Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Radio Listen -Brain of Britain

Brain of Britain - Semi Final 4/4

Well, if you read last week's review you'll probably have worked out that I was actually sitting in the audience for this show. By the time it began, I have to say that I was still shaking like a leaf. Its wierd - winning a quiz has never affected me like this before, but I was so worked up, I suppose. Silly really, but there we are. Still, on with the show.

On paper this was a very serious competition. Jim Cook is a Mastermind finalist. David Edwards has a huge list of achievements, not least winning Mastermind in 1990, and being the first Mastermind winner to win the top prize on WWTBAM. Anne Hegerty who I believe is a previous semi finalist on Brain of Britain, and also a Masterminder, is the same Anne who beat me in the quarter final of “Are You An Egghead ? “ Interestingly , Anne lost to David in the semi final. A chance for revenge here perhaps? Not if Simon Pitfield, who had the joint highest runner up score of the first round had anything to say about it.

What happened next was highly impressive. Make no mistake about it, there were 4 good quizzers competing in this show, but pretty much from the start Anne took a vice-like grip on the contest, and never once looked like relinquishing it. This was a most assured performance, and you enevr thought that the other three were ever going o find their way back into the contest. Having said that, it was interesting that Anne didn’t know that Tom Jones’ second and last number 1 was “The Green Green Grass of Home”. Alright, I only mention this because every time I hear that song I can’t help thinking of the episode of “Only Fools and Horses” where Del Boy asked a singer with a speech impediment to sing “The Gween Gween Gwass of home”. Little things please little minds I suppose. Having said that many of Anne’s answers were outstanding – in successive answers identifying the creator of the swiss army knife, and then the year food rationing ended in Britain , for example.

At the break for the listener’s question Anne already had a huge lead. Simon Pitfield had three, David Edwards and Jim Cook both had 5, but Anne had 15.
The listener’s questions in the break were quickly dispatched to the boundary. Princess Drina was identified as Queen Victoria, and a list of girl’s names were identified as having been invented by writers. As a point of interest it didn’t give Rowena - up until last week's University Challenge I had always thought that it was a made up name from Ivanhoe.

In any quiz show there is an element of luck. When it comes to BoB it may well be that there are only 7 questions asked in the whole of one show that you don’t know the answer to. However, if these seven are the seven first questions in each of your sets of five, then you are going to be living off scraps from bonuses. OK, that’s an extreme example, but it does give you an idea of what can happen to even the best quizzers on BoB. Throughout most of the contest Jim and David found that they would get a start in their rounds, and then the bouncer would come in. Simon too was fighting a rearguard action. Anne, though, was a different class in this show. Not just on her own questions either. I didn’t keep a tally, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to find that she snapped up more bonuses than the other two. She finished with 24, the highest score of the semi finals.

The Details

Jim Cook – 9
David Edwards – 12
Anne Hegerty – 24
Simon Pitfield - 9

So only the final awaits. I feel myself incredibly lucky to have got that far, and to see my name bracketed with the three other finalists, who are all great quizzers, is an honour. For the record, next week's final is contested between : -
Ian Bayley
David Clark
Rob Hannah
Anne Hegerty.

I hope that you can join us.


Rach Cherryade said...

It was a great match and a very convincing and impressive victory for Anne, congratulations! The final looks set to be amazing, I wouldn't like to make any predictions, formidable contestants! Good luck anyway (though I know it's already recorded!)


Londinius said...

Thanks Rach, and I hope that you enjoy it. Anne played a blinder - I know as I was there - and it was a pleasure to be sitting inthe sudience, rather than sitting among her opposition at the time !