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.