Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Radio Listen - Brain of Britain

Brain of Britain – Semi Final 2/4

Semi final 2, on paper, looked to be a very heavyweight contest between

Ian Bayley
Bernard Fyles,
Chris Quinn
Martin Wyatt

To put this into perspective, Ian, Chris and Bernard were the top three scorers in the first round heats – all in the same semi final. Not that I’m complaining, mark you. Still, it was always going to be hardlines on two of these superb quizzers to have found themselves in this particular contest.

In round two, when Bernard Fyles correctly answered that the first provisional leader of the Nationalist state of china in 1912 was Sun Yat Sen, Russell Davies replied that he’d always found Sun Yat Sen useful for completing crossword puzzles ! A very wide ranging round this, it contained a music question, asking the contenders to identify the group who performed the first song that gave rise to the phrase Cool Britannia. No, I didn’t know it. The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band was the answer.

For the first two rounds Chris Quinn was making all the running, with good answers on his own questions, and great work on the buzzer. In round three the old Carol Hersey chestnut made its annual appearance, and was duly dispatched to the boundaries by Bernard Fyles. Ian Bayley started to make an impressive charge during the third round, and caught, although didn’t pass, Chris Quinn.

Listener’s Question. Firstly can you think of a modern writer whose middle name was Staples ? Secondly , what does the P in L P Hartley stand for ? Personally I though he was the nice old geezer who wanted a copy of fly fishing, but there you go. The team knew both, and so it was on with the show.

In round four poor Bernard Fyles couldn’t quite remember the name of the chap the film A Beautiful Mind was all about. Chris Quinn though knew it was Mr. Doggett who created the race for the famous coat and badge. However he failed on a Shakespeare question, then correctly remembered the SS Normandie.

It was all desperately close . Ian Bayley really upped the stakes, getting 4 in a row, but just missing out on identifying Susan Hampshire as the actress who played Fleur in the Forsyte Saga. Then Bernard Fyles chipped in his highest run so far, just missing out on five himself, failing to identify Blefescu from Gulliver’s Travels. Chris didn’t have any great luck on his set of question, and with Ian Bayley proving indefatigable on the buzzer, there was now daylight between them.

In the next round there was much amusement over Mark Twain’s definition of the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector – apparently a taxidermist at least leaves you your skin. As a contrast to the previous round , nobody scored brilliantly, to allow Ian a significant advantage going into the final round. Ian missed his first question ! A shock – could either Bernard or Chris snatch it at the death ? Bernard rattled off a few, but not the full set. Chris took a bonus before his own set. 1, 2, 3, 4 questions correct, but alas, not the fifth. So Ian Bayley, highest scorer in the first round, goes forward to the final, and wins a contest good enough to have been a final. Well done !

The Details

Ian Bayley 19
Bernard Fyles 18
Chris Quinn 17
Martin Wyatt 6

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