I'm indebted to Brian Pendreigh of the Wordsmiths for sending me his thoughts on their quarter final with the Wintonians, which I take the liberty of reprinting here : -
That was close. I didn’t know whether we had won or not until Victoria announced the scores. I felt relief rather than anything else, especially after us simply not pressing the buzzer for our gallop answer.
The good thing about winning was it meant we got to stay over for another day and were guaranteed another two shows. We did four shows in two days at the BBC in Cardiff back in April. There was the first round and quarter-final one day, and then there were the semi-finals and the final plus the match for third place the next. The final was/will be Only Connect’s 100th show.
On the first night it was fun trying to spot potential contestants in the hotel. The Draughtsmen and Footballers had done their earlier rounds a week or so earlier, but came back to Cardiff the night before their semis. We knew them beforehand through the national quiz circuit... A lot of Only Connect contestants will be at the British Open in Rolleston in Staffs (Oswald Mosley’s hometown), along with various Eggheads, Chasers, Masterminds etc. Details here and everyone is always made very welcome. There are not many events where you can just roll up and compete against the best in the world…British Open
We had an enjoyable night in Cardiff with the Draughtsmen, carefully monitoring each other’s alcohol consumption. The Footballers opted to go off to a pub quiz. We didn’t know the Scribes, though they are a team from the Quiz League of London and I think someone said their captain Dom Tait had been fourth man in the squad of the all-conquering Crossworders (Stainer, Bailey, Grant).
The whole Only Connect experience was great fun and I would recommend any decent quizzers to give it a go. If you are not good enough, you won’t get through the audition, which is actually fun in itself. Getting on the programme is clearly an achievement in itself.
Personally I found it very enjoyable to be playing with and against such strong quizzers. If Mastermind is like the Premiership, Only Connect is Champions League.
Take a look at the line-ups for the first semi-final – Draughtsmen v Footballers.
The Draughtsmen consist of Iwan Thomas, Brain of Britain 2010; Andy Tucker, Mastermind series runner-up 2012; Steve Dodding, Cleverdicks winner 2012.
Footballers are Jamie Turner, a member of the Carling UK Great British Pub Quiz champions 2012 (along with Only Connect champion Dave Bill); Michael McPartland, who beat Eggheads single-handed after several tie-breaks 2012; Barry Humphrey, Breakaway Champion of Champions 2012.
Only Connect is BBC 4’s most popular programme and has been getting an audience of over a million. My publishers Blasted Heath told me visits to my pages on their site go up when I am on TV. I am keen to try to promote my new short stories Sometimes She’ll Dance, not that it is any great money-spinner - three short stories, 99p on Amazon, five stars. That is 33p a story, 20p a star. If one per cent of Only Connect’s audience bought them that would probably push them up to No 1 in the Amazon Kindle best-seller list. Sometimes She'll Dance
We'll forgive Brian that little plug at the end there - he's earned it. I had an email from him today, asking if I would mention this as well, which I am happy to do : -
There is a proposal to set up a Scottish a committee to oversee and organise quiz events such as the Max Thomson Cup, the team championship which took place for the first time earlier this year. There are now a number of events take place in Scotland or involve Scottish quizzers which are a step up from pub quizzes, including participation in the International Quizzing Assocation's monthly Hot 100 solo quiz. Could anyone who is interested in being involved in discussions about the new committee or simply wants details of such events, please get in touch.
You can get in touch through Brian's Facebook.