Bing Crosby Fan Club! As the filming took place mid-July (the day after end of term) my preparation time was limited to one weekend (quick reading of three biographies) so glad I’d chosen a subject where I had some prior knowledge – good enough for about half the questions. Bing starred in over 60 full-length films, usually playing interchangeable versions of himself with names like Jeff or Jim, so decided I would only memorise the big films or ‘character’ roles, which paid off with the question on Bing’s character in the ‘Stagecoach’ remake. Questions on the name of his chauffeur and the church where he married his second wife were obscure even for diehard fans and I was glad I’d filed them away under ‘unlikely-but-possible’.

I had no recollection at all of many GK ‘misses’ so the questions (and my answers) were as much a surprise to me as to the viewing audience! The Seikan Tunnel (Japan) and ‘A Man of Parts’ (about HG Wells) were both guessable, I’d forgotten the ‘Tornado’ (UK’s newest steam loco) and the Malcolm Arnold / film theme connection was new to me (though I pretended to JH – out of politeness – that it was on the tip of my tongue).

Fellow-contenders were lovely: Pat Baker is a telly quiz veteran but admitted this was the ‘big one’, Diana Muir was seriously jetlagged and could have won on another day as could Pat or John Tanner. A ‘charm’ of production assistants was the most appropriate collective noun, and the only Southerner-style gripe was the trek to Salford, although having the hotel literally next door to Media City made the day itself very convenient.

(Re the ongoing debate on the specialist subject round, I try to ‘prepare’ with 15 minutes on Wikipedia and see how many questions I can ‘predict’ – usually about 40%. Has definitely made first half more enjoyable, though I realise that this would appeal to quiz addicts, not ordinary punters! That’s why I personally chose specialist subjects with a broad-ish appeal.)

Was relieved on my recording that there would be no half-way ‘banter’ but in retrospect feel that this may put subject choices in some kind of context without the fatuous waffle of other quiz shows (excluding the witty and courteous preamble on ‘Pointless’!)"


Thanks Malcolm ! Here at LAM we wish you the very best of luck in your semi ! Oh, and I DO like the idea of what I shall call the wikipedia challenge. I'll be having a go at that myself on this coming Friday.

5 comments:

drgaryegrant said...

I was (somewhat self-absorbedly) following Twitter on the night of broadcast and there's no doubt that 'Mr Sumner' was the big hit of the night - he certainly seemed a popular sort with ex-pupils!
The Wiki idea is a very good one actually - most of the seven wonders answers are online though you'd need a pretty photographic memory to get many in 15 minutes!

contentedofcheltenham said...

David, thank-you very much for this and for your response on the original thread. As well as the superb quiz material that you've compiled on LAM, being able to write programme reviews which are simultaneously incisive, entertaining, constructive and kind to the participants is not an easy balance - but I suspect years of report writing has honed your diplomatic skills!

Thanks, Gary - and congratulations on your win. 'Trial by Twitter' is a new experience for me - and a bit of a strange one to be honest. Hadn't been aware of this at all before yesterday. I only auditioned for the show to give my dad a little bit of an 'adventure', so quite bizarre to see the 'tricoteuses' sharpening their knitting needles so enthusiastically! I think my favourite 'tweets' compared me to Jason King, Steve Coogan, 'Blakey' from On The Buses and Boycie from OFAH. Nice to know I could find employment as a bus inspector or second hand car dealer if the teaching game ever starts to flag! On the other hand, the enthusiasm of students and ex-pupils was very encouraging, despite futile attempts at secrecy. Still think your shirt was the evening's main 'ratings winner' and you seem to have added lots of recruits to your burgeoning fan club ...

DanielFullard said...

I have done the "wikipedia" skim on a few occasions and it definitely works!

jeffgrimshaw said...

I was interested to read that Malcolm couldn't recall some of his GK "misses". I found the opposite - I remembered most of the questions I got wrong, but had forgotten quite a few of the ones I got right (surprising given my poor GK performance - there weren't that many right answers to forget!!!) When I watched my performance I was very surprised to see that I was asked questions on Anwar Sadat and Duran Duran - I had no recollection of these whatsoever.

I think pressure was a big factor here, both in my poor GK performance and my recollection of the questions. I have to say I "lost it" for a bit early in my round after I had to pass on a "sitter" (and then remembered the answer about a millisecond after saying "pass".) I think it was my 4th GK question and it really affected my round - I lost a good 3 or 4 points after that through sheer panic.

By contrast, I was much less nervous during my SS round, despite a couple of early wrong answers here as well, and was able to recall 17 of the 18 questions I was asked.

Gruff said...

Like Jeff, I remember the ones I get wrong. I was livid after my 1st round show that unlike everyone else I hadn't had a film or a music question. Then I watched the show and saw me answering a film and a music question. But they were both so straight forward that I didn't need to think and immediately forgot them.