Right, well, now we’ve tackled that debate head on, as it were, let’s get on with the main event – the show itself. First up was David Love. Rings a bell with you? It did with me. A quick check on the database, and voila! He took part in the first round of Mastermind in Pat’s 2005 series, and then again in the 2007 SOBM. The second contestant was Richard Moss, who comes up blank on my database. Third, of course, was our Barry Simmons, clear favourite for the show and then some, and finally John Snedden. That was another one which rang a bell for me as well, and I didn’t need to check the database to remember that John was in Gary’s 2012 Mastermind series, where he lost in the semis to our own Nick Reed and Gareth Kingston. So certainly some experience was on show during this contest.
David kicked off with 2 correct answers, but didn’t know that the most densely populated Scandinavian country was Sweden. Barry knew that. Richard opened his account with 2, but really probably should have known that the missing Leatherstocking Tale from the list was the Last of The Mohicans. John made no mistake with that one. Now to Barry. He took his first, but didn’t get the phrase for being in the nude popularized by Danny Kay. Nobody had it – in the Altogether. John took two, but nobody knew that a sign in Milan would lead you to the Last Supper. Fair enough. John led with three and the others had two. David probably should have known the fair Maid of Perth – as did Barry. Richard didn’t know the literal meaning of KGB – Barry did – committee of state security. Barry then switched into a higher gear, and reeled off a set of five, to sprint into a lead. No gimmes there either! 8 points in a row – very impressive. John didn’t know, and neither did anyone else that Orta Benga was the star exhibit in a 1906 zoo exhibition, and he was a human being. Barry now led with 10 to John’s 3. Game over? Maybe.
David missed his first, an excerpt from Rigoletto. Altogether now – Barry had that. Now, this was my moment of the show. I knew the Immelman Roll, and nobody else, including Barry did. I also knew Ahenobarbus made the quote he was given from “Antony and Cleopatra”, but then that’s my job. Right , controversial moment of the show. John didn’t have a clue where the Moho discontinuity can be found. Barry clearly said “between the Core and the Mantle. I thought it was the crust and the mantle, and when Russell said yes, he then went on to say between the crust and the mantle. Okay, now it’s a small thing and made no difference to the outcome, but it’s not the same, is it? Or was it just because all they wanted was in the centre of the Earth? It was difficult to tell. Barry’s lead was now 9.
The Listener’s questions went on to beat the Brains. when asked for the only pair of brothers to both be nominated for acting Oscars they went for the Fabulous Bridges Boys ( alright, not hilarious, I know, but not that bad ), when the Phoenix Bros – River and Joaquin – were required. The second asked for the two currently married couples who have both won an award in an acting category. I knew that the ‘currently’ ruled out Woodward and Newman, but I had Douglas and Zeta-Spartacus-Jones straightaway, but I didn’t get Bardem and Cruz. A well-earned book token there. Now back to the show.
David ran out of time on his first, but Richard knew a set of diseases all transmitted by ticks. For his own set, amazingly nobody knew that “I’m Just a Girl who Can’t say No” comes from Oklahoma! (Rodgers and Hammerstein’s exclamation mark, and not mine). Barry took his first, but each of the contenders floundered on the spelling of Merckx, as in Eddie. John, perhaps with his eyes fixed on a runner up slot in the semis, took two. Some chemistry thing about elements followed. I didn’t really get it, but Barry knew it. 14 points now gained, and John up to 5. David didn’t know his first about Yeats – Barry did. Richard didn’t know his about an island in Washington State, and gave away a bonus on Seattle. Barry didn’t know that Ewan McCall wrote “The first Time Ever I saw your face.” Richard had a bonus there. John really should have known a lava lamp when he heard it described. David took that. David didn’t know that Two Faced Woman was the last film to star Garbo . John knew that. Nobody knew that the three words at the base of memorial stones for unidentified soldiers is ‘known unto God’. Barry , and let’s be honest, he didn’t actually need to answer another question in this show, didn’t know the philosopher Otto Weininger. Not surprised. never heard of him myself. John had as his first a musical question, about hardy perennial Peter and the Wolf. He didn’t know that what we had heard represented the Cat, but David did. That was enough to give him 7 to John’s 6. Barry, mind you, was on 15.
So to the last round. David took his first , but didn’t know that the Puddings of Pudding Lane were originally disposed offal. Nobody had that. Richard didn’t know about the recently knighted Quentin Blake, and that was another one for David. By the way, I was delighted to hear Russell using one of my favourite phrases – a good egg – to describe Sir Quentin as well. Onto Barry. He juggled with the acronym LED, but had it right, although I was a little surprised to see him go for County Down as the County where Malin Head lies. Russell did say in the question that it wasn’t in Northern Ireland. Still, the job was done, so you can’t blame him for taking his foot off the gas by this time. John took a bonus. Only his questions remained to take us to the end of the contest. Alas, nobody could remember that the writers who created Outnumbered are Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin. The final scores then were: -
David Love – 9
Richard Moss – 3
Barry Simmons – 17
John Snedden – 7
Well played all. I’ve made my feelings about the whole subject of Barry playing in BoB clear in my previous post, but it still can’t have been easy for the other three when they saw who they were up against, and they did well to keep their heads, and pick off what they could. But well done to Barry, who I think I detected just easing off a bit in the last couple of rounds once the job was done. There’s a lot more to come from him this series, I dare say. Good luck in the semis!