Jeff Lloyd, one of two Mastermind virgins tonight, was answering on British Number 1 singles , 1963 – 2000. You might recall in Nancy’s 2009 series that Howard Pizzey took a very similar subject, and it’s one of those popular culture subjects that is always guaranteed to play well with the viewers at home. This was by some distance my best subject tonight, and I surpised myself by taking 10 correct answers. Jeff did better, and with his 11 I confidently predicted that he wouldn’t be in 4th at the halfway stage.
The second of tonight’s newcomers, Kirsa Lommerud Olsen had a somewhat more highbrow although no less enjoyable popular culture subject, in the shape of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.I only ever saw two of these, so I was pretty pleased to get three of them. Kirsa did a lot better than this. If your general knowledge is good enough, then 14 will always give you a shot at a win, and that’s exactly the score that Kirsa achieved.
I was delighted to see the return of tonight’s third contender. This was none other than Roger Canwell. For those unfamiliar, Roger contested Nancy’s 2009 series, and went all the way to the Grand Final. I know from emails I exchanged with Roger at the time that he really enjoyed his 2009 experience, and so I’m pleased to see him back. As a point of interest, Roger is the only person to ever beat our own Gary Grant – champion in 2012 – in an edition of Mastermind . ( Sorry to mention that, Gary )British history has proved a happy hunting ground for Roger before, so I confidently expected Kett’s Rebellion to provide him with a good score, and to be fair I wasn’t disappointed. 15 and no passes well and truly laid the foundations for another semi final appearance. I have a feeling that my friend Les Morrell took Kett’s Rebellion in the first round in my 2007 series, but I might be mistaken.
Standing in the way , though, was another Mastermind semi finalist, Colin Daffern. Colin reached the semis in Geoff’s 2006 series ( which is more than I managed . ) He was offering the life and career of Michael Foot. He did so very well too , I might add. I was pleased with my 5, which took my aggregate total for all the specialist rounds tonight to 19. Colin’s score of 13 was very competitive, although it did leave him just a little behind Roger.
Well, the other contenders had made a mockery of my confident prediction that Jeff Lloyd wouldn’t be fourth at the halfway stage. That was history now , though, as a good GK round could change everything. Jeff produced quite a good GK round, as it happened. 13 is a decent performance for anyone’s money. Alright, it only set the target at 9 for leader on the road Roger , but it meant that nothing was a foregone conclusion anyway.
Mind you, Colin’s GK performance made that all academic anyway. Colin had snapped out crisp clear answers in his specialist round, and he continued to do this throughout his GK one too. The finest GK totals we’ve seen in this series have been 19, and that’s exactly what Colin produced here. Not only that, but he did so without any more passes either. So if either Kirsa or Roger were going to beat this total , they were going to have to go like the clappers, and remember not to pass. Colin, with this score, had pretty much guaranteed himself a semi final slot, even if the win wasn’t yet a certainty.
Kirsa gave it a lash, to be fair to her, but it was one of those rounds where you could see the contender doing their best, but falling inexorably behind the clock. She scored 11, to finish with 25. Thence to Roger’s round. Now, I’d like to think that I give every contender a fair crack of the whip, and I try to be quick to applaud what any contender can do. But I hope I can be forgive by saying that I really, really wanted Roger to achieve the huge score he needed to at least guarantee a semi final slot, and , hopefully, the win. It was never going to be an easy or a quick ask, but Roger kept the round going, and kept piling on the score. He was up to 31 – “Come on Roger !” I shouted, thus startling my daughter Jess who had wandered into the front room just at that second. He was on 32 - “Come on Roger !” I shouted again, and Jess, God bless her, joined in . He was on 33 “Yeessss !” I shouted. 33 was to be his final score, equaling one of the highest scores of the series so far, belonging to our own Rach Cherryade Neiman.
Commiserations to both Jeff and Kirsa, good contenders who were unfortunate to be matched against such formidable opposition. Commiserations too to Colin, but like Arnold Scwarzenegger he’ll be back . As for Roger – fantastic, I’m so pleased for you.
What a show.
|Jeff Lloyd||British Number 1 singles 1963 - 2000||11 - 0||13 - 1||23 – 1|
|Kirsa Lommerud Olsen||Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads||14 - 2||11 - 6||25 – 8|
|Roger Canwell||Kett’s Rebellion of 1549||15 - 0||18 - 2||33 – 2|
|Colin Daffern||The Life and Career of Michael Foot||13 - 1||19 – 0||32 – 1|