Tuesday, 23 December 2008

TV Watch - Only Connect Grand Final

Only Connect Final - Monday 22nd December - 8:30pm BBC4

This terrific little show reached its climax last night. Fancied runners The Crossworders took on plucky underdogs The Lapsed Psychologists. After last week's semi final I did make the observation that anything can happen in a two horse race, but you have to say that The Crossworders hit top speed straight from the blocks last night, and had a commanding 6 - 0 lead after the first round. Both teams impressed hugely with their connections walls. The Lapsed Psychologists went first, and their wall consisted entirely of blocks with three letters each on them. Amazingly they solved it in double quick time, and just for a moment it seemed that the fightback might be under way. However the Crossworders wall consisted just of numbers, and they solved it almost as quickly. Full marks to both teams there. The hardest missing vowels round of the series followed, but again the Crossworders seemed to have the edge, and in the end they ran out very worthy series winners. Commiserations to The Lapsed Psychologists. They never played badly at all, but here they ran into a superb team at the absolute top of their game.

So where now for the Crossworders ? Well, Mark Grant also featured in yesterday's first semi final of The Brain of Britain, and lost by a very narrow margin. Then also Ian Bayley is through to the Mastermind semi finals, and on this form you'd be a fool to bet against him doing very well indeed. Congratulations also to unflappable captain David Stainer. You'll always be the first victorious captain on Only Connect. I sincerely hope that you won't be the last.

University Challenge

A lower scoring contest this one, but absorbing still. This is only so far the second of the second round matches with no Oxbridge representatives. So far the qualifiers for the quarter finals have been, in order of scores -

St. John's Cambridge 345
Corpus Christi Oxford - 295
Lincoln Oxford 280
Manchester 280
London School of Economics 270
Queen's Cambridge 205

City University joined this select group, but beating Brighton 185 - 115. Once again Jeremy Paxman offered sincere commiserations to the losers, suggesting that the questions just hadn't gone their way, although he did show a little more spirit during the contests when one of the teams looked as if they were conferring during a starter for ten. City are a good team, but you've got to say that they'll have to improve if they're to have any serious ambitions of reaching the semis.

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