Brain of Britain - First Round Heat 11/12
I was delighted to see Nancy Dickmann listed as a contestant in today’s show. As I’m sure you recall Nancy won the last series of Mastermind, beating the mighty Ian Bayley in the Grand Final. Well, Dr. Ian has already claimed his place in the semi final with a magnificent thirty three points in show 9, broadcast a fortnight ago. So, could Nancy join him ? Well, three other contestants would have something to say about that.
All four contestants were billed as hailing from the South of England. They were, in order,
Martin Boult from Basingstoke
Rosanna Day from Newbury
Nancy Dickmann from Oxford
Andrew McNab from London
None of the other contestants were known to me, but that didn’t necessarily mean anything. You don’t get mugs on Brain of Britain. So, away we went. It was almost all square in the first round. In round 2 the scores changed slightly, but one point alone separated all three contestants. Nancy found 2 bonuses before failing to answer that The Great White Hope was based on the life of Jack Johnson. She made up with another bonus, to join Martin Boult in first place with 5 points each. It was nice to hear Russell Davies being quite formal, addressing everyone as Mr., Mrs. or Miss at this stage of the competition. In the 4th round Mrs. Day missed the old chestnut about the jersey worn in the Tour de France by the King of The Mountains. Martin Boult forged a 3 point lead in the 4th round, as he answered a couple of his own and a bonus.
The listener’s questions were – before the establishment of the city of Canberra – which city was the capital of Australia ? The team zigged with Sydney, but should have zagged with Melbourne.
Also they were asked where would you find Goyder’s Line, and what is it for ? The team fancied an Australian state boundary, but it was an imaginary line across South Australia, denoting the line above which crops can’t be grown due to uncertain rainfall.
Back to the quiz. Russell Davies announced that Terry Parsons was the real name of Matt Munroe, who he suggested must have decided to be a singer since his regular route from Highgate to Teddington was a terribly long journey. This round saw a fabulous five points for Andrew McNab put him up into joint leadership with 9. Round Six , though saw Martin Boult answer 3 questions, while none of his opposition managed any. Nancy, who'd been unfortunate with her run of first questions up to this point, put in a late effort, picking up 2 bonuses before her own question, which required her to identify Carly Simon, singing the theme to the Spy Who Loved Me. It was nasty to expect Nancy to identify Radio 4 gameshows which began in the 1970s, and she failed to answer that Barry Norman was actually the first presenter of the News Quiz. It was telling that nobody else knew the answer either. Martin Boult wasn’t out of the woods yet, especially since he failed to answer his first question. However only Mr. McNab could do it after he took a bonus on Nancy’s question, but he failed on his own set, and so Martin Boult , who to be honest had looked the most likely winner all show, came home in front. Tough show today, I thought.
Next week is the last of the heats, and I hope I’m not giving too much away when I say that there’s another formidable contestant just waiting in the wings for us. Watch this space !
Martin Boult - 13
Rosanna Day - 5
Nancy Dickmann – 8
Andrew McNab – 10